Initial visual research… looking for photographs of ‘the mind’ might be a bit futile so instead I have been thinking about images that depict mental/brain activity and my first few sketch book pages reveal how prevalent un-accredited artwork is …. much info- graphic, and illustrative material being produced for American clinic brochures and websites …. no artists’ names which is such a pity given that although, a lot of rather cliched visualisations are ‘out there’, the skills, time and effort that has gone into creating them really should be acknowledged !
To explore the ‘photography’ methodology I dice-rolled, I am going to use the notion of ‘neuroimaging‘ AS ‘photography’ and do a bit of research about the history of this field while I contemplate the ‘plastic’ aspect of this week’s experiments.
Initially, I have felt a bit stuck with this new roll of the dice because ‘food’ seems so close to the ‘plant-life’ explorations I did last week. To get past the block I have just done some low tech making …. just doodles I suppose… an image manipulation of rebus ideas of ‘I’m going bananas’ and drawing ‘butterflies in the stomach’ – also collecting some images of ‘food and states of mind’ sayings that I can find around the house. The Aldi bags are great! Rather un-productive primary research outcomes unfortunately, some interesting things to do with food and mental states or food and textiles but thus far, no success finding anything that joins them all up.
I rather like the imagery in the Walpole quotation I found ‘ When people will not weed their own minds, they’re apt to be overrun with nettles’. It has triggered ideas for the image manipulation part of this weeks response and I am imagining a little animation of a head (mind) becoming overrun with nettles. ‘Little’ I say but these things are always hugely time consuming. I made a start in college and was delighted to find a glitch free transfer to continuing with the animation here at home in spite of my different version of CS.
I put together a few primary research pages and scribbled out a few new ideas that have arisen….. almost too many.
Just a few seconds…. three days of work!
We had a group crit. session today. The animation got a giggle so I am pleased. It is only intended to be a light little thing but it has served well to re-acquaint myself with animation as I had not done any since finishing our wooden anniversary ‘animated scrap book’ in 2013.
I like to make my own sketch books so that I can select a variety of papers – tissue, glassine, sugar paper, cartridge, ingres etc. and other surfaces, like fabric, or whatever I have that is interesting at hand. Varied signatures make it stimulating and challenging to record ideas and experiments on different surfaces and colours – it forces different media choices throughout the chronology of my ideas developing and It seems apt to mention this here because the whole project is based upon chance and unexpected routes having to be taken. However, at this stage, there is no chronology… just a whirl of ideas about selecting the topic ‘mind’ and having to work on it with ‘plant life or nature’ within the methodology of ‘image manipulation/ collage, animation or film’. I think sketchbook making helps as a ‘making activity’ to be doing while I get my thoughts in some sort of order.
While assembling the book, I have been reflecting upon how happy I am to have rolled ‘mind’. I imagine that it will be a productive topic for me because I can approach it from a variety of perspectives that relate to things I have studied in the past.
PSYCHOLOGY: My teacher training involved a lot of psychology and in role, professional development around learning styles and special educational needs, was deeply rooted in psychology too – so, I may find inspiration relating to interpretations of ‘mind’ in this field….. perhaps image manipulation around changing states of mind?
PHILOSOPHY: Years ago, I read philosophy. Epistemology fascinated me and of course, arguments about the mind-body distinction. More recently, while teaching Philosophy of Mind for A’Level Philosophy/R.E. I read-up a lot about qualia and there could be some interesting mileage around the sort of ‘does red cause redness’ type of ‘qualia question’ …. particularly in terms of image manipulation based around colour and form…….
PLANT LIFE / NATURE: This interests me as a gardener and a lover of nature and landscape – subjects I always enjoy photographing and painting …. I could find some initial source material here…… nature and mindfulness – fractal animations? It came to mind too, that I have some primary research examples relating to this in my teaching resources from a few years ago … AQA question preparation PowerPoint if I recall …. Anya Gallacio, Archimboldo, Sam Taylor Johnson, …. things like that. I’ll look them out while the glue is drying in the spine of my sketchbook.