Pedagogy linking art and science: Pinhole Cameras

An excerpt from an interview conducted by a2ru (a university arts group):

“I teach a course I managed to develop quite recently called Visual Perception and Art, which I co-taught with a neuroscientist…. It was, to be sure, apples and oranges. This is a neuroscientist who works at the level of the neuron. I'm an art historian. He's talking about the neuron and I'm talking about the Middle Ages. But it was a lot of fun. The students were doing, in one section of the course, neuroscience labs; and in another section of the course, they were doing broad visual culture experiments. They brought it together themselves. The neuroscience students are also making paintings to study value progression, and when do we think grey becomes black. Fechner's idea of the smallest discernible difference . . . . The more humanist cultural students were doing experiments to make pinhole cameras to ask themselves how appropriately that mimics the eye, or did it at all.”

photos:  1) pinhole display,  2) pinhole shutter, 3) pinhole camera, 4) image by Student Dane Erickson