Visual Intelligences Research Project

About the Project

The Visual Intelligence Research Project is an initiative of The Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University.

The idea of visual intelligence in the context of creative practice refers to the kinds of thinking that go into envisaging, making and viewing the visual appearance of works of art. More broadly still, it refers to the kinds of thinking manifest in envisaging, making and viewing objects and artefacts of visual culture, specifically where visual appearance is important to their character and function. The project is concerned to uncover and understand these processes, and in particular to set out for review and debate the specific forms of visual intelligence operating to guide and structure creative practice in visual art. The project also seeks to understand how visual artefacts, including works of art, might embody, facilitate and convey ways of apprehending and thinking about the world that differ from other modalities of knowledge and communication, for example, oral and written language.

We believe the project to be significant and timely, raising fundamental questions about the significance and value of the visual dimension of visual art with important implications for practice, criticism and education.