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Pareidolia: From Ambiguity to Emergence
Antoine Bellemare Ph.D. 
Thursday, Feb 16th, 4 PM, 2023.

Have you ever recognized a familiar object in the clouds, such as an animal or a face? If so, you have experienced pareidolia, which corresponds to the experience of finding meaningful sensory patterns in random or ambiguous stimuli. It has recently been shown that pareidolia relates to creativity and that the complexity of visual stimuli interacts with the emergence of pareidolic percepts. In this talk, Antoine Bellemare ground this phenomenon in Gestalt Theory of perception and the broader concept of apophenia (i.e. the tendency to see imaginary connections of the meaning). He reviewed different examples of how pareidolia and apophenia can be manipulated and stimulated in the context of generative art, biofeedback and artificial intelligence systems. By doing so, he provided ways to expand our strategies for creative idea generation and emergent storytelling.

About Antoine:
Antoine Bellemare is a multidisciplinary artist and Ph.D. Candidate at Concordia University. He is enrolled in an Individualized program to create a dialogue between digital arts and neuroscience. His research-creation project focuses on the link between creativity, electrophysiological signals, and algorithmic compositions. His work tends to explore how sensory noise influences creative perception, and how meaning emerges from integration of ambiguous information. Poetry, neuroscience, electroacoustic, and artificial intelligence are all vectors of expression that could fulfill this same exploration. He has also been working in the design of artistic brain-computer-interfaces and the creation of tools for biosignals sonification.

Workshop Lectures.

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