The Near-Sighted Monkey

One day Professor Old Skull asked her Unthinkable Mind Students to do the exercise found on page 37 in Ivan Brunetti’s book,  “Cartooning, Practice and Philosophy” but instead of doing each drawing on a separate index card, they folded a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper into 12 panels and drew the following scenarios:

A) The beginning of the world
B)The end of the world
C) A self-portrait, including your entire body
D)Something that happened at lunchtime (or breakfast if it is still morning)
E) An image from a dream you had recently
F)Something that happened in the middle of the world’s existence
G)What happened right after that?
H) Something that happened early this morning
J)Pick any of the above panels and draw something that happened immediately afterward
K)Draw a ‘riff’ on panel ‘J’
L) Finally, draw something that has absolutely nothing to do with anything else you have drawn in the other panels.

A few days later, Professor Old Skull asked them to cut the panels apart and mix them up. Then she gave them a poem written by Thomas Treherne in the mid 1600’s and asked them to cut the poem up into 12 parts, maintaining the original order of the poem. Then students were asked to glue a panel above each part of the poem, trying to find which pictures made the page have a kind of resonance that can happen when two things don’t match up literally, but have some sort of swing between them.

It’s a good way to get to know a poem, repeating it. Learning it sideways, as if it were a song.

This sequence features the work of Spinal Cord, Prefrontal Cortex and Brain Stem