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How more deeply embedded is a visual memory if you crafted the drawing or painting that is the catalyst for its recall.

Fig.1. Hockney on iPad. Now here’s a lifelog to treasure. How does the master i-paint?

If a moment is to be captured, maybe David Hockney has the answer with a iBrush painting on an iPad. This is closer to the truth of a moment, seen through the artist’s being, their psychological and physiological approach to what they both see and perceive in front of them.

When we do we form a real memory of the actions required to undertake a task. We build on our initial attempts. The memory to ski, to dance, to swim, to skip, to ride a bicycle, to write, to draw, to pay a musical instrument – these cannot be caught by a complex collection of digital recording devices. Perhaps if the player wore a total bodysuit as actors do to play CGI generated character then we’d have a record of the memory of this experience. It wouldn’t a digital memory make – just a record.

The Semantic Web aims to standardize transmission and translation of information, is an important effort in this area. (Bell and Gemmel, 2009 p. 220 )

Is it really necessary, possible or desirable to take the moronic  qualities of sports coverage and impose it on a person going about their every day and far less eventful day. This is the premise for a comedy sketch. (Bell and Gemmel, 2009. p. 224)

Fig. 2.  How we learn. Conceptualised in SimpleMinds while taking the Open University Masters in Open and Distance Education.

All praise to the blogger Mark Stewart but does such a record need to be entertaining to gain validity and so a place in Digital Lives  at the British Library. (Bell and Gemmel, 2009. p. 225)

Though remembering and talking through a difficult time can also offer its solution. However, these is a difference between hoarding the memory or keeping it to yourself, and letting it go. The wrong memories permanently on recall will be multiple albatrosses.

Take WW1 veterans, or any war veterans, some want to tell, some went to bury. Why should people in the future feel obliged to record it all, to have more than enough to bring it back?

As written language is such a recent phenomenon it is perhaps not the best or even the most natural way to remember.

Going back we had the drawn image and the spoken word, but never the absolute of a panoramic or 360 digital picture, but rather moment filtered through the mind and expressed at the fingertips as a painting or drawing.

Fig. 3. Web 1.0 invigorated by Web 2.0 into a water-cycle of, appropriately, clouds.

Weather systems and water courses, urban run–off and transpiration.

Here the flotsam and jetsam of web content, the good, the bad, the ugly and ridiculous, the massive, the moving, the invaluable as well as the ephemera, is agitated, mixed–up and circulated, viewed, pinched, reborn, mashed up, bashed up or left to atrophy – but it is in the mix and open for business. Find it and the thought, or image, or sound bite,  the message, the idea is yours to dwell upon and utilise. It is education, revelation and knowledge of a new order. Expect more of the same and the unexpected.

 

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Grimms Fairy Tales – visualization to empower or distort meaning and memory.

‘The power of images is very great and it can be harnessed as many interpreters of fairy tales in pictures and on film have understood’. Marina Warner

Fig.1. David HockneyEtchings for Grimms Fairy Tales

‘What’s the use of a book without illustrations?’ Ask Marina Warner reading from Alice in Wonderland.

A question she goes on to answer.

To mark the bicentenary of the first edition of the Grimm brothers‘ Children’s and Household Tales in 1812 Marina Warner explores the many compelling and often controversial aspects of the tales in this BBC Radio 4 Series.

Fig.2. Marina Warner

These evocative stories have always stirred vivid images in the minds of artists, from the angular drawings of an early David Hockney to Dickens’ Victorian illustrator George Cruikshank. Through these artists’ impressions, we paint a new picture of the tales’ vital contribution to the long tradition of visual storytelling.

  • What do the artists add to our understanding of these stories?
  • What is the value of illustration and art direction in narrative, from books to film?
  • How do we impact on a person’s memory of the story?
  • What role therefore do impactful images have on a learning experience?
  • What remembered images do the conjure up?
  • Why do artists chose and crystallize certain moments?

Filling up your mind scape.


Fig.3. David Hockney – Etchings for Grimms Fairy Tales

‘The pot is winking … brimming with poisonous menace, the banal hold terrible’.

You should attract then hold the attention of your audience – these may be readers, listeners or students, but you have to be sensitive to the craft skills of storytelling. It requires a good deal to keep the mind alert.

Art for the sake of teaching?

By setting out to teach you risk killing the joy for the subject or the risk that comes from a piece of controversial art.

If you set out to create art, lessons can be drawn from it.

This is of course disingenuous as this supposes that an artist has by chance created a piece of art that is of value when teaching, let’s say ‘health and safety around a swimming pool’ or the early Greek philosophers. From a teaching point of view I think it is worth looking around to see where art can help, a piece from Shakespeare, an evocative painting, even a novel or film. For example, some of books by Stephen Pressfield are used to ‘teach’ Greek History. I would recommend ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ for an introduction to the First World War. I’d even call on HGWells to introduce advertising as his novel Tono Bungay appears to preempt the likes of global brands like Coca-Cola.

Follies that try to teach and fail to either impress on an artistic level or to teach?

The contents of the Millenium Dome. Art that inspires and can teach? The Angel of the North. Hockney’s current RA Exhibition. Many of the cartoons of Steven Appleby.

Art can also be incorporated into teaching, for example, the increasing willingness of bands to allow their songs to be used in training and teaching videos.

Art inspires; inspiration is motivational. A motivated students wants to learn.

This inspires me to buy Brushes APP for the iPhone and iPad then purchase a stylus and go out and capture my soul.

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