I really liked the quotation that the article opened with:

“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

This holds true for me, even now. I feel I am much better expressing myself through art before I can put my feeling and intent into words.

I also find it interesting when the article brought up the question: Are all images man made? Berger brings up photography, and how, yes, photography is technically a realistic representation of the world. Photography, however, is still from the view point of the photographer and is created with their intent.

The subject of seeing brings up a lot of questions for me. Do we all see the world in the same way? Just as we can abstract the world in different ways, perhaps we see the world in different ways to begin with?

I was asked to write an essay about whether or not art was necessary for a civilization. It was one of those college essay prompts. The article points out that art can be a relic of the past. I definitely think this is true. Art is not always objective like a written report, but one’s interpretation. I find art of the past especially interesting, because it really gives an insight to the times in which it was painted.

The section about the camera fascinated me. Cameras changed the way people perceived images, and art in general. I feel that this has changed somewhat. Everyone ahs a camera, and they’re used to capture a moment, but more and more this becomes every moment. There’s a family reunion? A get together? A dog sleeping in a cute position? Time to pull out the camera. Does this become a new art? Snapshots into daily life? It reminds me of an exhibit I saw at the National Portrait Gallery. This exhibit was of exactly this, snapshots of an ordinary family in everyday life and doing everyday activities, but there was such a normalcy, and such a beauty in that normalcy.

For homework, we were asked to read an excerpt from “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and do exercises from it. At first, I didn’t think it would change my viewpoint on anything- just drawing the same image but upside down. I found this exercise, however very interesting. I thought the proportions of the head were perfect, because I wasn’t seeing it with the right orientation. When I viewed it upside down, it looked fine, but when I turned it around, it looked all warped. It definitely made me see things from a new perspective. I stopped seeing the legs as legs, and started seeing shapes and curves, and started getting into the flow odf the lines. As I let go of my preconceived notions of the body, the second drawing was much, much easier. I let myself fall into the flow, and the drawing turned out much better!


Memory and time.

Last week we played the best game ever! It was a pictionary type game. I've played a similar game online on omgpop.com and it's called "Draw my thing." Basically, it's the same thing, but you draw things on the computer...with a mouse/tablet. Laptop track pads fail miserably.

On Monday, we talked about the reading we had for over the weekend. Overall, it wasn’t too tough a read. For me, memory has always been something intriguing to me.

One thing that stood out to me was how we can alter our memories. For example, the article mentioned King Henry IV who believed he was a present at a battle he never attended because he kept telling himself he did, and thus his mind constructed a false memory. This is somewhat terrifying to me- what if I’ve made everything up? What if my entire life is a lie? How do I know for sure? This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to read articles like this.

The worm section kind of freaked me out, and made me sincerely hope no one ever does that to humans. I don’t think all animals can be categorized like that though. I like to believe that my cat knows who I am beyond scent and daily habit.

The whole animal part sparked an interesting discussion in class. Is it merely chemical with animals, or is there something more? I think that animals can store memories, but can’t associate them the same ways humans can, and cannot pull them out on a whim.

We also watched the movie Memento, well started to watch it. I was very confused at the beginning, but now I am dying to see how all of it began! I do think it’s interesting how we’re experiencing the movie almost like he is, and we have to put the links and facts together, just like he does. It makes is a more active experience.

At the beginning of class, we were asked to draw “How we got here.” [I’ll scan in my drawing later]

When I heard this assignment, I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret this- how we got to the classroom itself or how we came to be in the world. It was very interesting to see everyone’s response. Some people drew maps of the campus or their foot trails from where they were before this class. Other people started with where they were born, one person drew a more abstract sense of being and another person even started with “how we got here” is a concept of time, but what sort of time? Is it physical time, learning over a period of time or certain experiences that make up our past. I made the center of my diagram a tropical place because I was born in a tropical area, and there were three paths branching out. One contained all of the schools that I attended since elementary school, the second path had my interests since I was a little kid, and how I grew to be interested in art. The third path had the actually path that I took from my dorm room.

I love thinking about the concept of time. What happens when someone has Alzheimer’s? What happens to their sense of time? Or people with memory problems?

This reminds me of my friend. She suffers from seizures and had brain surgery, and how her memory is warped. She can’t remember things from the past 20 minutes, at least not in detail, and gets the past mixed up. Memory is a weird thing indeed.