Embedded Symmetries: Natural and Cultural

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Overview

The ten participants in this volume explore nonrepresentational patterns from perceptual and cultural perspectives. Archaeologists, anthropologists, art historians, and psychologists lend their views on how patterns and symmetry are expressed and resonate in a variety of human relationships and institutions. The authors reveal how symmetric relationships in human visual, verbal, and kinesthetic manifestations are integral to cultural identity.

Diane Humphrey uses developmental studies of children and adults to explore how humans learn to recognize and reproduce symmetry. Michael Kubovny and Lars Strother focus on mathematically- and perceptually-based understandings of symmetry while Thomas Wynn uses the production of symmetrical tools as a basis for analysis. Dorothy Washburn attempts to understand why symmetrical representations take the forms they do, and she develops an evolutionary model of the development of representational formats. Anne Paul seeks to understand the logic behind color and structure of Paracas textiles, and Ed Franquemont examines conceptual expression in Andean weaving. Peter Roe presents evidence that the Amerindian world view can be found in design organization on ceramic vessels while F. Allan Hanson and Rod Ewins investigate the symmetries of art in Maori and Fijian cultures. Ultimately, this volume hopes to engage multidisciplinary approaches to the study of pattern and symmetry and how they influence human cultural formation and identity.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dorothy K. Washburn is a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona. She lives in Titusville, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction : embedded symmetries 1
Ch. 1 Symmetries in development : the eye is quicker than the hand 7
Ch. 2 The perception of band patterns : going beyond geometry 19
Ch. 3 Evoluntionary developments in the cognition of symmetry 27
Ch. 4 The genesis of realistic and patterned representations 47
Ch. 5 Symmetry schemes on paracas necropolis textiles 59
Ch. 6 Jazz : an Andean sense of symmetry 81
Ch. 7 The ghost in the machine : symmetry and representation in ancient Antillean art 95
Ch. 8 Symmetry for itself, for culture, and for practice 145
Ch. 9 Symmetry and semiotics : the case of Fijian barkcloth figuration 161
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