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Re: [xmca] Fwd: Visual literacy? Surf an art museum - Lifestyle - SignOnSanDiego.com
- To: Jay Lemke <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Fwd: Visual literacy? Surf an art museum - Lifestyle - SignOnSanDiego.com
- From: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 16:06:54 -0800
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The addition of production to definitions of literacy is always a good move
in my view, Jay. Reading is not equivalent to writing. In the case of visual
literacy and museum art, it seems like what is being referred to is the
reading half. At least i hope so. I managed a D+ in my one obligatory art
producing class in college (a work later exhibited, by some really odd
error, in a show of student art which makes one wonder at the judgments
involved on either side of the
process!). I am a hopeless plastic arts producer. But not entirely
illiterate as a reader, finder of meanings.
There is, a few blocks from you apartment, a show at the SD Museum of
Contemporary Art by Tera Donavan. I think you will find it as fascinating as
I did. I plan to take the family during their visit. Donovan take everyday
objects (tar paper, straws, cups, and more) and creates installations with
thousand of only one object aggregated in the most fantastic ways. She
states her goal as wanting to explore the properties of objects seens as
parts of very large populations rather than as individual objects. The
effects she achieves are mind boggling with the play of light and texture
over surface sufficient to reorder our perceptions in ways we could never
anticipate.Again, art as tertiary artifact, re-admired.
Since you have written more on time scales, I'll stay away from the topic in
general; we have agreed too often here to warrant repitition.
But quite specifically, our work in creating the "Fifth Dimension" was to be
able to study changes in a pre-pared system of activity over a long time
period (from inception to death) at several scales of time. The idea was
part of our interest in the failure of "successful" educational innovations
to be sustained-- how did they die and why and how did their implementers
enter in to and respond to the process. Still wrestling with analysis-- lots
of 5thD's were born and died but others keep being born. Some are, today,
strikingly like their originals in the 1980's, others have morphed so that
only a few features remain. The children participants, who are almost
impossible to track over time are now adults -- i sometime encounter one at
ucsd. The college participants are parents I sometimes hear from. All
recorded in their fieldnotes written at the time. I have some money salted
away so that "when it dies" (or if i can manage to retire before doing so
myself) I will have the full range of instances documented and a lot of the
data in digital form,
so that I can look at that object from both ends of its history. A
preliminary report is in the book, *The Fifth Dimension*.
As to LCHC, that is another matter. It seems to me a certainty that it will
die. It had a near-death experience a couple of years ago. As a way of at
least marking its passing, a number of former and current members of the lab
are in the process of creating a book that traces its origins and the many
offspring it has generated. THAT collective narrative I hope to live long
enough to see come into being.
Now if Yuan or anyone would like to see LCHC live, proposals for how to
arrange that would of course be seriously entertained, and perhaps maybe
even entertaining! I thought I saw a nibble at collaboration on making XMCA
a more powerful medium the other day, but it turned out to be a mirage. So
for now, we keep on keeping on.
On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 12:07 PM, Jay Lemke <email@example.com> wrote:
> Thanks for the link, Mike. Was nice to see someone in the mass media,
> affiliated with a newspaper no less, arguing for critical visual literacy to
> protect us from advertising!
> Of course that is an old idea in visual education circles, and it can build
> on the widespread folk-skepticism toward advertising. Unfortunately the more
> pernicious effects in ads are probably at subtler levels than what basic
> visual literacy skills can foreground.
> "The ability to find meaning in images" is the definition of visual
> literacy used. That seems a little too basic. I think everyone finds meaning
> in images, with or without any literacy education. Maybe there is an implied
> emphasis on FIND, in the sense of digging below the surface/obvious, which
> would be better. But more recent ideas in the field put more emphasis on
> visual production relative to interpretation, so I'd probably go with a
> definition more like "the skills of making meaning with visual resources,
> for your own purposes", and include in that the meaning-making we do with
> others' images by way of interpretation, critique, etc.
> Have you ever noticed that when anyone, docent, tourguide, or just me,
> speaks authoritatively about a painting in a museum, that many bystanders
> seem to become interested in listening? People generally seem to believe
> that art images, at least, require some professional interpretation or
> benefit from having specialist knowledge (esp. historical). People also seem
> to enjoy visual interpretation more than textual. Textual interpretation is
> seen as superfluous, even obstructing to enjoyment of the work. No one
> really reads literary criticism, or book reviews beyond the "it's good"
> part. But people are fascinated by the exegesis of visual works. The is one
> basis for the popularity of the DaVinci Code and similar popular works.
> And there is not a word about visual interpretation skills in our standard
> curricula (meaning as practiced in schools, there are some nods in the
> official standards).
> Jay Lemke
> Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
> Educational Studies
> University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
> Visiting Scholar
> Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
> University of California -- San Diego
> La Jolla, CA
> USA 92093
> On Dec 20, 2009, at 12:37 PM, mike cole wrote:
> The various extensions of the term, "literacy" that we have witnessed in
>> recent decades always leave me somewhat uncomfortable, "health literacy"
>> being the
>> most recent addition. The article attainable below actually has an
>> definition of visual literacy and I thought others might be interested (if
>> you can ignore the ads!)
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