Table 121

Facets of Understanding Spatial-Graphic Representations

Referential meaning Representational awareness Representational duality

Spatial meaning

Aesthetic awareness Aesthetic duality

Identifying the referent

Recognizing that there is a representation as distinct from the referent Differentiating qualities that carry "stand for" meaning and qualities that adhere in the representation itself at both global and componential levels

Understanding representational vantage point; interpreting spatial qualities of and among referents; and integrating spatial relations among referent, representation, and user Appreciating that there is an aesthetic quality of graphic representations Differentiating aesthetic qualities of the representation from aesthetic qualities of the referent

Figure 12.1 Photograph inspired by Magritte's painting, Ceci ne'est pas une pipe. Reproduced from Liben (2003a) with permission.

referent, and some are simply qualities of the representation itself. For example, the location of the ears on the photographic cat carries referential meaning about the location of the ears on the real cat, but neither the flatness nor size of the image implies anything about the flatness and size of the real animal. Instead, these latter qualities adhere in the representation.

A fourth facet involves understanding several kinds of spatial meaning contained in representations. Included is information about the vantage point from which the referent is depicted. As shown graphically in Figure 12.2, vantage point is defined along three spatial dimensions: viewing distance (the contrast between a close-up vs. a distant photograph of, for example, a pipe), viewing angle (the slant along the vertical axis, as in the contrast between viewing a pipe from directly overhead vs. viewing it from straight ahead), and viewing azimuth (the direction from which the referent is approached, as in the contrast between viewing a pipe from the side vs. from its end). Representations also provide information about spatial features of individual components of the referent (e.g., the curved shape of the pipe's bowl), spatial relations among components of the referent (e.g., the right

angular connection between the pipe's bowl and stem), and relations between one referent and another (e.g., the pipe is on the table).

The final facets of understanding listed in Table 12.1 lie in the aesthetic domain, focusing on the expressive nature of representations. Aesthetic awareness refers to understanding that the representation may be interpreted or experienced with respect to dimensions such as beauty or emotional impact; aesthetic duality refers to differentiating between expressive or aesthetic experiences that are afforded by the representation as distinct from those that would be afforded by the referent itself.

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