2014 Conference on neuroesthetics

Seeing Knowing: Vision, Knowledge, Cognition, and Aesthetics

What is the connection between vision and knowledge? Do historical and cultural experiences become embodied in visual cognition? How do designers of digital and networked platforms draw on aesthetic as well as analytical tools to create engaging graphic environments?

Topics covered the history of vision and its role in early human social organization, the modeling of artificial vision as a set of principles for composition, the investigation of brain patterns and responses to aesthetic activity, and the function of graphic structures in design for cross-cultural communication. Speakers included artists and researchers from graphic design, information visualization, art history, paleo-anthropology, artificial intelligence, geography, and visual studies.



Johanna Drucker
Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies
UCLA, Information Studies
“Seeing/Knowing: Introduction to the Conference Ideas and Participants”

Francis Stein
Associate Professor of Communication and Director of Newsscape Project, UCLA
“The construction of social reality through art”

Aude Oliva
Principal Research Scientist
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Zooming through the Human Brain in Space and Time: A look at Perception and Memory Processes”

Derek Hodgson
Department of Archaeology
University of York
“The Visual Brain, Embodiment, and the First Visual Cultures: What Can They Tell Us About Art"

Harold Cohen
Professor Emeritus, independent artist, creator of Aaron
University of California, San Diego,
“Reflections on Designing and Building Aaron”

Deborah Aschheim
Hellman Visiting Artist, Memory and Aging Center, Department of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco
“Thresholds of Significance: Some Art and Science Collaborations”

Cristina Grasseni
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands
“Skilled Visions: Ecologies of Belonging and Sensorial Apprenticeship”

Ellen Lupkin
 Senior Curator of Contemporary Design at the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City. 
"Design and Framing"

Alan M. MacEachren
Professor of Geography & Affiliate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology
The Pennsylvania State University
“Visually Enabled Geographical Reasoning”

Marcos Nadal
PhD. Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods
University of Vienna
“Cognitive Neuroscience of Aesthetics”

William Seely
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Bates College
"Seeking Salience: A Short Story About Engaging Art"

Line Cecilie Engh
Research fellow, History of Art and Ideas

University of Oslo
“Seeing and Knowing with the Bride of Christ: How a Metaphor Shaped Thought and Action in the Middle Ages”


Aaron Marcus
President, Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc. Berkeley, CA
“Key Principles of Visual Semiotics, Visible Language, User-interface Design, and User-centered Design"

Colin Ware
Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Data Visualization Research Lab
University of New Hampshire.
“Perceiving, Interacting and Computing: The Process of Thinking Visually”

Philip Prager
Assistant Professor in Aesthetics
IT University of Copenhagen
“The Modernest Muse”

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Peter Wells
Professor of Anthropology
University of Minnesota