Art and Imaging

Dan Fern, Royal College of Art and Dr Anil Bharath, Imperial College
Thursday October 30th 2003, at the Ri
What can scientists learn from artists about how to display their ideas and results in a way that is easy to understand?
A leading arts practitioner and a leading scientist shared their insights into the visual representation of ideas.
Professor Dan Fern, Head of the Department of Communication at the Royal College of Art and Dr Anil Bharath from the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College discussed the similarities, differences and overlaps in their respective approaches.
Today, computer-based imaging methods are used to mimic techniques employed by artists in the past. And current artists and graphic designers use computers to develop new techniques and produce images that would never have been possible before. The speakers will explore both historical techniques and some currently being developed in a range of sciences, to show how the fields of art and imaging are merging.
Throughout the history of art, painters have played with techniques for the representation of the visual image. Part of the problem has always been that the artist needs to interpret what the eye believes it sees, rather than what it actually sees.
For example, Rembrandt used lighting effects which do not occur naturally. Other artists, such as Vermeer, are believed to have used the Camera Obscura to capture the geometry of a scene.
The speakers
Dan Fern is Head of the Department of Communication at the Royal College of Art. He is an award-winning designer and graphic artist as well as being an influential teacher. Fern has worked extensively across all areas of visual communications, including a set of stamps for the Royal Mail, and posters for the London Underground.
Anil Bharath is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College. He holds a BEng from UCL, and a PhD from Imperial College, both in Electrical Engineering. He now works at the interfaces between signal processing, the computational modelling of visual processes and computer vision.
Chaired by Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector, Royal College of Art

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