November 5, 2012


I want to continue our discussion in class Friday in my blog post. We were discussing what exactly a multistable image is. I decided to just start back at the beginning of Mitchell's article and comb through in it she address multistable images. Mitchell describes multistable images primary function as the ability "to illustrate the co-existence of contrary or simply different readings in the single image" (Mitchell 45). The "My Wife or My Mother-in-law" and the "Duck-Rabbit" images both act as multistable images. Mitchell goes on to say that "multistable images are not metapictures in the formally explicit way... they display the phenomenon of 'nesting,' presenting one image concealed inside another image, but, like the Steinberg, they tend to make the boundary between first- and second-order representation ambiguous" (Mitchell 48). The key to multistabilty is self-reference, but what exactly does that mean?

Well first it ties multistability back to metapictures which are "pictures that refer to themselves or to other pictures, pictures that are used to show what a picture is" (Mitchell 35).  Essentially, that it what multistability is, it is self-reference, or pictures within other pictures that basically feed off of each other.  You need one to have the other and by having both you have one. To me, I think these kinds of pictures vary to each audience based on what they mean and that audience perception is a huge part of multistability because it is what makes it what it is.

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