Ordering as a Cognitive Pattern
Ordering as a Cognitive Pattern

Barry Arts Enterprises
(A division of Object Design & Media)
Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

Copyright © 2017 by Lee A. Barry

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express
written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2017

As a Universal, art ideally should have decorative qualities. But Some other Universals that may apply to photography are: (italics
the growing list of Universals 1 (derived from the book “Human mine):
Universals” 2) includes many alternates.
The one that has most interested me is “Continua (Ordering as classification of behavioral propensities (procession in architecture)
a Cognitive Pattern)”. This is something that nicely applies to classification of colors
photography as an “Art Universal”. classification of space
clusters and containers (as in architecture)
In the book “Beyond Culture” 3, anthropologist Edward Hall entification
asserted that certain cultures are “high-context”, meaning they imagery
operate on a set of rules and traditions tacitly implied. This is intention
not synonymous with being globally “universal”, as cultures are interest in bioforms (living things or things that resemble them)
disparate and not necessarily global. We like to entertain the taxonomy
notion of “one world”, but if place is a controller of cultural time
variety, it is simply not possible for everything to have global
In the visual and sonic arts (respectively), there are ordering
principles that are similarly defined and may cohere among 1. Human Universals, Compiled by Donald E. Brown. N.p., n.d.
a majority of cultures, e.g. all tools that involve gripping with Web.
bare hands will be rounded in shape, and dark sonorities (minor
keys and minor seconds will be globally perceived as having a 2. Brown, Donald E. Human Universals. Philadelphia, PA:
dark mood (non-arbitrary mapping between color and sound). Temple UP, 1991. Print.
Visual perception redounds to a pattern and order in the form of
Continua, or things that form a natural progression or sequence. 3. Hall, Edward Twitchell. Beyond Culture. New York, NY:
Donald Brown correlated them with language, specifically nouns. Anchor, 2003. Print.
Accordingly, “visual language” can also have its “noun”, here in the
form of photographs arranged in sequence in a book.
Universals: City Canyons
(a rebus of architecture and sky)
classification of behavioral propensities
(procession in architecture) Geometric patterns naturally emerge from
the context between building outlines or
classification of space silhouettes, here in the form of contrasting
clusters and containers (as in architecture) vertical and horizontal lines, as well as the
continua appearance of a waning gibbous moon, also
diurnality a geometric shape in this “continuum”.

Mediant (2016) Mind the Gap (2016)
6 7

classification of space
entification The entification of light and shadow
within these images:

Grays of Shade, No. 1 and 2
Two views of a shadow

8 9

All cities have layers of architectural eras
that comprise them. Sometimes they form
chronological juxtapostions from a reverse 2
perspective in the form of reflections.


classification of space
clusters and containers (as in architecture)

Marquette-Jahn (2012)
L-R: Marquette Building (1895)
55 W. Monroe (Helmut Jahn, 1980),
131 S. Dearborn (2003)
First Nationals (2005)
Clockwise: Three First National (1981)
Chronology (2016) One First National (1969)
Three generations of Chicago architecture Two First National (1970)
L-R: 20-teens, 1980s, and 1920s.

10 11
All photographs
have an edge,
as does visual
Technology, like a camera provides
a temporary framing of what is
infinitely transmutable. x

Ellsworth (2011)

undefined edge.
Reality has a
Gray and red panels on building elevation, in context
with a solid blue sky, consummates the photograph. It
is analogous with an Ellsworth Kelly minimalist wall
sculpture, where the sculpture recontextualizes the wall
and the room into a holistic experience. Here the sky is the


classification of colors
classification of space
clusters and containers (as in architecture)
making the familiar strange

12 13

clusters and containers (as in architecture)

2x5 (2011)
Untitled (2016)

14 15
Units (2013)

After this image was taken I realized an unwitting influence:
German photographer Andreas Gursky, known for his detailed
depictions of the curtain walls of residential apartment buildings.

The title “Units” has a double-meaning: units of an image as well as
Units (apartments) within a building. Two Units from one of the
classification of space
buildings are cropped out of the prosaic, nondescript facade, for the
clusters and containers (as in architecture)
unique nature of the decoration within them, which pierce through
the dull repetition of the vertical and horizontal chockablock
clusters. The cropped bays are from another photograph taken in
2017, not visible here, and out of the “frame” both spatially and

Taking a photograph of a banality in an urban environment, and
placed in another context, suggests an inadvertent voyeurism, as
the windows of each unit are simultaneously conspicuous and

16 17
Power (2016)
Snapshot photography freezes time in many ways,
one of them the continued “looking” and “noticing”
after the time of the capture.

It wasn’t until a few days after I took this photograph
that I noticed the groups of three: three lines, three
antennae, three parapets, three chimneys.

There is a power in three, that I am intimately
familiar with in music: 3/4, 6/8, 12/8. Looking at
images later (sometimes much later) reveals hidden
attributes. I did not see the musical metaphor when I
took it, but it ultimately informed its meaning.


music seen as art
musical repetition
musical variation

18 19
Four Sticks (Collage )(2015) Universals: interpolation time
A superimposed sequence of four volleyball net poles on measuring units of time
a beach, originally taken from six angles. While taking classification metaphor
the photographs, I was thinking about the metaphor of clusters musical repetition
notes and stems in music, and of Led Zeppelin’s “Four continua numerals (counting)
Sticks”. entification (treating patterns and poetic lines demarcated by pauses
relations as things) rhythm
20 21
6 Stills from “Ink Fireworks” Video (2015)*

A still from a video is essentially a photograph. These
are selected frames (transformed) from a video of a
fireworks display.


clusters and containers
interest in bioforms (living things or things that resemble them)
making the familar strange


22 23
15 Minutes: Sky Polaroids (2017)*
Stills from 15 1-minute virtual Polaroid exposures of
images with the sky in them.

Late in 2016, I began a series of conceptual works based
on pieces of music exactly one minute in duration. The
developing time on a Polaroid snapshot is approximately
one minute.

“15 Minutes” as a cultural construct (or continuum),
became somewhat of a meme after Andy Warhol declared
that “everyone would be famous for 15 minutes.”

This piece is a merging (or nesting) of things a minute long,
in a collection of things 15 minutes long.


units of time

* See:

24 25
Just the Red Garments From 16th and Universals:
17th-century Painting (2014)
belief in supernatural/religion
Photo study in red: A montage of macro photographs of just red garments in 16th and 17th- body adornment
century paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, made from “swatches” of history, that contain classification of colors
some of its essences, memorialized through its use in a photograph. Essentially it is a “remix” of art clusters
history using samples, similar to samples from sound recordings, provoking a consideration of its continua
ontological aspects: what the original cloth was made of, the sitter that wore the garment, and so culture
on. Technology facilitates the continual re-contextualization of art and music history at the micro
level: just one note or one bar in music, or one element in a painting.

26 27
Just the Clouds in 17th-Century
Dutch Painting (Cloud 17) (2015)
Photo collage of just cloud elements from 17th-century Dutch paintings, photographed at the Art
Institute of Chicago, printed on 5mm habotai (China Silk), 12 x 72 inches.
body adornment
classification of colors
The source artists:
Jan Both,
Meindert Hobbema
Jacob van Ruisdael
Jan van de Cappelle
Jan van Goyen

28 29
3 multiple exposures taken with Holga camera (2007) Universals:

What I love about the Chinese Holga plastic camera is the ability to do real-time double-exposure
making the familiar strange
without Photoshop. Photoshop (as well as some smartphone apps) have made it too easy to
composite two images in Screen mode, essentially “projecting” one image over another.

30 31
Winter Beach (5 multiple exposures taken with Holga camera)

making the familiar strange

32 33
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consectetur, adipisci nostrum exercitationem
velit, sed quia non ullam corporis suscipit
numquam eius modi laboriosam, nisi ut
tempora incidunt ut aliquid ex ea commodi
labore et dolore magnam consequatur? Quis autem
aliquam quaerat vel eum iure reprehenderit
Winter Beach (2015)
One image... divided into...

34 35
four quadrants... across four pages..

qui in ea voluptate velit praesentium voluptatum
esse quam nihil molestiae deleniti atque corrupti
consequatur, vel illum qui quos dolores et quas
dolorem eum fugiat quo molestias excepturi sint
voluptas nulla pariatur? occaecati cupiditate
At vero eos et accusamus non provident, similique
et iusto odio dignissimos sunt in culpa qui officia
ducimus qui blanditiis deserunt mollitia animi,
36 37
RGB Untitled (Triptych)
One image split into its RGB channels, revealing different shadings of a concrete wall. The divided
image makes them “frames” that happen simultaneously.



38 39
A pseudo-Necker cube formed by the edges of the photograph.
The gray and white areas alternate, similar to the duck-rabbit illusion.


differential valuations

40 41
Photography is still understood as something that happens
inside a camera. In the future, “photography” might
simply involve selecting and cropping from existing high-
resolution images, as can be done now with satellite or
drone cameras. Instead of looking down, the cameras will
take pictures of city skylines for example, and you could
just zoom in a crop a section. Snapshots, whether they be
framed with a lens, or by capturing pixels on a screen, can
both result in an expression of art.



Google Portrait (2013)

Google Roofs (2013)

42 43
18 Zooms of Fireworks Bokeh
Eighteen individual motor-driven
shots of fireworks with lens bloom.
Motor-drive and video frames are
synonymous now that all modern
SLR cameras can shoot video. The
separation of frames into a mosaic,
allows for eighteen separate zooms,
which is impossible during a rapid
shutter sequence.


classification of colors
making the familiar strange

44 45
Traffic Bokeh in Three Zooms (2010)

making the familiar strange

46 47
Cursive Cable
An inverted image of intertwined cables for traffic signals,
appearing as a consequent cursive script.



48 49

classification of space
clusters and containers
music related in part to dance
musical variation
triangular awareness

Tube Tableau (2009)
Tube Tableau (2009)
(3 Spreads)
This is a combined sequence of images of a break
dancer on a subway platform. The opening between
the two platforms created a kind of video frame effect
when placed side-by-side, as “continua” and “cluster”
Universals, as well as some of the Universals relating
to music. It is a “tableau” as it relates to a kind of ballet,
and its associated Universal, “music related in part to

50 51

making the familiar strange
triangular awareness

52 53
Sheaths (2009) Universals: intertwining
The wind billowing over a tarpaulin protecting a clusters tying material
World War I statue undergoing renovation, created a set coalitions units of time
of “frames”, placed here in series. The rope tied around the continua
ankles of the soldiers is a subtle metaphor for solidarity interpolation
and protection.

54 55
One Rope One Chain (2004)
Like the image of the memorial statue, a group of
photographs taken at a procession, are stitched together.
These images have a large number of Universals
associated with them, which is completely intuitive given
the nature of the ritual.


belief in supernatural/religion
classification of inner states
collective identities
identity, collective
self as neither wholly passive nor wholly autonomous
world view

56 57

Universals: classification of behavioral propensities
classification of color
classification of behavioral propensities classification of space
classification of space clusters and containers
clusters and containers continua
continua making the familiar strange
time time

Temporary Twilight (2012) Just the red channel extracted from an RGB image, then
treated with an effect, that reverses the light and shadow areas.

58 59
State of the Union
(2012) continua
Three selected motor-driven shots of the TV making the familiar strange
broadcast of the 2012 State of the Union address, triangular awareness
joined and superimposed into a serial collage. time

60 61
A string of incandescent bulbs and the metered


Echiveria Untitled (2010)
Bulb Exposure (2011)
Meters (2012)
62 63
Untitled (2005) Stax (2005)
64 65

Universals: classification of behavioral
black (color term)
clusters and containers classification of space
interest in bioforms clusters and containers
taxonomy taxonomy

Black Birds (2011) Wild Black (2006)

66 67
This pair of images has three pairs of four,
one as a facetious double-entendre.


interest in bioforms
making the familiar strange

Balls (2011) Torrance Test (2005)
68 69
Trees naturally fit into the category of objects “ordered
in a cognitive pattern”, by virtue of their own set of
shapes: oval, round, pyramidal. They are bi-morphic
in the sense that (at least from a compositional
perspective), they can be bifurcated, and spread across
two-pages in a book.


interest in bioforms

70 71

clusters and containers
interest in bioforms

72 73
This pairing of images has a surprising number of Universals that can be associated.
Two images contemporaneously captured, contrast the organic and inorganic, the
forces of nature and survival, pitted against against the permanence of discarded
aluminimu foil, used as a pun with the french word for leaves, fouille. The image of
the dead bird is (among other attributes) a Universal for “beliefs about death”, and
the aluminum foil, “bioform”, “entification” and “adjustments to environment”, i.e.
our sense that seeing litter as a fixture (Universal) of modern life.


beliefs about death Aluminum Fouille (2012)
entification (treating patterns and relations as things)
environment, adjustments to
interest in bioforms (living things or things that resemble them)
making the familiar strange
making the strange familiar

Untitled (2012)
74 75
Bottle Gentian wildflowers are pollinated by a specific variety of bumblebee
that pries open the bud, crawls in for the nectar then crawls out. The symbiotic
relationship co-evolved on the blue color of the bud, and the time of year when
both the flower and bee thrive.


environment, adjustments to

Bottle Gentian (2016)

76 77
Untitled (2014)
A segmented log showing its
imprinted “shadow”.



78 79
Boundary Condition (2016)
A boundary condition is a set of contraints imposed
on diffential equations in physics. Here, vines are
dead and thriving, starkly divided by perpendicular
walls (and the spine of the book), as a pun or
metaphor for a “boundary condition”, reliant on
continuous growth patterns.


classification of space

80 81
Musical Shadows (2006)

musical repetition

82 83
Art Universals
Some of the human universals that come into play for art-making: Culture
Culture/nature distinction
Abstraction in speech & thought
Actions under self-control Daily routines
Aesthetics Dance
Anthropomorphization Decision making
Anticipation Differential valuations
Antonyms Directions, giving of
Discrepancies between speech, thought, and action
Baby talk Diurnality
Belief in supernatural/religion Divination
Beliefs about death Division of labor
Beliefs, false Dreams/dream interpretation
Black (color term)
Body adornment Emotions
Classification Entification (treating patterns and relations as things)
Classification of behavioral propensities Environment, adjustments to
Classification of colors Explanation
Classification of inner states
Classification of space Face (word for)
Classification of tools Facial communication
Clusters Figurative speech
Coalitions Fire
Collective identities Folklore
Conjectural reasoning Future, attempts to predict
Continua (ordering as cognitive pattern) Gestures
Contrasting marked and nonmarked sememes Grammar
Cooperation Hairstyles
Cooperative labor Hope
Critical learning periods
Metonym play
Identity, collective Mood (or consciousness-altering techniques and/or substances) play to perfect skills
Imagery Moral sentiments poetic line, uniform length range
Intention Moral sentiments, limited effective range of poetic lines characterized by repetition and variation
Interest in bioforms (living things or things that resemble them) Music poetic lines demarcated by pauses
Interpolation Music related in part to dance poetry/rhetoric
Intertwining (e.g., weaving) Music related in part to religious activity polysemy (one word has several meanings)
Music seen as art (a creation) practice to improve skills
Language Music, children’s precedence, concept of (that’s how the leopard got its spots)
Language employed to manipulate others Music, vocal pretend play
Language is translatable Music, vocal, includes speech forms private inner life
Language not a simple reflection of reality Musical redundancy pronouns, minimum two numbers
Leaders Musical repetition proverbs, sayings
Lever Musical variation proverbs, sayings – in mutually contradictory forms
Linguistic redundancy Myths recognition of individuals by face
Logical notion of ‘and’ rhythm
Logical notion of ‘equivalent’ Narrative risk-taking
Logical notion of ‘general/particular’ Nomenclature rituals
Logical notion of ‘not’ Non-bodily decorative art role and personality seen in dynamic interrelationship
Logical notion of ‘opposite’ Normal distinguished from abnormal states
Logical notion of ‘part/whole’ Numerals (counting) self as neither wholly passive nor wholly autonomous
Logical notion of ‘same’ self as subject and object
Logical notions (other) One (numeral) semantic category of affecting things and people
Overestimating objectivity of thought semantic category of dimension
Magic semantic category of giving
Magic to increase life Past/present/future semantic category of location
Magic to sustain life Person, concept of semantic category of motion
Magic to win love Phonemes semantic category of other physical properties
Marking at phonemic, syntactic, and lexical levels Phonemes, defined by set of minimally constrasting features semantic components
Meaning, most units of are non-universal Phonemes, merging of semantic components, generation
Measuring Phonemes, ranging from 10 to 70 in number semantics (other)
Melody Phonemic change, inevitability of sememes, commonly used ones are short, infrequently used ones are longer
Memory Phonemic change, rules of senses unified
Mental maps Phonemic system social structure
Mentalese Planning socialization
Metaphor Planning for future special speech for special occasions
Stop/nonstop contrasts (in speech sounds)
Symbolic speech
Synesthetic metaphors

Three (numeral)
Time, cyclicity of
Tool dependency
Tool making
Tools for cutting
Tools for pounding
Tools patterned culturally
Tools to make tools
Tools, permanent
Triangular awareness (assessing relationships among the self and two other people)
True and false distinguished
Two (numeral)
Tying material (i.e., something like string)

Units of time

White (color term)
World view

88 89