Ambiguous Image of a Bird at Rest and In Flight

In art, it’s fun and challenging to create images that can be viewed from different angles or can be understood as two or more different ‘things’.

Before this gets too confusing, let me show you an example I drew back in the mid-1980’s:

Bird Horizontal

Above you can clearly see a bird flying with its wings in the down beat position. But if we pivot the picture 90 degrees clockwise:

Bird Vertical

Now another bird is seen at rest with its wings still.

This is what is called an Ambiguous Image. Such visual forms ‘create ambiguity by exploiting graphical similarities and other properties of visual system interpretation between two or more distinct image forms. These are famous for inducing the phenomenon of multistable perception. Multistable perception is the occurrence of an image being able to provide multiple, although stable, perceptions‘. Thank you Professor, you can take the rest of the post off!

Ambiguous images are important to the field of psychology because they are often used as research tools used in experiments on the mind.

Well, my mind is blown! I didn’t realize I was creating something so profound with a simple doodle.

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