Hand-out for the first “The Unthinkable Mind” class taught by Lynda Barry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Links to video and audio mentioned in the hand-out
3) A very young Michael Gazzaniga talking about early split-brain research in the late 1950s. Note: The first part of the video (monkeys) might be disturbing to some people. The second part (humans) may be mind blowing to some people.
Question: Why are you coloring pictures in a class that is supposed to be about the brain?
Question: About how long does it take to completely cover an 8.5 x11 inch piece of paper with a solid coat of crayon wax?
Answer: About two hours —-or two episodes of American Horror Story
Question: Is there a trick to it?
Answer: Layering. And also knowing that the process can be frustrating at first but then, somehow, you get into it and something like a relationship with the image itself develops. But it’s frustrating. The paper tears or wrinkles, the wax won’t lay down. But this is exactly how you get to know the materials, by seeing how they act together and how they act with your hands, the one that colors and the one you barely notice that adjusts the paper in minute ways and holds it steady. What is that hand doing while the other one colors?
Don’t be frustrated by the frustrating parts. Keep figuring out the crayon and the paper, what they are, how they act. Look closely at the wax track the crayon is leaving on the paper. What’s making the wax come away? What colors do you seem to keep picking?
“Some sense of the action lies in the queer kind of sympathy that the artist is able to call up for the thing he is [coloring]. The true amount of mental sympathy that the student can give to a subject he wants to [color] creates a sense of life in the picture. From this sense of life, the picture begins to have value all its own…”
Jan Gordon, “A Step-Ladder to Painting”
Question: What kind of pictures are you coloring?
Answer: It almost doesn’t matter. In The Unthinkable Mind Class we’re using images from dollar-store coloring books, Sesame Street characters, Batman, Rappers, Hello Kitty, screaming teddy bears holding knives, The Creature, Astro Boy, My Little Pony, Gorillaz, very bad mermaid drawings, Pokemon, and many other images you’ll easily find if you search for ‘coloring pages’. Pick four pictures and print them out on different kinds of paper. Rougher paper is better but even copier paper will work. Buy a box of 24 crayons. Color those crayons down and peel the paper down in order to color some more. Cover the whole page and notice what happens as you color— move from satisfaction to frustration to satisfaction to confusion to worry to satisfaction again, but keep going until the page is fully covered. Put them up on the refrigerator and stare at them. What just happened?
- ajoyner likes this
- lunecerolunar likes this
- deputychairman likes this
- howtosetyourmouthonfire likes this
- xiaoyalee reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- insouciantpeccadillo likes this
- anatomyofdistance likes this
- ahrairahlove likes this
- danuep reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- lauraellen12 likes this
- johnnydeuxtrios reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- johnnydeuxtrios likes this
- umarmungs likes this
- bidtheerunaway likes this
- candidexposures likes this
- thelandsbeyond likes this
- dacezeps likes this
- sarahpmiller reblogged this from uwmadisonls and added:
- pag-asaharibon reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- umarmungs reblogged this from uwmadisonls
- uwmadisonls reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey and added:
- vertbois likes this
- sorais reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- visually-inebriated likes this
- shannonpareil reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey and added:
- carriepirie likes this
- whatifoundatworktoday likes this
- parkebench likes this
- aphonik reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- aphonik likes this
- absquatulater likes this
- jslr likes this
- subitoforzando reblogged this from sarawithnohsfavoritesong
- ibegantoseevoices reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey and added:
- ibegantoseevoices likes this
- dpanjana reblogged this from thenearsightedmonkey
- h-monkey likes this
- enchanting--minds reblogged this from adventuresofastudentteacher
- elliefrances reblogged this from adventuresofastudentteacher
- elliefrances likes this
- blueandgray likes this
- onesmittenkitten likes this
- adventuresofastudentteacher reblogged this from see-mary-teach
- transientisqu33r likes this
- bughouse likes this
- newleaf1972 likes this
- pauladreamart reblogged this from beckydowns
- pauladreamart likes this