The SPOT System
In our day-to-day lives, we typically think very little about seeing. We simply use our visual facility until it is interrupted or diminished. Or until we try to devise a machine that can use or provide visual processing meaningful to humans. Then we begin to appreciate the enormous complexity of "making sense of the senses".
Upon consideration, it turns out that much of perception is unconscious. What we "think we see" is an interpretive product of individual circumstances, physiology, and psychology.
Visual expression is aided by understanding and clarifying fundamental factors of image form seen in the human panoply of visual artifacts such as photographs, symbols, drawings, charts, diagrams, scenes, renderings....
Seeing is attentiveness. Training of visual artists attempts to bring into attentional focus the kinds of factors that affect perceptual awareness and interpretive significance. Students explore exercises that challenge them to work for the greatest sensual economy, to elaborate visual space most effectively by rendering various aspects of visual media to arrive at enhanced clarity and coherence of diverse detail orchestrated within the unified form.
SPOT System Applications
Shape and composition are two very basic factors underlying image significance. The most rudimentary kind of symbol is "one that looks like what it represents", i.e., an icon, which technically is a representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
Such similarity of shape gathers related icons together in our mind's eye simply because they appear to be of a kind. LAVA/SILK, acronyms of Lattice-Articulated Vector Analysis and String-Indexed Lattice Keys, provides a notational system whereby computers can be used to retrieve objects that are similar in shape and composition to a reference object used as a search key, also called a SILKey, which encodes as text the results of LAVA analysis, thereby permitting rapid comparison and sorting of archival contents.
LAVA/SILK analysis uses SPOT notation as a convenient means of expressing relationships of contour and orientation about a visual center. CDM, Concept Deployment Matrix, provides a novel method of analyzing and expressing linguistic relationships using standard thesaurus topics to index SILKeys on a spiral SPOT matrix onto which linguistic categories have been mapped.