AI – Aesthetic Impact

AI is the viewer’s personal, emotional reaction to the target area: “the feelings that the target area triggers in you”. It can be an expression of sudden astonishment, dizziness, disgust, or pleasure. It is extremely important that AI is properly perceived and written out, because it can decide the entire course of the session from this moment on by triggering so-called AOL drives. The viewer must not override AI.


Aesthetic impact indicates a sudden and dramatic widening of the aperture, and signals the transition from Stage II into Stage III. In normal session structure, it occurs only after two or more dimensionals occur in the signal line. On occasion, however, AI can occur more or less spontaneously in Stage II, especially when a site is involved with very pronounced Stage II elements, such as a particularly noisome chemical plant. AI is the viewer’s personal, emotional response to the site: “How the site makes you feel.” It can be a manifestation of sudden surprise, vertigo, revulsion, or pleasure. Though some sites seem to consistently elicit similar AI responses in any person who remote views them, it must still be borne in mind that an AI response is keyed directly to the individuals own personality and emotional/physical makeup, and that therefore AI responses can differ, sometimes dramatically so, from viewer to viewer. AI will be more fully discussed in the section of this paper dealing with Stage III.

As the aperture widens rapidly from Stage II, a virtual avalanche of site information begins to impact on the viewer’s unconscious. The cumulative effect of all this detail is to trigger a subjective response from the viewer. This opening of the aperture and subsequent subjective response is called Aesthetic Impact (AI) and is the viewer’s subjective emotional response to the site. It is best described as “how the site makes the viewer feel”. AI may immediately follow two Stage II dimensional responses, but it will certainly follow three or more. It may be experienced and expressed in a variety of ways. A simple exclamation of “Wow!” may be the A response when one is suddenly impressed by the immensity of some natural formation, such as the Grand Canyon or Yosemite’s Half Dome. On the other hand, such a site might just as easily spark a feeling of vertigo, or fear of falling, or cause one to remark, “This is really tall (or deep).” A pulp mill might trigger an AI reaction of revulsion because of the nauseating smells. Or a comprehension of the grandeur or squalor of a site might cause one to have a sudden appreciation of beauty or ugliness. Other examples of AI might be claustrophobia, loneliness, fright, pleasantness, relaxation, enjoyment, etc. AI need not be pronounced to be present; in fact, it may often be quite subtle and difficult to recognize. It may sometimes be a sudden, mild cognitive recognition of the abrupt change in perspective, or a slight surprise or alteration of attitude about the site. Some viewers who in the past have had little experience with direct contact with their emotions may have difficulty recognizing that they experience AI, and may even be convinced it doesn’t happen to them. Such individuals must exercise a great deal of caution not to sublimate or suppress AI recognition, and require additional exposure to AI to help them learn to recognize and declare it appropriately. The monitor also has a role to play in helping the viewer to recognize AI. Body language, eye movement, and specific speech patterns can all be cues to the experienced monitor that AI is present. The monitor must draw the viewer’s attention to the existence of an undeclared AI when he observes the “symptoms” of an AI unrecognizable to the viewer. It is extremely important to properly recognize and declare (objectify) AI, since how one deals with it can determine the entire course of the session from that point on. The viewer may not work through AI. Aesthetic Impact must be recognized, declared, and allowed to thoroughly dissipate. Should the viewer err and attempt to work through AI, all information from that point on will be colored by the subjective filter of the emotional experience encountered, and AOL Drive and AOLPeacocking” (discussed under AOL, below) can be expected to arise.