28 Critical Reflections: random 8 to 14

But the first thing to make clear is that a specular reflection cannot be taken as a sign if one follows the definition given in this book. Not only can it not be properly called an image (since it is a virtual image, and therefore not a material expression) but even granted the existence of the image it must be admitted that it does not stand for something else:on the contrary it stands in front of something else, it exists not instead of but because of the presence of that something: when that something disappears the pseudo-image in the mirror disappears too.[3]

The gallery is a lovely bright space, all white-painted wood and high ceilings, with a few stunning pieces, but the garden's the real show-stopper here. It's quite small, but full of amazing and very varied sculptures, placed far enough apart that you can enjoy each one individually, but close enough together that you can get really interesting perspectives of three or four at once.[8]

Shiny, and streamlined. With fairings, you know? And fins. All around them, people flying on their own, individually, with some kind of back-pack... jet, I think. No noise. Even the birds weren't disturbed, darting and swooping amid the human flocks.[2]

I like the contrast of foreground horizontal form with background vertical one, also between them the rhododendrons and lake with reflections.[5]

Specular reflection could be called a sort of congruence, insofar as congruences are a type of equality, thus establishing a bi-univocal relation founded on the properties of being reflexive, symmetrical and transitive. In this sense specular reflection is equality and not similitude.[3]

I get alien, extra terrestrial, other- or even non-worldly: something this world could not 'naturally' produce: spacecraft, alien, non-human edifice. And yet I can take the alien view, I can see out the portholes, glimpse the alien view from the exposed innards. Paradoxically, the alien structures, Hepworth's sculptures in her garden, sit wonderfully, Barthesian blissfully well in our 'natural' world. They accentuate what 'just happens to be' as if it were special: which it, of course, is.[4]

The term specular means that light is perfectly reflected in a mirror-like way from the light source to the viewer. Specular reflection is visible only where the surface normal is oriented precisely halfway between the direction of incoming light and the direction of the viewer; this is called the half-angle direction because it bisects (divides into halves) the angle between the incoming light and the viewer. Thus, a specularly reflecting surface would show a specular highlight as the perfectly sharp reflected image of a light source. However, many shiny objects show blurred specular highlights.[6]

28 Critical Reflections random 15 to 21
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[1] http://www.neworleanspast.com/art/id62.html

[2] Ken MacLeod, Reflective Surfaces, New Scientist, 2009.

[3] Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, Indiana University Press, 1979.

[4] Clive Fencott, Reflections on seeing River Form in Barbra Hepworth's garden in St. Ives.

[5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelhomer/316548379/

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specular_highlight

[7] http://www.barbarahepworth.org.uk/texts/

[8] tripadvisor.co.uk