Home » Posts tagged 'paris'
Tag Archives: paris
I cannot through words share with my mother our collective memories, I cannot do a ‘mind transfusion’.
My mother had a stroke.
She would die within three months and after a second stroke very poor comprehension and ability to communicate will get very much worse. I cannot become an expert in care for a stroke victim overnight, but I read enough and ask questions. We find two ways ‘in’ – song and images. The images are never of people – various sparks of joyous recognition come when we are seen in the flesh and behave like children rather than adults in our 40s and 50s. I cannot through words share with my mother our collective memories, I cannot do a ‘mind transfusion’. I cannot even talk about things we did a year or ten years ago – I sense the time is irrelevant, she is as likely to recall her first doll as she is our last visit to the Royal Academy of Arts to enjoy Van Gogh’s Letters. A visit where she gently nurtured the interest of her 13 year old granddaughter, sharing insights between the letters, sketches and paintings from the point of view of an artist and art teacher and art historian, to a bright girl who liked to draw.
A mouthful of the food from the Fortnum and Mason’s restaurant might have triggered her memory – we did treat her to various foods.
What worked, in defiance of the medical reports that essentially said ‘there is nothing there’ was an iPad loaded with images grabbed from a number of hefty art books – 20th century art, the Van Gogh exhibition book and pictures from the Louvre. I spoke to that part of her that I might work. I challenged her as I showed the pictures to say when the letter had been written or why was Van Gogh so keen to tell his brother what he was up to. And what was the name of Van Gogh’ s brother? I got through Van Gogh and contemporary artists then moved onto the Louvre.
Up comes the Mona Lisa.
‘Where is this painting? We’ve seen it. It was so small?’
And she replied, ‘Louvre’.
‘Where’s that?’ I asked.
‘Paris’ she said.
Perhaps had my mother been in her sixties we and she could have seen a way to perceive with this.
Would a lifelog have got to this point in under 15 minutes? Might a screen of fast moving images offered in spaced-out way, with eye-tracking identify that ‘glimmer’ of recognition that would then prioritise images in the same set? Though who would know why a set was being favoured? We associate images with feelings, and people, and places, not with a set book or date or necessarily a genre of work.
Fig. 2. I think in pictures. But have to communicate in words. I wonder if a stream of pictures, as Tumblrs do, is a better record of our thoughts?
I think Bell has shown how we can freeze content from the digital ocean without knowing what value it will bring.
Perhaps from such an iceberg or glacier, at a later date, we can mine such event sparking artifacts that call up a memory as indicated above. But this artifact is not the memory and never can be. We should applaud Bell and others for going beyond thinking about such massive data collections, the ‘world brain og H G Wells or the Memex of Vannevar Bush.
- ‘We are not made of wood’: Van Gogh’s apocalyptic letter up for sale (rt.com)
- What Van Gogh’s Famous Self-Portrait Looks Like as a Photograph – Megan Garber – The Atlantic (theatlantic.com)
- Automatically Augmenting Lifelog Events Using Pervasively Generated Content from Millions of People (mymindbursts.com)
- Digital content, like its liquid equivalent in a digital ocean, has an extraordinary ability to leak out. (mymindbursts.com)
Fig.1. Words of encouragement
Isn’t this all that we need? Someone who believes?
(On the inside of a folder of ‘creative writing’ from my teens – short stories, a novel, a TV screenplay, poems and lyrics. Lyrics that the author of these words put to music).
Don’t tell me I am not still that 19 year old.
This is the human condition.
Days before my mother died, with barely any faculties functioning I span her through grabs of famous artworks on an iPad – her last cogniscent words were ‘Louvre, Paris’ while all but my sister and I say a dead person waiting to die.
The 56 year Jean Jaures, the Socialist leader in France, was an enthusiastic, educated and informed voice in 1914 Europe. He wanted to finding a peaceful settlement between European powers after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. His arguments however went counter to the mood of late July 1914 as Austria, Germany and Russia and the Serbs mobilised for war.
Jean Jaures was teaching philosophy at the University of Toulouse when in 1892 he had supported the miners of Carmaux when they went on strike over the dismissal of their leader, Jean Baptiste Calvignac. Jaurès’ campaigning forced the government to intervene and reinstate Calvignac’s. The following year Jaurès stood for election and became deputy of Carmaux in the Midi-Pyrenees, a seat he lost in 1898 largely as a consequence of his staunch support to overturn of the false accusations against Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who had been falsely accused of spying for Germany. During his time out of government Jaurés completed the mammoth ‘Socialist History of the French Revolution’.
As leader of the Socialist Party, Jean Jaures became a figure of hate of a radical and probably unhinged nationalist Raoul Villain, a 29 year old studying archaeology in Paris and a member of the League of Young Friends of Alsace-Lorraine.
Villain bought a revolver and stalked the socialist leader keeping tabs on his every movement in a pocket-book.
At around 9.40pm on Friday, July 31st Villain approached Le Cafe du Croissant at the corner of Rue Monmarte and Rue du Croissant in Paris. Jaures was discussing with colleagues how to make an appeal to the US President Woodrow Wilson when Villain saw him sitting in a bay window. Villain raised the revolver and shot Jaures twice in the head.
- Jean Jaures: “We are inclined to neglect the search for the real meaning of life” (lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com)