ZOOM SEMINAR: Modern Art and the Visual Brain: Why Art Emerges for Image Fragments

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: Jussi Saarinen, Erik Allardt Fellow, SCAS. University Lecturer in Perception and Cognition, University of Helsinki
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

Jussi Saarinen, SCAS and University of Helsinki, gives a seminar on "Modern Art and the Visual Brain: Why Art Emerges for Image Fragments". The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.


The role of visual perception and memory in an artistic experience is discussed in my talk using modern art as a context to explore how compositions consisting of a few rudimentary image fragments can still evoke vivid and emotional visual scenes. In other words, how do contour fragments and colour patches – such as those in the masterpieces by Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Lichtenstein – form a work of art? I will highlight two different mechanisms: (1) implicit ensemble encoding of both elementary features and abstract attributes and (2) short-term and long-term visual memory with a focus on the mechanisms of memory decay. An argument is presented that these mechanisms could be part of the artist’s repertoire of intuitive neuroscience. They may also serve as the subtle instruments used to achieve Wassily Kandinsky’s aesthetic goal of ‘pure, universal, and spiritual visual art’.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html.

Additional information