November 09, 2007
Arts and the Brain
On November 1st, I was able to skip out of part of another class and experience about the first hour and a half of Arts and the Brain. I hope that many people from our class were able to attend, because never before have I seen a more accurate display of a 'fluid' map. Watching the interactions unfold was amazing.
Imagine the visual studio, set up with mirrors in the middle creating pathways for people to pass through, projection screens on each wall, displaying both preselected imagines and a current map of what was going on taken from above, and music playing in the background. The people interacting and moving among the mirrors were all wearing white caps, so when looking at the projection screen with the video being taken from above, the identity of the individuals was hard to distinguish. What did differentiate people though, was the reaction to the environment that they were placed in. People reacted differently to the music, some chose to dance, some let it dictate they pace that they moved among the mirrors, and still others seemed to not be affected by the music at all. It was also extremely interesting to see how the people reacted to one another. Some people let the others in front of them control the pace that they walked at, while other chose to walk at their own pace through the 'map' and walk around and amongst people that were taking in their surrounding environment at their own pace.
Watching this amazing visual display sparked a flurry of thoughts about how this related to both poetry and the mapping of all different types of poams. My immediate reaction was that this was probably the best 'map' that I had seen that addressed the problems of differing interpretations of a poam depending on the individual. Since the people who were interacting were part of the map, their reactions to their environment was captured and could visually be seen. The thing that I realized and discussed about my map of The Lightning is a yellow Fork was that my map meant something to me, and had quite a bit of meaning, but could have held no significance to anyone else. This is what made Arts and the Brain so interesting, that the participants reactions to their changing environment was the thing that was captured as the map. The idea was for the map to be fluid, and constantly changing, which it was.
The handout from the demonstration also aimed toward the same purpose, from my perspective. The map was initially small, but when opened, folded out to show the different parts of the diagram. It aimed toward distinguishing the different parts of the presentation, while tying them all together through the 'Arts and the Brain' topic. I wish that I had been able to view more of the presentation, because I was only able to see one part of the whole.
Posted by ndjames at November 9, 2007 05:47 PM
If you don't mind, I'm going to pass along your observations to coordinators of the event; they're sure to join me in being excited by what you say.
You may have left before my "Heat Dozens" projection poam was presented, participants navigating mirrors where the piece was projected, in small scale form, onto participants who in navigating the mirrors also were able to follow the video as it also navigated the space with reflections.
A mapping of experience while a fixed map form (projected on a huge screen the width of the back wall, so distorted, and projected without distortion on two much smaller rectangular screens facing each other, and projected into the mirrored space where participants could interact with phantom forms on themselves and on the mirrors --a kaleidoscopic system encouraging even more generation of forms than "Heat Dozens: already contained) configured and reconfigured itself according to various situations: a mirrored environment, a panoramic distorting environment, regularly enclosed rectangular "banner" displays.
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