Sunday, April 3, 2011

Metamorphosis and Camouflage | Visual Pun

Anon, a 19th-century visual metamorphosis

In the Victorian era, there was considerable emphasis on and appreciation of wit, including visual metamorphosis (as in this example), consisting of sequential drawings in which one thing evolves into another. Here, in a series of seemingly logical steps, a musician is transformed into a stringed instrument. This process has everything to do with what is commonly known today as creativity or metaphorical thinking (cf. Arthur Koestler's The Act of Creation), but it also pertains to camouflage, which frequently works by disguising a thing so that it resembles another, called mimicry. Perhaps the best book on natural mimicry is Wolfgang Wickler, Mimicry in Plants and Animals. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1968.