2015 Conversation Pieces

Hunting the Mind’s Wildlife


Friday, 20 March 2015




Mech & Civil Eng, LT B23



Pareidolia is the psychologists’ term for the brain’s tendency to detect forms and faces in nature where none exist. Whether that means naming constellations, reading tea-leaves or watching animal clouds float through the sky, humans have long tried to make sense of the chaos around us.
To see patterns is to witness the brain’s programming and survival instinct at work but it can also be a delightful reminder of its occasional quirks and jitters.

For the last three years, Ben has been collecting real-world examples seen in
nature and in artifice, and learning the tricks that can reveal them.

Matt Westbrook, artist in residence at the University’s Research and Cultural
Collections, has independently been doing his own pareidolic research.

Join them for an illustrated presentation and conversation that will shine a light on the shadowy recesses of human perception and artistic creativity. The event will be followed by a walking ‘safari’ tour of the University campus, looking for live examples of this intriguing phenomenon.

Presented by Cultural Engagement in partnership with STILL Walking Festival