Visualizing Metaphors Project
Mind 03: Opinions Are Vectors
by Mark G. Taber

Visualizing metaphors is a project that sets out to describe an approach to creating graphic representations of abstract concepts using principles derived from Embodied Cognition theory. The theory argues that a body acting in the world is essential for reasoning and thinking in abstract terms, and metaphors are how ideas are represented. Building on this idea in two dimensional art means that it is essential that the viewer’s point of view relative to the picture plane be considered. For example, perspective works out in geometric terms the exact location and direction of view of the viewer relative to the picture plane. The challenge is to find the best combination of metaphors to represent a given concept or data set. Metaphors that are embodied can be acted out in pantomime, so a well designed visual metaphor will represent activities that somebody could perform.

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