This week a new article on illusions from the Golden Age, written by Susana Martinez-Conde and me, came out: Scientific American Mind.
The Victorian era was a watershed in brain science. The study of illusions and perception, in particular the work of the German scientist Gustav Fechner, served as the cornerstone for the field of Psychology that grew from it. So neuroscience and the study of illusory perception have always gone hand in hand. From this era we inherited a number of illusion based technologies, such as moving pictures—which led to TV, computers and smart phones.
It was with this knowledge that Hull & Train, a science museum exhibition production company, came to us to help them design Eyellusions: a new travelling exhibit of illusory science that was thematically set in the Victorian era. The science is cutting-edge and contemporary: we made sure of that! But the Victorian theme is historically relevant and brings a certain visual wonderfulness to the project, which I love.
Come see the show, which recently opened at the Sci-Tech Discovery Science Center in Frisco, Texas,
As part of the exhibit, the creative Canadian duo Hall Train and Alexandra Lemay produced a sci-fi epic video showcasing how magicians, such as Georges Méliès, developed movie effects like forced perspective and stop motion photography, by employing a basic understanding of simple visual illusions. What is really cool here is that they shot the entire film with a smart phone. Check it out!
Susana and I also filmed a number of scientific explanations for the exhibitions displays in full Victorian regalia. Here is one video (below) and you may enjoy to see them all here.