Big Ideas in Unflattening 3/13

“In seeking new approaches for opening expansive spaces and awakening possibilities, let us look to our ways of seeing themselves, and how, quite literally, the means to create perspective lies right between our eyes. The distance separating our eyes means that there is a difference between the view each produces- thus there is no single, “correct” view. (Sousanis 31).

Perspective in visual rhetorics is an invitation for viewers to have a say [and know it will count] during the process of critiquing images. When perspective is not accounted for as a step in a visual rhetorical analysis,  new interpretations and discoveries become unknown and will never be accounted for. 


  1. There is a tension here between flatness, unflattening, and expansion. Given the emphasis you note on perspective, is there anything to be said for the perspective of flatness? That is, is flatness ever defensible? Or are there things two dimensions can do for us that three dimensions cannot? (I think so, but I pose this curious, as well, what others think).

    1. There is definitely a tension going on and I think it does have a lot to do with perspective. When looking at 2D images vs 3D there is a shift in how we perceive and make sense of things. Flat dimensions don’t give much guidance on how to view the image or object at hand, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Flatness can allow us to see what is not visible, allows us to be creative and innovate, which then may lead to creating multidimensional images, structures, objects, ect.

  2. I think here he is referring to our brain” to create perspective lies right between our eyes”. Between our eyes is our brain and our brain interprets the images by our previous assumptions rooted in our culture, religions, education, and experiences.

    1. Ahhh, that’s a good point! Based off of your understanding of this passage [or whoever wants to join in] does our perception change with multidimensional or flat images? Does the material elements of what we look at change how we perceive it?

      1. Definitely! In recent news prosecutors after viewing different security cameras from different angle changed their perceptions and opened a cold case. So multidimensional images can change our perception.

Comments are closed.