This is an artistic research in image analysis and the occurrence and description of indirect (unintentional, virtual, suggestive) image components in ordinary images, and their effect on perception and connotation. (IMAGES)

This website will also be a forum in which I would like to reflect on these topics with other artists, photographers, image lovers, students and scientists. (ANTHOLOGY)

These contemplations can lead to a broader understanding, a more widespread vision and the extension of a supporting area regarding this embryonic matter. Hence, I hereby invite everyone to visit this website and feed it through addition of notes, pictures, analyses, research, contextual feedback, …


The subject of this study are the indirect levels in each image (photograph, slide, 8 mm footage, …). Analogous with the first-layer-parameters, such as colour, composition or appearance, there are underlying image components active, often unintentional, virtual or suggestive, that have a major impact on the further meaning of this identical image and are indissolubly linked to the experience of the moment.

These deeper ‘image components’ have been extensively described, in connection with the work of professional painters and photographers. For example:  ‘the punctum and the studium’ by Roland Barthes, the description of the ‘polyfocality’ in the work of Luc Tuymans and the ‘mental image’ of JP Sartre.

A more extensive study of the presence of these image components in ordinary image-forming experienced by ‘non-professionals’, and the awareness of it, is necessary.

Just because of the fact that the makers themselves have no knowledge about the visual language, their use of these components can be called ‘pure’ and even ‘instinctive’. Viewers and users are indeed key elements in visual culture. They give in a natural way meaning to a content and they are a lot more open to suggestion than it seems.

This research originated from my personal ‘track-search’ in my artistic work.

Joannas Késenne: “The collection of images from the past proves an impossibility: how to get in a past reality ever? How vain is the ambition of a reconstruction to replace the original. Things will therefore not be more tangible. On the contrary, they become more enigmatic. The manner with which different things merge in the mood of a moment, this ambiguity is what Patrick Ceyssens can bring to light. ”

As an artist I try to give this artistic research a theoretical foundation through notes from the visual practice and starting from existing theories. But the essence is a pattern-comparison from a collection in which we apply a style and content analysis. In this way we try to determine, structure and interpret these image components.

It is also an answer to the question why people still keep to ‘failed’ images.

Each image hesitates between what it is and what it wants to be.

Patrick Ceyssens

( Translation i.p.w. Bert Spruytte )