If we don’t see in pictures, then why do we think it is so important to draw pictures?
Steen Eiler Rasmussen gives us the following thought:
“Ordinarily we do not see a picture of a thing but see an impression of the thing itself, of the entire form including the sides that we cannot see, and all of the space surrounding it.” p42.
Written in 1959, this passage from the classic text Experiencing Architecture reinforces our basic beliefs here at Transparent Drawing.
Certainly in these pages, we don’t believe in pictures and representation and all of that bad stuff. We do believe in actually seeing all sides of the object before we draw the object. And here we have Rasumssen saying that even when we are simply looking at something, that we are not seeing / sensing in a picture plane.
What they are saying is that the act of looking has a wider bandwidth. Just looking at the coffee cup in front of you involves a wider act of seeing than the two dimensional construct that we are fed to believe. The normal act of seeing does include some sort of involuntary completion of the form. The normal act of seeing does include the formation of assumptions regarding what you cannot see, even if those assumptions are not explicit.
When I read a passage like Rasmussen’s, I honestly don’t know why Transparent Drawing is not our cultural default. The blinding limitations of representational depiction is a cultural travesty. You can’t know it if you don’t draw what you can’t see.
1.Rasmussen, Steen Eiler. Experiencing Architecture. MIT Press. 1959.