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Essays and documentation of work towards the MFA degree of the University of Tasmania

posted on 2023-05-26, 18:40 authored by Marwood, Jim, 1932-
Contains essays and documentation of work towards the MFA degree of the University of Tasmania, 1989. The career of South Australian artist Walter Grosser is discussed. His production of stereoscopic photographs is placed in the context of the history of this medium. Scientific investigation of stereoscopic vision up to the present time is summarised, and reasons are sought for the virtual exclusion of the medium from the art world. Although the Arabs may have recognised the importance of binocular vision a thousand years ago, stereopsis was ignored by Western philosophers until Wheatstone's discovery in 1838. Wheatstone's invention of the stereoscope was adapted to photography by Brewster. The device became popular, especially in the United States, where it was developed commercially, importing images, and exporting card-sets and cheap stereoscopes all over the world (including Australia). About 1910, Walter Grosser was struggling to make a living as a commercial photographer in the small South Australian town of Millicent. His commercial work included stereoscopic views but he made also a small opus of unusual and intensely personal work in the medium (illustrated). His photographic production ceased by 1914, probably as a result of wartime anti-German sentiment. After Wheatstone and Brewster, science ignored stereopsis for a century. Research resumed only after the commercial development had virtually ended in the 1930's.. Theories of visual space-perception were based on analogies of camera and range-finder. In 1960 Julesz used computer-generated patterns to show these analogies to be inappropriate. Current theory suggests visual space-perception is achieved by cortical scanning and comparison of the two visual fields. Other 'cue-systems' are usually of secondary importance. The paper ends by suggesting reasons for lack of interest in stereoscopic work such as that of Grosser within the fine arts, and fantasises on connexions yet to be established between stereoscopic photography and holography.


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Copyright 1989 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.F.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1990. Contents: How it was (a shifting viewpoint) -- The vision of space : from Bishop Berkeley to Audrey Hepburn, by way of an obscure photographer and his stereoscope

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