Thursday, February 28, 2008

Critique of V.S. Ramachandran’s ideas

Subject: Re: Synesthesia
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 15:12:51 +0200
Bonjour, dear Y.........
Bonjour!
- I observe that a lot of messages in the section Synesthesia have no direct relations with the phenomenon of synesthesia but generally speaking with the relations between arts and the new field of neurosciences. I consider that to be very meaningful. The term synesthesia is used more as a metonymy for something much more extensive, which would include neuropsychology, neurobiology, cognitive psychology and what is called neuroesthetics.
- The idea of” that artists and writers are able to explore specific functioning of the cognitive system through their works” has nothing new. It is largely used by Semir Seki in Inner Vision: An Exploration of Art and the Brain. Oxford University Press: Oxford. (1999).Zeki who coined the term neuro-aesthetics illustrated every specialized cortical era by a painter. Fauvism was supposed to have explored the V4 era, specialized in the colour processing, and kinetic art would correspond to the specialization of V5. In his conference on the “Beautiful”, Jean-Pierre Changeux gives the example of Matisse as a neurophysiologist artist. There is an excellent article called « Art and Neuroscience », written by John Hyman, on line (http://www.interdisciplines.org/artcognition/papers/15 ), from a conference on line about art and cognition organized by ENS/ CNRS/ Institut Jean Nicod in 2005. John Hyman reminds the idea that artists would be neurologists as studying the brain with their own techniques is just a modernized rewriting of Helmhotz’s theory of 1871. According to Helmholtz, artists were explorers of visual system. John Hyman quotes Helmholtz in a text of 1871:
"We must look upon artists as persons whose observation of sensuous impressions is particularly vivid and accurate, and whose memory for these images is particularly true. That which long tradition has handed down to the men most gifted in this respect, and that which they have found by innumerable experiments in the most varied directions, as regards means and methods of representation, forms a series of important and significant facts, which the physiologist, who has here to learn from the artist, cannot afford to neglect. The study of works of art will throw great light on the question as to which elements and relations of our visual impressions are most predominant in determining our conception of what is seen, and what others are of less importance. As far as lies within his power, the artist will seek to foster the former at the cost of the latter."
After this quotation, Hyman comments: “In this passage, Helmholtz combines the idea that artists test and explore the visual system Most visual scientists have abandoned Helmholtz’s theory of vision. They no longer talk about sensuous impressions, or about the unconscious mind interpreting sensuous impressions. Instead, it is generally held that different parts of the brain are simultaneously performing various highly specialized tasks, reacting to form, or to motion, or to colour; and that somehow or other the results of these processes are combined to form a unified visual perception, although nobody is sure yet how this synthesis occurs.”
The article is furthermore a devastating critique of V.S. Ramachandran’s ideas on neuroesthetics.
3 For relations between arts and neurosciences, and especaillya arts and neuropsychology, I would recommend some books or articles:
- Rose, F. C. (Ed.), (2004). Neurology and Arts: Painting, Music, Literature. London: Imperial College Press.
-Bogousslavsky, J., & Boller. F. (Eds.). (2005). Neurological disorders in Famous Artists.
-Basel: Karger AG. Chatterjee, A. (2004). “The neuropsychology of visual artistic production”, Neuropsychologia, (42) 1568-83.
4 Sorry for that, I would indicate some personal papers. But one was done in Leonardo Conference in Prague, called : « neuroaesthtics, neujrological disorders and creativity”, which begins by: « Neurology of the arts or neuroaesthetics is a new branch of neurology especially concerned by neuropsychology of visual artistic production and cerebral localisation of musical perception and musical memory (Seki, 1999; Rose, 2004; Chatterjee, 2004; Bogousslavky & Boller, 2005). Among the different activities the new field of research is gathering, such as study of pictorial representation of neurological symptoms in the art history, diagnosis of artists’neurological diseases, this article will focus on the study of relations between cognitive disabilities for neurological disorders and artistic production by visual artists. Neurological deficits can change the work in content or in style, but can be used also as sources of inspiration, especially in the case of epilepsy and migraine. But some final diagnosis remain controversial as regards for instance the nature of the disease of Ravel, Van Gogh, or Giorgio de Chirico, (Bogousslavky & Boller, 2005) or even De Kooning!. According to Anjan Chatterjee (2004) writing about the breakdown of the visual representations: “The work produced by artists who have suffered from brain damage can contribute to our understanding of these representations“(p.1568) and it is also the opinion of Bogousslavky and Boller (2005): »Among more personal writings:
- Article, « Art et cerveau : vers la neuro-esthétique ? », in « Rencontre », Recherches en esthétique, Revue du C.E.R.E.A.P, n°12, 2006.
Cette revue reliée au Laboratoire d’Esthétique Théorique et Appliquée de l’Université de Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne est dirigée par Dominique Berthet, dans le comité de rédaction : Ernest Breleur et Marc Jimenez. - Colloque MutaMorphosis: Challenging Arts and Sciences, International Conference, Prague. A Leonardo 40th Anniversary celebration, Prague, novembre 2007.
Titre de l’intervention : “Neuroesthetics, Neurological Disorders and Creativity“ (La neuro-esthétique, désordres neurologiques et créativité)- Article en ligne : « Littérature, arts visuels, neuroesthétique », http://www.epistemocritique.org/spip.php?rubrique22
Épistémocritique, revue d’études et de recherches sur les littératures et les savoirs, Université du Québec - Intervention : « Dernières traces : l’ultime possibilité créatrice dans la maladie neurologique », Colloque Voyages Au Noir, organisé par le Centre des cultures et des arts de la Caraïbe et la délégation académique aux arts et à la culture, du vendredi 23 novembre au dimanche 25 novembre 2007, Martinique ( on line in the next months)
5 I am preparing an article for a conference on Besançon on memory at he ed of mars and one of my theme is on what Jonah Lehrer wrote on “Proust as an neuroscientist”.The theme is nothing new as we saw with Zeki and even Lemholtz. And furthermore a lot of authentic scientists have wrotten on relations between Proust and neurosociences. . As early as the 9th of november 1998, a specialist of Proust, Yves Tadié had presented in front of the Académie des Sciences morals et politiques, pusblished in the Revue of the Académie an article about “Proust neurologue”. In his recension for books and articles on it, there were, D.Shacter, Searching for memory, I. Rosenfield, Invention of memory, G. Edelman, Bright air, Bright fire, without speacking of Changeux and Vigouroux. What would be original in what he wrote on the theme should be on the speculative explanation of involuntary memory by prions, - whitout entering in easy commentaries of bizarre errors on Proust’s work. It is why in the article I compare this kind of new scientific fantasies with Narby’s explanation of memories in the nature. The well-know Jeremy Narby’s «hypothesis » in The cosmic snake: DNA and the origins of Knowledge postulates a link between the genetic code and shamanic knowledge, refering to a speculative hypothesis, that of Popp, Gu and Li. about biophotons like cellular language. In both texts, Narby’s and Lehrer’s you have the same importation of highly speculative theories connected to the genetic code to explain memory mechanisms. Of cause, my point of view is not to judge or condemn, but from an anthropological point of view, to describe phenomena of the contemporary imaginary.
Hervé-Pierre Lambert
Institut Nicod. EHESS

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Brain cells tied to consciousness reported found


Feb. 19, 2008

Courtesy University of Leicester and World Science staff
In a study billed as an ex­plora­t­ion in­to the realm of “con­scious­ness,” re­search­ers claim to have found brain cells that be­come very busy only when some­thing is con­sciously no­ticed.

Try­ing to un­der­stand what cre­ates con­sciousness—the sense of be­ing alive and aware—is one of the all-time most ex­as­per­at­ing prob­lems in sci­ence. The key stum­bling block: even if one knew every brain mech­an­ism un­der­ly­ing con­scious­ness, there would still be no ap­par­ent way to see or meas­ure the ac­tu­al pro­duc­tion of con­sciou­sness.
Scientists examined cells deep within the temporal lobe, the region colored in yellow in this diagram.
For now, many re­search­ers fig­ure they may as well just do the best they can in un­rav­el­ing those phys­i­cal mech­an­isms. The new stu­dy, led by Rod­ri­go Qui­an Qui­roga of the Uni­ver­s­ity of Leices­ter, U.K., is among those de­signed to at­tack that ques­tion. Vol­un­teers were shown pic­tures on a com­put­er screen very briefly­—for a time just at the edge of be­ing long enough to be no­tice­a­ble. The par­t­ici­pants were asked each time wheth­er they saw the pic­ture or not. Some­times the ex­act same vis­u­al in­put was no­tice­a­ble on one tri­al and not on an­oth­er, for the same per­son, Qui­an Qui­roga said. The re­search­ers ex­am­ined what was hap­pen­ing in the brain dur­ing this. Cer­tain neu­rons, or brain cells, “re­sponded to the con­scious per­cep­tion in an ‘all-or-none’ way,” Qui­an Qui­roga said: they dra­mat­ic­ally changed their rate of fir­ing sig­nals, only when pic­tures were rec­og­nized. These neu­rons were in the me­di­al tem­po­ral lobe, a re­gion deep in­side the brain of­ten as­so­ci­at­ed with mem­o­ry.For ex­am­ple, in one pa­tient, a neu­ron in the hip­pocam­pus—a struc­ture al­so in that area—“fired very strongly to a pic­ture of the pa­tient’s broth­er when rec­og­nized and re­mained com­pletely si­lent when it was not,” Qui­an Qui­roga said. “An­other neu­ron be­haved in the same man­ner with pic­tures of the World Trade Cen­tre.” The vol­un­teers were pa­tients who had to un­dergo ep­i­lep­sy sur­gery.“Based on the fir­ing of these neu­rons it was pos­si­ble to pre­dict far above chance wheth­er a pic­ture was rec­og­nized or not,” Quian Quiroga said. Al­so, “a pic­ture flashed very briefly gen­er­at­ed nearly the same re­spon­se—if rec­og­nized—as when shown for much long­er per­i­ods of time.”The find­ings are to ap­pear this week in the early on­line edi­tion of the re­search jour­nal Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tio­n­al Aca­de­my of Sci­en­ces.

Po­ten­tial ap­plica­t­ions of the work in­clude the de­vel­op­ment of “neu­ral pros­thet­ic” de­vices to be used by par­a­lysed pa­tients or am­putees, Quian Qui­roga said. A spi­nal in­ju­ry pa­tient, such as the late Chris­to­pher Reeve, can think about reach­ing a cup of tea, but the mus­cles don’t get the or­der. Neu­ral pros­the­ses are de­signed to read these com­mands di­rectly from the brain and trans­mit them to bi­on­ic de­vices such as a robotic arm. The find­ings, Quian Qui­roga said, could al­so have im­plica­t­ions treat­ment of pa­tients with patholo­gies of the hip­po­cam­pal forma­t­ion, such as ep­i­lep­sy, Alzheimer’s dis­ease and schiz­o­phre­nia.

SensoramaLab

Sensoramalab is the virtual reality experimentation laboratory at Aalborg University Esbjerg
Our research activities target the development of original interactive systems for rehabilitation applications.
There are a relatively small team of researchers whose expertises covers both human and technological aspects of interactive systems.

Lynda Abraham

New York-based artist Lynda Abraham combines video, installation, and performance to create scenarios for the contemplation of complicated relationships. Many of these works engage the viewer's body to intensely dramatize these connections. In Compassion (2006), two people with a contentious relationship are strapped into a device that will alternately shove each partner's face into a trough of water until they learn to work together, in balance. In Toxic Drink (2001), Abraham presents a dark sculptural proposal to replace the liquid in water coolers at corrupt corporations with the excrement of their poisoned victims. Other capital ideas include inventions like the Humbler (2000), which keeps subordinate workers shackled into a crawling position, and the Neglect-O (2000), which "transfigures the adult from a useless parental unit into a toy" by allowing the child to play with and control the movements of an adult confined to a contraption th! at resembles a classic red wagon. These and many of Abraham's other projects allude to the interpersonal fallout that results from the "advances" of a technologically-evolved culture, while recalling the conventions of early, sketchy social science experiments and turn-of-the-(Twentieth)-Century kinetic novelties.
http://www.lyndaabraham.com/

IGNEOUS

Artistic directors: Suzon Fuks & James Cunningham
http://www.igneous.org.au/
Videos on http://www.youtube.com/igneousvideo

The Centre for Performance Research (CPR) x 2

The Centre for Performance Research (CPR) in Cardiff
is a pioneering and multi-faceted theatre organisation located and rooted in Wales, working nationally and internationally. CPR produces innovative performance work: arranges workshops, conferences, lectures and masterclasses (for the professional, the amateur and the curious); curates and produces festivals, expositions and exchanges with theatre companies from around the world; publishes and distributes theatre books, as well as the journal Performance Research, and houses a resource centre and library that specializes in world theatre and performance and maintains an archive on contemporary Welsh performance. CPR aims to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of theatre in its broadest sense, to affect change through investigation, sharing and discovery and to make this process as widely available as possible. Its programmes of work combine cultural co-operation, collaboration and exchange practical training, education and research, performance, production and promotion, documentation and publishing, information and resource.
The Centre for Performance Research (CPR) was established in Cardiff in 1988, by Richard Gough and Judie Christie. CPR's predecessor was Cardiff Laboratory Theatre, which began in 1974.
The Centre for Performance Research at Aberystwyth is a joint venture of The University of Wales Aberystwyth and Centre for Performance Research Ltd, working in close association with UWA Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies.
CPR – Center for Performance Research in New York,
a nonprofit collaboration of two dance organizations, John Jasperse Company and Jonah Bokaer/Chez Bushwick will be giving an opening performance inspired by the concept of Displacement. Performances will be given by Ann Liv Young, Kayvon Pourazar, Amanda Loulaki, Matjia Ferlin, Aimar Perz Galí, and Jonah Bokaer in collaboration with Michael Cole. CPR is located on the ground floor of Greenbelt,the first L.E.E.D.* green building of its kind/size/type in Brooklyn,and the first with arts and cultural space in greater New York City.
The Leadership in Energy Efficient Design is the nationally accepted benchmark for the construction, development, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Habitat of Information: Social and Organizational Consequences of Information Growth

Information growth is a distinctive phenomenon of the late 20th and early 21st century. Large varieties of information are currently produced and circulated, in a rapidly increasing scale, across the various institutional domains of contemporary societies. Technical and administrative innovations have been expanding the interoperable platforms that make possible the development and diffusion of information within and across systems and organizations. At the same time, a range of devices from desktop computing to cell phones and digital cameras have been spreading across the population, making individuals and social groups important producers and consumers of information. A pivotal development has been the emergence, expansion and deepening involvement of the internet in social and economic life.
Taken together, these developments establish a new socio-economic environment in which information-based operations and services acquire crucial importance. This is clearly shown in the rapid ascent to economic dominance of internet-based companies that demonstrate superior data editing and information management strategies. New commercial possibilities steadily develop around the production, ordering and distribution of information, as data become interoperable across sources and older forms of information (e.g. image, text and sound) are brought to bear upon one another. But information growth has wider social implications as well. The involvement of information in every walk of life redefines the relationship between information and reality, and reshapes the social practices through which information is stored, retrieved, understood, disseminated and remembered. Increasingly, information mediates between humans and reality. In this context, the activities of ordering, making sense, evaluating, navigating and acting upon information step onto the centre-stage of contemporary life, impinging upon skill profiles and personal choices. They often do so under conditions in which the established boundaries between individuals and institutions are rendered shifting and negotiable.
There is a growing awareness of the current information growth dynamics and the emerging information habitat. However, the recent character of the phenomenon makes the social and economic implications of these dynamics not well understood. The 8th Social Study of ICT workshop brings together a number of prominent scholars and practitioners whose work and experience help illuminate the relevant developments.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/informationSystems/newsAndEvents/2008events/SSIT8.htm

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The OpenEnded Group


At 89 years old, American dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham has pushed many boundaries in his celebrated career. Long associated with the avant-garde, he has invited numerous collaborations with new media artists over the years. Since 1991, he has used software to choreograph his works, and the resulting sensor-based animations have recently been exhibited as works in their own right. Now the artist is moving his practice towards an open source direction. Longtime Cunningham collaborators Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, and Shelley Eshkar, who together form the OpenEnded Group, are releasing an open source recording of Cunningham performing a new version of his renowned piece, Loops. Loops was originally performed in 1971 as a solo dance. In this special re-configuration, Cunningham focuses only on his sensor-laden hands and the resulting work is a graceful visualization of his fingers moving through space. The transition into this form indeed visualizes how the artist has evolved over the years. Cunningham is also releasing the score under a Creative Commons (non-commercial/attribution/share-alike) license, so that it can be more closely studied and remixed in the future. For an artist with such a long-standing interest in chance operations, it's a bold and exciting move to see his work opened up to others in this way. - Marisa Olson Image: Merce Cunningham, Loops, 2008
http://www.openendedgroup.com/index.php/in-progress/loops-open-source/

Monday, February 18, 2008

24C3 - Programming DNA

About the talk: Biological engineering does not have to be confined to the laboratories of high-end industry laboratories. Rather, it is desirable to ... all » foster a more open culture of biological technology. This talk is an effort to do so; it aims to equip you with basic practical knowledge of biological engineering.
Genetic engineering is now a thirty year old technology. For reference, over a similar period of time, modern computing machines went from exclusive objects used to design weapons of mass destruction, to the now ubiquitous panoply of personal computing devices that support mass communication and construction. Inspired by this and many other past examples of the overwhelmingly constructive uses of technology by individuals, we have been working over the past five years to develop new tools that will help to make biology easy to engineer. We have also been working to foster a constructive culture of future biological technologists, who can reliably and responsibly conceive, develop, and deliver biological technologies that solve local problems.

Collective Art Practice - Performative and Networked Approaches to Challenging Power

This class will take place in the Spring 2008 quarter at UCSD, on Wednesday nights from 5-8pm. It will be a VIS198 Directed Study Group. The class is supported by an Open Classroom grant from UCIRA and is receiving support from CRCA
Class Overview
This class begins with the assumption that the contemporary world is an assemblage, a network of networks, a nested set of groupings at varying scales which are constantly in flux, temporary and shifting. Building on this assumption, the contemporary form of power has an assemblage structure as well as the contemporary form of resistance. A question follows the assumption, given this decentered, constantly shifting form of power, what are artists doing in response to challenge power?
One part of a response to this question will occupy the majority of this class: collective art practice. The class will look briefly at the history of collective art practice, its motivations and its trajectory, situating it within contemporary art practice. It will go on to look in more detail at contemporary art collectives and their motivations, their ties to contemporary politics of globalization and efforts to maintain an egalitarian or non-hierarchical collective practice.
more:
http://www.sharingissexy.org/wiki/index.php?title=Spring_Class_-_Collective_Art_Practice
http://www.sharingissexy.org/wiki/index.php?title=Becoming_Dragon:_Stage_1
http://bang.calit2.net/

Sunday, February 17, 2008

THE INFLUENCERS Festival of media action and radical entertainment

http://www.theinfluencers.org/
The Influencers explores controversial forms of art and communication guerrilla, presenting independent projects that play with global popular culture, infiltrate the mass media, and transform fashions, consumption and technological fetishism.

The Influencers is a project by Eva and Franco Mattes and Bani, started in 2004 with the collaboration of the Center of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona.
Eva and Franco Mattes - internationally known as 0100101110101101.org - is a couple of restless European con-artists who use non conventional communication tecniques to obtain the largest visibility with the minimal effort.

PAINTING CHINA NOW by Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau


Painting China Now is a collection of thirty new oil paintings by Ondrej Brody & Kristofer Paetau. These works, depicting instances of violence inflicted by the Chinese government upon their own citizens, are rendered with a breathtaking realism. Such masterful craft and handling of paint has become alien to the west, specifically in our contemporary arts, provoking the artists to commission a professional Chinese craftsman via the internet to realize the paintings for a cheap price and to import them to Europe. The results are beautiful, seductive and desirable works whose motivation, through suggesting 'painterly qualities', is in fact to embody the realities of capitalist profit and political oppression in a painting.
View HTML documentation: http://brodypaetau.com/?page_id=79

Visual Foreign Correspondents presents Igor Stromajer

The Netherlands is respectful. Russia is corrupt.
http://www.visualcorrespondents.com
http://extra.volkskrant.nl/oog/client/index.php
In his work ‘The Netherlands is respectful. Russia is corrupt’ Stromajer is in search for current verdicts about the different countries from East and West Europe. Stereotypical sentences and surprising quotes are running across the screen in two hard lines, two subtitles in front of a black hole. The top one symbolises Western Europe, the bottom one Eastern Europe. This hierarchy in form seems harsh and inevitable, divided by the black background, without colour or light, but changes when reading the phrases. The speed of the sentences makes the words tumble, meanings are inter-changing and Europe becomes again one. According to Stromajer: “Politics is the poetry of today”.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

re:place 2007

re:place 2007 - The Second International Conference on the Histories of Media, Art, Science and TechnologyLocation: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, BerlinDate: 15-18 November 2007
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/index.html
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews/review_p1_NinaWenhart.pdf
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews/review_p2-WinnieFu.pdf
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews/review_p3_Romanacci.pdf
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews/review_p4_jonCates.pdf
http://www.mediaarthistory.org/replace/reviews/review_p9_Hammer.pdf

9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering (1966-1967)

All: http://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=2092
http://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=1841

footage: http://www.fondation-langlois.org/html/e/page.php?NumPage=1842
To browse through the inventory of E.A.T. archives, see "Inventory of the Experiments in Art and Technology Records, 1966-1993" , The Getty, Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute, 1996, (accessed April 23, 2002): http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/special_collections/eat.html

Dornbracht Culture Projects

http://www.cultureprojects.com/
http://www.dornbracht.com/en/index.htm

Monday, February 11, 2008

clockwork protest

http://protestfilm.blogspot.com/

urbansquares

http://urbansquares.com/

:: italy - 19 squares
:: spain - 7 squares
:: canada - 18 squares
:: serbia & montenegro - 21 squares
:: portugal - 14 squares
:: australia & dominican r. - 2 squares
:: usa - 12 squares
:: croatia & greece - 5 squares
:: cuba - 9 squares
:: england - 12 squares
:: nederland - 13 squares
:: belgium & france - 11 squares
:: 7 special projects


objective of this collection/research initiative is to explore a visual and artistic aspects of public urban squares [plazas] as a nucleus of any neighbourhood. we are interpreting/translating their language about the urban morphology and fundamental values in the overall social integration and sustainability of the urban life.
over time we were inspired to start performing analysis of urban neighbourhoods and produce their "psychogeographical portraits" as a mental reaction to the visited space. see the map of all our [psychogeography performances].
urbansqares project is "walking on a very narrow path" between art and science. intention is to have artistic freedom in interpreting the facts, and provoke some action from interested and influential people. as an integral, and very important part of this project, classification system is developed, consisting of [evaluation method] and [types of city squares]. other even more important parts are our [activities related to urban issues and psychogeography, urbansquares art projects and documentation].

Eyes' movements


This Newspaper has already been read. The eyes' movements while reading were recorded, digitalized and then reproduced as a print-out. What emerges is an intimation of something that is actually an invisible process, namely reading; what remains behind is a trace of the intake of information. The result is a daily paper which has already been read - a complete and completely read Frankfurter Allgemeine, as it were. The paper was printed alongside a regular daily Frankfurter Allgemeine an in an identical manner using a rotary printing press. Kindly supported by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH, Frankfurter Societätsdruckerei GmbH and Hesse Ministry of Science and Art. (Jochem Hendricks, "Newspaper", 1994)

"In the Mind's Eye" by Thomas G. West

Words such as "imagination" and "insight" reveal a connection between vision and creative thinking, yet visual thinking is not an important part of the educational curriculum. To make matters worse, certain kinds of visual thinkers find it difficult to survive in classrooms that teach reading, writing, and anthmetic in the traditional manner. Is dyslexia a "learning disability," or simply a different way of seeing the world?. Some people who see the world differently also think about the world differently, and more than a few of those people have been labeled "genius" rather than "disabled," Albert Einstein was a poor student, but he was able to think in terms of images. Nikola Tesla not only had the ability to think in images, but was able to design machines (such as the electrical dynamo he is credited with inventing) in his minds eye. Tesla could visualize a design of a machine, then set the machine "running" in his imagination and check it to see if any parts were.out of balance. As this book attests, Einstein and Tesla were among dozens of similar geniuses who might not' make it. through third grade today.
Thomas G. West investigates the connections between dyslexia, visual thinking, genius, and education. In the process, he shows how educational systems that concentrate on verbal abilities and assign visual thinkers to a "disability" category may be weeding out the very creative thinkers our culture needs. West also points out that the visually oriented computers and multimedia technology now beginning to emerge may prove to be useful tools for helping train visual thinking talents. The case histories are fascinating, the scientific explanations are easily readable, and the bibliography is extensive. --Howard Rheingold
In an effort to comfort parents and children, it is often pointed out that a number of famous people -- artists, writers, scientists and others -- were able to achieve a great deal despite of having had, apparently, some form of dyslexia or learning disability, or, at the very least, some substantial form of learning difficulty. Hans Christian Andersen, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Gustave Flaubert, Harvey Cushing, Auguste Rodin, Leonardo da Vinci, George Patton, William James, King Karl XI of Sweden, Woodrow Wilson, Nelson Rockefeller, William Butler Yeats and others have been identified by various writers as having had some form of dyslexia or learning disability.
If we continue to turn out people who have primarily the skills (and outlook) of the clerk, however well trained, we may increasingly be turning out people who will, like the unskilled laborer of the last century, have less and less to sell in the marketplace. Sometime in the not too distant future machines will be the best clerks. It will be left to humans to maximize what is most valued among human capabilities and what machines cannot do -- and increasingly these are likely to involve the insightful and integrative capacities associated with visual modes of thought.

Neuroesthetics

The Seventh International Conference on Neuroesthetics.
To what extent, any by which neural mechanisms, can we divine the intentions of others by studying their face? What happens to our ability to perceive faces when the brain is damaged? What attributes makes us judge a face as being beautiful? How can we simulate faces through the computer? These are some of the questions that our distinguished speakers, from Europe and the United States, will address at this year's meeting on neuroesthetics

Sunday, February 10, 2008

DIGITAL ARTISTS HANDBOOK

The Digital Artists Handbook is a new, up to date, reliable and accessible source of information that introduces artists to different tools, resources and ways of working related to digital art. The touchstone of this new compendium is free/libre open source software (FLOSS) and technologies.
http://www.digitalartistshandbook.org

Otto Neurath (1882-1945)

The American philosopher and architectural theorist Nader Vossoughian investigates in this presentation the possibilities for a democratic and participatory approach top urban and social planning. He will devote specific attention to the work of the Austrian philosopher, sociologist and economist Otto Neurath (1882-1945).

Nader Vossoughian: Otto Neurath - Information and the Global PolisAbstract of the lecture (De Balie, Amsterdam, February 8, 2008).
Urban and military planning have been virtually indistinguishable for most of history. Ancient Roman towns such as Timgad and London were first conceived as military encampments. In the nineteenth century, Georges-Eugène Haussmann constructed his boulevards in Paris with the aim of stemming civil unrest. Given this past, are participatory or democratic approaches to urban and social planning possible? They are, at least in principle, and this lecture explores one such example.This presentation looks specifically at the ideas and achievements of the Austrian sociologist and planner Otto Neurath (1882-1945), a long- neglected giant in the history of the Information Age. A founder of the Vienna Circle and the Unity of Science movement, a collaborator of figures as varied as Paul Otlet, Cornelis van Eesteren, Gerd Arntz, and Le Corbusier, he had an indelible impact on discussions about the modern metropolis. He advocated informal or participatory approaches to urban and social planning and attempted to find ways of democratizing public space in the contemporary city. In this lecture, he is presented as a theorist of the global polis – as someone who attempted to reconcile the tangibility and intimacy of the ancient Greek city-state, a place that according to Aristotle fostered community and democratic exchange, with the anonymity and heterogeneity of the global metropolis.
More information and links:
www.debalie.nl/artikel.jsp?podiumid=media&articleid=208232
Website of the exhibition After Neurath – The Global Polis at Stroom, The Hague:
www.stroom.nl/activiteiten/manifestatie.php?m_id=8710842

THE INVENTION OF MINUS ONE by Jonah Bokaer


THE INVENTION OF MINUS

March 12-16, 2008 7:30 pm

Choreography: Jonah Bokaer

Virtual Décor: Michael Cole

Music: Christian Marclay

Costumes: Isaac Mizrahi

Lighting: Aaron Copp

Performed by: Holley Farmer, Rashaun Mitchell, Banu Ogan

Co-Comissioned byDanspace Project & DiverseWorks

Abrons Arts Center @ Henry Street Settlement

466 Grand Street, New York City 10002


“The Invention Of Minus One” aims to produce a historically-significant body of digital artwork and choreography, involving one year of motion capture research on the moving bodies of four dance artists, and culminating in an interdisciplinary live performance for stage. Through the developmental process, evaluative assessments can be made about the human body in motion, which is of great relevance to the fields of dance, live performance, stage décor, design, anatomy, kinesiology, and sports medicine.
Dance and media artist Jonah Bokaer is the choreographer of the project, and the main subject of motion capture, creating 365 movement phrases over the course of one calendar year. The project will also feature former Merce Cunningham dancers Holley Farmer, Rashaun Mitchell, and Banu Ogan. By mapping body movements in the three-dimensional domain of motion capture, the anatomy of these dancers will be studied in minute detail, creating both live and digital archives of kinesthetic data. This research will lead to quantitative conclusions about the joint velocities of modern dancers, and the various degrees of rotation, flexion and extension in each joint of an athlete’s moving body. Daily movement phrases will be designed to study impact and torsion in major joints of the body that are often placed at risk in contemporary dance: the knees, ankles, shoulders, and sacro-iliac region will be placed under close kinetic and anatomical inspection. The project will also challenge the emerging field of motion capture technology to a new level of temporality, through the generous participation of Greg Worley/WorleyWorks Studio, who has agreed to subsidize the use of a Brooklyn-based, state of the art PhaseSpace™ Motion Capture System.
“The Invention Of Minus One” has also engaged digital artist Michael Cole to build a décor out of the captured data, which will be designed to accompany the stage production. Cole will render and store excerpts of the 365 movement phrases into a cohesive and visually integrated design, using Maya, Motion Builder, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and Motion.
Bokaer will then develop an evening of live choreography from the 365 phrases with the four performers. This structure will unite the pedagogical and aesthetic concerns of the project, propelling the fields dance and motion capture into new realms of innovation. “The Invention Of Minus One” also plans to catalyze an ongoing, interdisciplinary dialogue between its audiences and institutional partners, Chez Bushwick, Inc., WorleyWorks, Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, The Abrons Arts Center of Henry Street Settlement,DiverseWorks, and other arts presenting organizations to be announced.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

DESIGN WALK

"Greece True Experience" by PoorDesigners
"HELLASS" by PoorDesigners


"PoorDesign" Street Design


"Poor Design" Street Design


"Pee" Real Street Design

Friday, February 1, 2008

VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: STORIES FROM KOSOVO

View from the Bridge - the first documentary feature about post-war Kosovo. Sometimes hopeful, sometimes tragic, the struggle to make peace in Kosovo opens a profound window into the human cost of the politics of hate, and reminds us that the ultimate responsibility for peace lies within us all.
DIRECTORS INTERVIEW: JOHN EALER, LAURA BIALIS
Why has tribalism amongst the ethnic groups of the former Yugoslavia persisted with such force?
That's obviously a really tough question, with no easy answer. But when politicians keep drawing distinctions instead of looking for common ground, when people are focused on the past instead of looking to the future, and when the voices of the people in the center are drowned out by the screamers of extremism, you have the start of a recipe for this kind of cyclical violence. One of the things that we touch on the film is that history has been used as a weapon to divide people in Kosovo for hundreds of years. If Serbs and Albanians chose to look for their common heritage and build their common future and forget what happened 600 years ago, that would be a start in breaking the cycle.I think you also have to look at the history of the region, it's an area that's been conquered and re-conquered over and over. Spending so many centuries under the Ottoman Turks, I think the "tribal instinct" may have developed as a way to preserve the primacy of the local culture in the face of such a strong outside presence.
Have you shown the film in Kosovo?
Yes. We took an early cut of the film to Kosovo in January of 2007. We felt a responsibility to the people who had shared so much of their lives with us to let them see and comment on the film before we finished it. Over and over as we were filming, people commented that news crews came time and time again only to "film and go home." We wanted to film and come back, to share our film with the people and get their feedback.

The Pervert's Guide to Cinema

Aaron Katz’s Quiet City

The following essay by Ray Carney on Aaron Katz’s Quiet City accompanies a 2-disc DVD release from Benten Films out this week of Quiet City and Katz's first film, Dance Party, USA.
Mainstream film is so much an art of the maximum – the biggest, the flashiest, the fastest, the most exaggerated – that it is easy to forget that the great films all go in the opposite direction. They are, almost without exception, triumphs of minimalism. They rely on subtlety, understatement, indirection, and simplification. In Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law, and Mystery Train, Jim Jarmusch sets long sections of each work in almost empty rooms. In Femme Douce and L’Argent, Robert Bresson silences his characters to such an extent that room tone and traffic noises become more important than what the characters say to each other. In Joan of Arc and Gertrud, Carl Dreyer immobilizes his actors and actually prevents them from “acting” by insisting that they talk in conversational tones even at moments of high drama. But the effect of these acts of reduction is the opposite of a feeling of emptiness or depletion. As is so often the case in art, less is more. Read more
Ray Carney is professor of film and American studies at Boston University. He is the author of more than ten books on film and other art, and manages the largest non–commercial web site in the world devoted to independent film at: http://www.cassavetes.com.

"Creative Class" and critique of creative industries

Out now: MyCreativity reader
Download a low-res pdf from the website.
http://www.networkcultures.org/weblog/archives/2008/01/

About the book: The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006. This two-day conference sought to bring the trends and tendencies around the creative industries into critical question.
The 'creative industries' concept was initiated by the UK Blair government in 1997 to revitalise de-industrialised urban zones. Gathering momentum after being celebrated in Richard Florida's best-seller The Creative Class (2002), the concept mobilised around the world as the zeitgeist of creative entrepreneurs and policy-makers.
Despite the euphoria surrounding the creative industries, there has been very little critical research that pays attention to local and national and variations, working conditions, the impact of restrictive intellectual property regimes and questions of economic sustainability. The reader presents academic research alongside activist reports that aim to dismantle the buzz-machine.
It is becoming ever more obvious, as even the mainstream business press is acknowledging this, that the information economy is split in two; we have two economies rather than one (or three, if we include the growing criminal or informal economy which we will not treat in this paper). On the one hand, there is the traditional capitalist economy that works with monetary incentives. This economy still handles the main part of material production: the production of cars, shoes, computer chips, and the transportation and maintenance of these goods. But immaterial production- the production of the ideas, innovations, experiences and other intangibles that virtually everybody agrees to be the most important source of value and development- is increasingly performed by another economy that does not primarily move according to monetary incentives. Most people who participate in creating the enormous wealth of content that give MySpace or YouTube their market values are not in it for the money.
More critique:
Back to the Future of the Creative City: An Archaeological Approach to Amsterdam's Creative Redevelopment
"The dominance of entrepreneurial approaches to city politics is the feature of a new urban regime, labelled the 'Entrepreneurial City'. With origins in the reality of neoliberal state withdrawal from urban plight ... the claims of the new creative city as being a 'great equalizer' actually appear as the opposite; it is based on functional inequality. Now let's take a closer look at the city..."

Our Literal Speed

Rather than a series of academic lectures, OUR LITERAL SPEED is imagined as a kind of “media pop opera” or a “pedagogical concept album,” implying fluid and/or jagged transitions among scholarly presentations, panel discussions, artist’s talks, performances, and an art exhibition within an academic conference. These emerging, hybrid forms demand a synthesis of collective activity ("OUR"), a self-reflexive examination of art history and its constitutive technologies ("LITERAL"), and an intense concern for the pace and texture of our movement through institutional mediation ("SPEED"). The project offers a temporary discursive laboratory in which artists and curators, art historians and media theorists can investigate non-formulaic, experientially vibrant and theoretically precise responses to the modes of distribution, consumption and circulation that drive contemporary art.
Tania Bruguera & The Weather Underground

The Weather Underground

In October 1969 hundreds of young people, clad in football helmets and wielding lead pipes, marched through an upscale Chicago shopping district, pummeling parked cars and smashing shop windows in their path.

This was the first demonstration of the Weather Underground's "Days of Rage." Outraged by the Vietnam War and racism in America, the organization waged a low-level war against the U.S. government through much of the 1970s, bombing the Capitol building, breaking Timothy Leary out of prison, and evading one of the largest FBI manhunts in history.

The Weather Underground is a feature-length documentary that explores the rise and fall of this radical movement, as former members speak candidly about the idealistic passion that drove them to "bring the war home" and the trajectory that placed them on the FBI's most wanted list. http://www.upstatefilms.org/weather/main.html
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/weatherunderground/

FIRE TUBES



The BITS are the MEME for further construction \deconstruction of net
audiovisual mutual memory sequences using the KALTURA.com site.
Examples of BML video sequences:
http://www.kaltura.com/index.php/mykaltura/viewprofile?screenname=ephemeral8

by ephemeral8

www.movementonscreen.org.uk

North West-based moves is the largest exhibition platform in the UK for in the form of dance films, interactive installations, animation, videogames and experimental shorts at international level.
moves started as the dance film strand of the Manchester-based Commonwealth Film Festival in 2005 and became an independent arts organisation in 2007. Its remit has widened significantly as the festival now investigates the borders between music, choreography, new media and film.
Every year it offers two distinctive components:
a 6-day international showcase targeting industry professionals as well as mainstream audiences;
a 9-month regional, national and European tour of the best pieces showcased during the festival.
http://www.movementonscreen.org.uk/default.asp

SCREENDANCE EVENTS/FESTIVALS (and related)
January: Dance On Camera (New York, USA)
February: Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival (France)
March: IDN (Barcelona, Spain)
April: moves (Manchester, UK) Videodanse (Paris, France)
May: Kurzfilmtage (Oberhausen, Germany)
Onedotzero (UK)
Video Dance (Tessaloniki, Greece)
Vdance Festival (Tel-Avi, Israel)
June: Dance Camera West (Los Angeles, USA)
July: American Dance Festival (North Caroline, USA)
Cinedans (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
August:
September: Ars Electronica (Linz, Autria)
October: mediaterra (Athens, Greece)
November: Video Dance Symposium (Findhorn, UK)
December: Dance For Camera Festival (Brighton, UK)
Monaco Dance Forum (Monaco) - biennial: next one in 2008
Screendance networks
Media and Dance (MAD)
Video Dance UK
Video Dance ForumDance Film Association
Screendance Press
Screendance JournalReal Time
Screendance Journal Committee

Award-winning video dance maker Katrina McPherson originally trained as a dancer before going on to have a career as a director of arts and documentary programmes for television. Her video dance works, including 'Moment', 'Sense-8' and 'The Truth’, have been screened at Festivals all over the World. She is the author of 'Making Video Dance' (Routledge, 2006), the first ever workbook to follow the process of creating dance for the screen from idea through to editing and is currently a Lecturer in Media Arts and Dance at Dundee University.
Simon Fildes was a musician before becoming a video and sound artist. He has edited all Katrina McPherson's video dance works and together they are responsible for the ground-breaking net dance works http://www.hyperchoreography.org/ and http://www.move-me.com/. He edits and maintains the video dance portal http://www.videodance.org.uk/. Both Simon and Katrina are part-time researchers and lecturers in Media Arts and Dance at Dundee University and are the directors of Goat Media Ltd. For more information see http://www.left-luggage.co.uk/ and http://www.imaging.dundee.ac.uk/.
Douglas Rosenberg is an EMMY nominated director and the recipient of the Phelan Art Award in Video and is wellknown for his screendance collaborations with choreographers such as Molissa Fenley, Sean Curran, Ellen Bromberg, Joe Goode, Li Chiao-Ping. Eiko and Koma and others. His film “My Grandfather Dances” with choreographer Anna Halprin was awarded the Director’s Prize at the International Jewish Video Festival in Berkeley, Ca. He organised the first Symposium on Dance For the Camera at UW Madison in 1999 and the conference, Screendance: State of the Art at the American Dance Festival in 2006 and has been the director of the Dancing for the Camera Festival at ADF for more than a decade. He is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA. http://www.dvpg.net/,http://www.farmwork.org/,http://www.adfvideo.net/
Claudia Kappenberg is senior lecturer and researcher in Dance and Visual Art at the University of Brighton. Following a career as a professional dancer Claudia completed an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London. She has been making performances and screen-based work since 1996 for galleries and site-specific events, showing in Europe and the Middle East. She was a member of the Earthworks Collective producing site-specific festivals in the mid 90s and currently runs the Oolith-Project, a collaborative media and performance project based in Portland, UK. Her video work has been screened internationally at film and dance for camera festivals, see http://www.ckappenberg.info/
'moves’ Executive Director and Secretary Pascale Moyse has been working in film, dance and new media for ten years and has run several international festivals including the Quinzaine du Film Francophone in Vienna (Austria) and the Commonwealth Film Festival in Manchester (UK). She founded moves in 2004 as the dance film strand of the Commonwealth Film Festival and developed it into an independent arts organisation in 2006. An active member of various international Screendance networks, she is the representative for screendance activities in the North West of England and is developing a practice-based research on creative curatorship in the same field.http://www.movementonscreen.org.uk/, www.myspace.com/movementonscreen
Chirstinn Whyte has worked throughout Britain as a performer, choreographer and teacher for over twenty years and is currently completing doctoral research into choreographic practice for screen at Middlesex University, London. She is co-director of Shiftwork, a Cambridge-based dance and new media partnership, and her work has been shown at screendance and short film festivals and artists' moving image events worldwide.
Katy Dymoke is artistic director of Touchdown Dance, involving visually impaired and sighted dancers. Katy has written and published e-mail correspondence with Steve Paxton (Nouvelles de Danse) and further articles on touch in the Contact Quarterly, Orff Institute journal and Times Education as well as reviews on dance performance work for the Arts Council of England. Having worked with video and dance for many years, Katy co-produced SENSE-8, with Katrina McPhersen with a Capture Award involving visually impaired and sighted dancers in Contact Improvisation. Since then she founded and is Chair for the NW Digital Dance Forum (http://www.nwddf.org/) for dancers and film makers. Katy is starting a PHD on the use of touch and is a BMC teacher and practitioner.
Kyra Norman is a performer and filmmaker, whose practice is informed by her background and training in choreography and visual art. She holds a BA (Hons) Dance Theatre from Laban, London and an MA in Visual Performance from Dartington College of Arts. She has worked in dance, theatre & film on a wide variety of projects since 1998. She is currently researching a practice-based PhD within the University of Bristol's Department of Drama: Theatre, Film, Television, where her research is around choreographic practice in the context of the screen as site. In 2005 she established The Light Fantastic: movement and moving image events, and curating these events forms part of her active research around dance and moving image. For further information see http://www.thelightfantastic.co.uk/
Richard James Allen and Karen Pearlman, Co-Artistic Directors of The Physical TV Company (http://www.physicaltv.com.au/), have created a multi-award winning body of dance on screen work which has been shown over 200 Dancefilm and Film Festivals and other screenings around the world, and been produced in collaboration with and/or broadcast on ABC TV, SBS TV, Southern Cross Television, TV Slovenia and KMTV China. Their latest production, Thursday's Fictions (www.thursdaysfictions.com), won the Gold Medal for Excellence in a Feature Film at the Park City Film Music Festival, the Special flEXiff Award for "film as artwork", and Best Original Song Composed for the Screen, at the APRA-AGSC Screen Music Awards. Thursday's Fictions has been acquired for broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Karen is a former dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and holds a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, two MA's - one in editing (Australian Films, Television and Radio School) and one in media (University of Technology, Sydney). She has recently been awarded a Doctorate of Creative Arts (UTS, 2006) for her thesis, ‘Cutting Rhythms’, which will be published in 2009 by Focal Press in the USA. Karen has written on dance, film and dancefilm for publications including RealTime, Performance Research, Independent Filmmaker, Metro, and Body Show/S. She teaches at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).
Atom Award-winning dancefilm director and choreographer Richard James Allen is a First Class Honours Graduate of Sydney University and recently won The Chancellor's Award for the most outstanding PhD thesis from the University of Technology, Sydney, for his Doctorate of Creative Arts thesis, Out Of The Labyrinth Of The Mind: Manifesting A Spiritual Art Beyond Dualism. Richard has published nine books, and his writing has appeared in a wide variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. His latest literary fiction, The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2006), and The Kamikaze Mind dance-film-phone animations are available at http://www.thekamikazemind.com/

Transmediale.08 re-included the project 'Signature, Event, Context' to the exhibition

As reported today on the Transmediale.08 website, the project Signature, Event, Context by Janez Jansa, Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa has been officially re-included to the exhibition CONSPIRE.
This decision came along with the following mutual statement of the festival direction, the guest curator and the artists:
Disclaimer
The performative installation 'Signature, Event, Context' as proposed to the transmediale.08 exhibition by Janez Jansa,Janez Jansa and Janez Jansa had been accepted for inclusion to the exhibition. In the run-up to the festival due to thecuratorial and ethical convictions of Natasa Petresin Bachelez, the guest curator of the transmediale.08 exhibition, adecision was taken with the festival direction to not include the project. However, after the exhibition opening, andfollowing a discussion with the artists, the festival direction has agreed with the curator to re-include the project, whilethe curator would like to distance herself from the project. A documentation of the project is on display at the foyer ofthe House of World Cultures.
The documentation of the performance is available here:
Contacts: