Warning: Optical Tricks

This posting contains some works of motion illusion, which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately.   It helps if you don’t look straight at it.

Vega-Nor by VictorVasaely © Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Corbis
Vega-Nor by VictorVasaely © Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Corbis

Victor Vasarely is widely regarded as the father of Op-Art. During the 1960s and 1970s his optical images became part of the popular culture having a deep impact on architecture, computer science, fashion and the way we now look at things in general.

CH651612 Eclypse, 1972 (acrylic on board) by Vasarely, Victor  Private Collection; Photo © Christie's Images;
CH651612 Eclypse, 1972 (acrylic on board) by Vasarely, Victor Private Collection; Photo © Christie’s Images;

Enter Professor Akiyoshi Kitaoka from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, who has spent more than a decade creating his collection of moving optical illusions.

Rotating Snakes by Akiyoshi Kitaoka – the circular snakes appear to rotate spontaneously in your peripheral vision as a result of the peripheral drift illusion. Notice how the movement stops when you look directly at a collection of concentric circles. The illusion is probably caused by unconscious rapid eye movements and blinking. Image:  CATERS NEWS AGENCY
Rotating Snakes by Akiyoshi Kitaoka – the circular snakes appear to rotate spontaneously in your peripheral vision as a result of the peripheral drift illusion. Notice how the movement stops when you look directly at a collection of concentric circles. The illusion is probably caused by unconscious rapid eye movements and blinking. Image: CATERS NEWS AGENCY

 

Snake Conveyors by Akiyoshi Kitaoka is another peripheral drift illusion. Blinking may enhance the effect. Image: Caters News Agency
Snake Conveyors by Akiyoshi Kitaoka is another peripheral drift illusion. Blinking may enhance the effect. Image: Caters News Agency

 

Autumn Color Swamp by Akiyoshi Kitaoka.  Try moving your browser window rapidly up and down on this page to enhance the effect.  Image:  Caters New Agency
Autumn Color Swamp by Akiyoshi Kitaoka. Image: Caters New Agency

Try moving your browser window rapidly up and down on this page to enhance the effect of the moving square in Autumn Color Swamp.

Swimming Rings appear to approach each other and move apart Image: Caters News Agency
Swimming Rings appear to approach each other and move apart
Image: Caters News Agency
Irrigation by Akiyoshi Kitaoka  Credit:  Caters News Agency
Irrigation by Akiyoshi Kitaoka Credit: Caters News Agency
Rotating Rings of Fluorescent Color by Akiyoshi Kitaoka
Rotating Rings of Fluorescent Color by Akiyoshi Kitaoka
Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s Construction of a Subway by Rabbits: the inner circle seems to rotate clockwise while the outer circle rotates anti-clockwise.  Image: Caters News Agency
Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s Construction of a Subway by Rabbits: the inner circle seems to rotate clockwise while the outer circle rotates anti-clockwise. Image: Caters News Agency

Professor Kitaoka has written ten books on visual illusions or illusion designs. His designs have been used by the likes of Lady Gaga, who ran the Kitaokas work, entitled Gangaze, as the CD cover for her album Art Pop, in 2013. To see more of his work go to:

http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/index-e.html

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