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authors Healy, C.G. and Enns, J.T.
year 2002
title Perception and Painting: A Search for Effective, Engaging Visualizations
source Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Journal, March / April
summary Scientific visualization represents information as images that allow us to explore, discover, analyze, and validate large collections of data. Much of the research in this area is dedicated to the design of effective visualizations that support specific analysis needs. Recently, we have become interested in a new idea: Is a visualization beautiful? Can a visualization be considered a work of art? One might expect answers to these questions to vary widely depending on the individual and their interpretation of what it means to be artistic. We believe that the issues of effectiveness and aesthetics may not be as independent as they might seem at first glance, however. Much can be learned from a study of two related disciplines: human psychophysics, and art theory and history. Perception teaches us how we "see" the world around us. Art history shows us how artistic masters captured our attention by designing works that evoke an emotional response. The common interest in visual attention provides an important bridge between these domains. We are using this bridge to produce visualizations that are both effective and engaging. This article describes our research, and discusses some of the lessons we have learned along the way.
series journal paper
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