A minute and a half memory story coming from the word ‘distance’, written in 8 minutes by a student in “The Unthinkable Mind” class.
The ordinary is extraordinary…
Above, conduit and abandoned office furniture from a now-gone library find new ways of being at the hands of Hans Gottsacker, a MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He asks: What do we learn about the function of something ordinary when we remove its functionality?
See more on his tumblr page http://hansgottsacker.com/
Dear Unthinkable Mind Class,
In blizzard conditions remember Emily Dickinson’s Poem # 530.
What would that poem mean if I told you it was Jackson Jackson’s favorite poem?
What would it mean if I told you it was Jo Ann Beard’s favorite poem? She’s the person who wrote the story I read to you yesterday, “The Fourth State of Matter”
What would it mean if I told you it was the shooter’s favorite poem?
What if I told you all of them had it memorized and turned to it often?
Professor Old Skull turns to that poem often and wonders how so few lines can hold so many different views. Is it a prism?
Above, your homework pages for the Unthinkable Mind Class #8 which includes a quote from an Alice Monroe story called “Child’s Play”.
Poem #530 seems to contain it as well. How?
Where ever you are, I hope you are warm. (If you need it, the link to our fireplace video is here.)
I’m looking forward to seeing you all again on Wednesday.
Dear Unthinkable Mind class,
Here is the timing video for today’s seven and a half minute writing session that is part of the the homework I’ve assigned you this week.
Our writing exercise for Thursday, February 7, 2013:
I’d like you to go back to last weeks list of ten images that came from word ‘school yard’ and use the image that is directly below the one you wrote about. So if you wrote about image #3 now you’ll write about image #4. If the image you wrote about was #10, then write using the first image on your list.
Tomorrow I’ll post the next image we’ll be writing from.
Don’t forget to keep your four minute diary. (Diary timing video is right here )
Special note to Basal Ganglia and Cerebral Cortex: we missed you on Wednesday!
Dear Unthinkable Mind Class,
Here is a letter I wrote you for Monday’s class. Be sure to bring your art supplies with you and the pages you’ve finished coloring.
See you soon,
How does the human brain keep track of time? Short interview with Luke Jones from the University of Manchester.
University of Manchester School of Psychological Sciences: http://www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/
Videos by Brady Haran
Extra credit question for Unthinkable Mind students: What is Luke Jones doing with his hands (starting at about 2:45) while he explains how we experience duration of time? Why might he be doing this? If you turned the sound off, and all you could see here his hands, what would you think he was talking about? What would you think he was feeling right then?
Ivan Brunetti leading Lynda Barry’s “What It Is” class in a hilarious cartooning exercise
Looking at Chris Ware’s original artwork
February 14, 2012 University of Wisconsin-Madison
Photos by Bucca 4 of Hearts
As part of Lynda Barry’s term as UW-Madison Art’s Institute Artist in Residence this spring semester, she’s inviting some of her favorite artists to join her in presentations that are free and open to the public.
The first one takes place on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 4:30 PM.
Visiting Artist Talk:
Ivan Brunetti: Through a Cartoonist’s Eye:
Room L160 Chazen Museum of Art (Elvehjem Building)
800 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
4:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public.
Ivan Brunetti has been reading comics and drawing comics for over twenty years. He’s taught at Columbia College and University of Chicago, put together two award winning comics anthologies for Yale University Press, and his cartoons and illustrations have appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and Spin.
He is also the author of “Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice.” According to Art Department and Arts Institute Artist-in-Residence and fellow cartoonist Lynda Barry, “it’s the best book on how to make comics I have ever seen. When someone tells me they want to make comics,” says Barry, “I tell them about Ivan Brunetti’s book.”
Born in rural Italy in the late 1960’s, Brunetti moved with his family to Chicago’s industrialized South Side and where he learned to speak English at the age of 8. On his relationship to writing and drawing he says,
“Drawing is like Italian for me. It is the first language I learned…It’s almost like a geometric phonetics that happens in a split second…Writing is more like English, my adopted tongue …. As a child I had to develop an ‘immigrant’s ear’, experiencing language not just as words and phonetics, but also as music…
“Because I suffer from severe myopia and thus a complete lack of depth perception (feel free to use those mocking metaphors against me) with my right eye practically blind, I have gone through life squinting at a very flat world…. It’s no surprise, then, that I see cartooning as primarily verbal, and through a prism of language, a translation of how we experience, structure, and remember the world.
It would obviously be insane of me to saddle any student with these sorts of convolutions so I tend to use a much simpler metaphor….. food. …Perhaps all the lessons I am trying to teach in this book can be understood by making a quick, simple, unassuming dish, spaghetti aglieo e oglio”
Brunetti’s students have ranged from “the deeply perceptive and analytical (who taught me a few things)” to the people who took his class simply to “keep out of trouble on Wednesday nights.” He says teaching has reminded him that making comics “is still a relatively young, quite open art form, with a lot of unexplored territory. This is true both in terms of the language itself as well as the subject matter.”
His way of teaching comics does not focus on technical aspects such as perspective, figure-drawing and lettering. Instead he emphasize the daily practice of drawing which is how “the deepest realizations come to us. It is the pencil that teaches best…. The trees of theory can obscure the forest of practice. I would go so far as to say that practice is philosophy, for practice itself encompasses philosophy and philosophy without practice is shallow indeed”
Lynda Barry will be talking with Ivan Brunetti about myopia, the power of drawing by hand, how to teach cartooning to people who badly want to make comics but feel they can’t draw, and what it has to do with making of a perfect dish of spaghetti aglio e olio. They will be joined by special guest and fellow cartoonist Chris Ware.
REMINDER: Applications to be in Lynda Barry’s writing and picture-making class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are due on Monday, November 14, 2011.
What classes did you take during Fall Semester of 2011? Why?
What classes will you be taking during Spring Semester 2012? Why?
What’s your area of study?
What were three of your favorite books as a kid?
What were three of your favorite movies as a kid?
What were some of your favorite toys before the age of 10? Why?
Was there a toy you hated? Why?
What was one of your favorite pastimes before the age of 10?
Who was your favorite teacher in elementary school? Why?
Who was your least favorite teacher in elementary school? Why?
What is your favorite kind of monster?
What is your least favorite kind of monster?
What scared you when you were little?
What’s something you made by hand when you were little that made you happy?
What’s something you made by hand when you were little that frustrated you?
If you’ve given up on drawing can you remember when this happened and why it happened?
If you haven’t given up on drawing, what made you keep doing it?
How do you feel about writing by hand?
When you write by hand do you print or write in cursive?
What’s your favorite kind of pen?
What is the Near-Sighted Monkey reading today?
Mirror-touch synesthesia is linked with empathy
Michael J Banissy & Jamie Ward
Watching another person being touched activates a similar neural circuit to actual touch and, for some people with ‘mirrortouch’ synesthesia, can produce a felt tactile sensation on their own body.
In this study, we provide evidence for the existence of this type of synesthesia and show that it correlates with heightened empathic ability.
This is consistent with the notion that we empathize with others through a process of simulation.
Recent research indicates that people’s ability to empathize with others relies on shared affective neural systems in which common brain areas are activated during both experience and passive observation.
Moreover, building on the discovery of mirror neurons in the monkey brain, functional imaging has suggested the existence of mirror systems in humans not only for actions, but also for sensations and emotions.
For example, watching another human being touched (relative to an object being touched) activates the primary and secondary somatosensory cortex along with premotor and superior temporal regions.
These systems may be crucial for empathy because they enable the observer to simulate another’s experience by activating the same brain areas that are active when the observer experiences the same emotion or state.
Consistent with this, a recent study provides evidence that increased activations in the auditory mirror system are correlated with improved perspective-taking abilities.
Moreover, this correlation not only included premotor areas, but also extended to somatosensory cortices, indicating that individuals may start to mirror the tactile consequences of heard actions.
INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES IN THE SHARING OF EMOTIVE STATES:
NEURAL EVIDENCE OF AN EMPATHY GAP
Empathy facilitates prosocial behavior and social understanding. Here, however, we suggest that the most basic mechanism of empathy—the intuitive sharing of other’s emotional and motivational states—is limited to those we like.
Measuring electroencephalographic (EEG) alpha oscillations as people observed ingroup vs outgroup members, we found that participants showed similar activation patterns when feeling sad as when they observed ingroup members feeling sad.
In contrast, participants did not show these same activation patterns when observing outgroup members and even less so the more they were prejudiced.
These findings provide evidence from brain activity for an ingroup bias in empathy: empathy may be restricted to close others and, without active effort, may not extend to outgroups, potentially making them likely targets for prejudice and discrimination.
ADD A PICTURE FOR SUSPENSE: NEURAL CORRELATES OF INTERACTION BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND VISUAL INFORMATION IN THE PERCEPTION OF FEAR
We investigated how visual and linguistic information interact in the perception of emotion.
We borrowed a phenomenon from film theory which states that presentation of an as such neutral visual scene intensifies the percept of fear or suspense induced by a different channel of information, such as language.
Our main aim was to investigate how neutral visual scenes can enhance responses to fearful language content in parts of the brain involved in the perception of emotion.
Healthy participants’ brain activity was measured (using functional magnetic resonance imaging) while they read fearful and less fearful sentences presented with or without a neutral visual scene.
The main idea is that the visual scenes intensify the fearful content of the language by subtly implying and concretizing what is described in the sentence.
Activation levels in the right anterior temporal pole were selectively increased when a neutral visual scene was paired with a fearful sentence, compared to reading the sentence alone, as well as to reading of non-fearful sentences presented with the same neutral scene.
We conclude that the right anterior temporal pole serves a binding function of emotional information across domains such as visual and linguistic information.