If you see faces in these two objects, you are experiencing pareidolia. By definition, pareidolia is the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.
Last November, in this blog, I shared my pandemic pastime of picking up scrap metal while riding my bike back and forth to Taylor Design. These two images are of two scrap metal finds. Both were once useful objects (a pressure gauge and an undercarriage heat shield) that had fallen to the road, where they were run over several times, crushed into a random shape, and then picked up by me to be included in my next assemblage of scrap. As I picked these objects up off the street, I clearly saw a sinister expression in the pressure gauge and a pig’s face (two eyes and a snout) in the heat shield, which are two excellent examples of pareidolia!
Since the pandemic’s onset 15 months ago, I have picked up several hundred pounds of scrap metal. I have created 16 different assemblages, and (with a tiny circle of followers) I have started sharing my scrap finds on Instagram. As the pandemic’s severity wanes, this horrible period of time becomes part of our history, and we are returning to normal (or finding a new normal), I plan to continue collecting scrap, making art, and feeding my Instagram profile: @scrappynora.
On a side note, the Rorschach inkblot test uses pareidolia in an attempt to gain insight into a person’s mental state. What do you make of my mental state?
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