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[Xmca-l] Re: discussing "Posing the question"



David and Ed, I'm going to think about this a little more but first thank
you for these thoughtful responses,
rolf


On Wed, May 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:

> Rolf
>
>        Thanks for giving me an opportunity to think more about mimesis.
> Some rambling follows:
>
>      Gebauer and Wulf in Memesis (around p315 there is a summary of much
> of what I am paraphrasing/interpreting) suggest that mimesis concerns the
> making  [I think here about your conversation with Huw about 'discovery'
> and 'making'] of symbolic worlds with, for instance, gesture, Such worlds
> have an existence of their own; i.e. they can be understood from within in
> their own terms. These symbolic worlds are transformations of a prior world
> (the world of 'Others') into the world of 'I/we.'  Mimesis is realized, in
> essence, as a dialogic activity (I don't think this necessarily excludes
> narration, but I could be wrong) taken by participants, a deed or doing. In
> this frame Mimetic Gesturing is one way of transforming the 'Other';
> however depiction (as distinct from Mimetic Gesturing) seems another.
>
>     So, perhaps (and this is complete speculation) the girls have
> purposively intertwined their depiction of the body of the figure in the
> work with its title to produce/make, in their eyes, a 'standalone'
> dialogical event (or symbolic world). Perhaps, the gesturing is for the
> self and/or friend (I mean I/we). In any case, in this framing the
> transformation has its roots in the object of representation and is
> realized in the gesture and its uptake by the recipient. So your questions
> below are critical.
>
>     I hope this makes some sort of sense as I am still thinking about
> mimesis and depiction.
>
> Best
>
> Ed
>
> On May 27, 2014, at  4:24 PM, Rolf Steier wrote:
>
> > Hi Ed,
> > Thank you for asking this because I had been reflecting some after
> sending the previous email and thought this topic might need more
> discussion. I view mimesis as one form of gestural depiction. Streeck
> defines Mimetic Gesturing as “the performance of gestures to depict
> physical acts or behavior” (p 144 of Gesturecraft).
> >
> > I absolutely agree that posing with an artwork can be interpreted as
> mimesis. Where this becomes more complex (and I think interesting!) - Is
> when we ask what it is that is being depicted? If we use Episode 1 from the
> article (Figure 6 on p160) - it might be that the girls are depicting the
> body of the figure in the work. Another interpretation could be that they
> are depicting the painting itself (with the implication that they are
> acknowledging the intentionality of the artist in forming her own
> depiction). I believe that at some point in this interaction, the girls are
> implicitly acknowledging the intentionality of the artist because the girl
> on the left incorporates the title of the work (Four Artists) into her
> interpretation. I chose to use the term ‘posing gesture’ as a form of
> gestural depiction that is distinct from mimesis. I think that
> relationships between the artist, figure, artwork, and visitors are complex
> and that some aspect of these relationships might be lost if we interpret
> it only as a gesture “depicting a physical act.” There is also the issue of
> who the gesture is for (the self, the friend, or both). Perhaps this
> contradicts my previous email a little, but thank you for asking me to
> reflect on it again.
> >
> > Ed - what do you think? Maybe there is a broader question here about the
> object of representation.. what a gesture is of? and who it is for?
> >
> >
> > On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 9:15 PM, Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> wrote:
> > Rolf
> >
> >       If you would, could you say more why you think 'depiction' rather
> than 'mimesis' better captures the dialogic relationship between the
> participants. An example from your paper would be helpful.
> >
> > Ed Wall
> >
> > On May 27, 2014, at  8:14 AM, Rolf Steier wrote:
> >
> > > Hello David,
> > >
> > > Thank you for your comments and for sharing your book as well.
> > >
> > > You noted that you found the idea of young people posing for Flickr a
> > > little depressing - and I can certainly understand this. Not to add to
> this
> > > depression, but remember that few young people even visit museums at
> all
> > > outside of school visits! I don’t think that ‘flickr’ was a
> particularly
> > > large motivator in the end. The most surprising finding that led to
> this
> > > study was that visitors “pose” naturally. Many many people when
> approaching
> > > Munch’s “The Scream” would bring their hands to their faces to
> “scream” as
> > > a part of normal museum practice. I think the exciting thing is
> building
> > > off of this natural tendency to create richer engagements and
> conversations
> > > with and about the art- Not to replace interactions with the works with
> > > photo taking activities. Although it is also interesting to see what
> > > expectations youth bring to these experiences.
> > >
> > > You also provided a few questions that I wanted to follow up on. You
> > > mention a distinction between “mimesis” and “depiction” that I think is
> > > really interesting. I actually spent a great deal of time debating the
> > > appropriate concept to use to describe these activities and I think
> both
> > > are appropriate and share subtle distinctions. I agree that ‘mimesis’
> > > implies a dialogic relationship between the participant and the
> artwork -
> > > but I would also argue that ‘depiction’ better captures the dialogic
> > > relationship between the participants. I used the concept of depiction
> to
> > > be consistent with Streeck’s framework.
> > >
> > > You also mention that assuming gestures are either iconic or deictic
> > > suggests that artwork does not have ideal content? Maybe you can
> elaborate
> > > on what you mean by ideal content? I hope that I didn’t give the
> impression
> > > that I feel visitor gestures are limited to these types (A goal of this
> > > article was to introduce posing as a unique gestural activity).
> > >
> > > Thank you!
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 12:18 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com
> >wrote:
> > >
> > >> I think I'd like to try to tie the discussion of Rolf Steier's
> intriguing
> > >> article to a book we published in January here in Korea, a book which
> is
> > >> also related to the discussion of Vygotsky, the Imagination, and
> > >> Creativity.
> > >>
> > >> Since we are discussing posing and artworks, let me provide the cover
> of
> > >> our book, a painting by the Russian children's portraitist Nikolai
> > >> Bogdanov-Belsky.
> > >>
> > >> http://www.aladin.co.kr/shop/wproduct.aspx?ISBN=8994445536
> > >>
> > >> The book contains three very different works by Vygotsky on
> creativity and
> > >> imagination, which we translated into Korean: his "popular science"
> account
> > >> ("Imagination and Creativity in the Child", which was published in
> JREEP in
> > >> 2004), "Imagination and Creativity in Adolescence", which was
> published in
> > >> "Pedology of the Adolescent" and which can be found in the Vygotsky
> Reader
> > >> (Blackwell, 1994) and "Imagination and its Development in Childhood",
> part
> > >> of which appears in Volume One of the English Collected Works.
> > >>
> > >> But the cover painting really says it all in gesture: Vygotsky
> asks--and
> > >> answers--the question of why one form of creativity after another is
> > >> exhausted, when the child's imagination is still developing
> vigorously. The
> > >> child poses. Then, at a certain point, the child becomes
> disillusioned with
> > >> mere posing and becomes interested in drawing. The child draws. Then,
> at a
> > >> certain point (usually right when the child appears to be making real
> > >> progress), the child becomes disillusioned with drawing and takes up
> > >> writing. The child writes. Then, at a certain point (usually, as
> captured
> > >> by Bogdanov-Belsky, right when the child begins to learn how to write
> > >> compositions in school) the child becomes disillusioned. The now
> powerless
> > >> and disillusioned daydream, which we extravagantly call
> "imagination", is
> > >> all that is left.
> > >>
> > >> I liked the article. I loved the idea that recreating a painting as a
> > >> "tableau vivant" includes both an external plane (dialogue) and and
> > >> internal one (narrative). I thought the ability of the author to
> recover a
> > >> kind of underlying structure of pose, comparison, focus, and
> adjustment
> > >> from the careful analysis of two incidents was actually very
> convincing and
> > >> shows the power of a theoretically informed analysis over a
> statistically
> > >> equipped but merely empirical one. I also find this underlying
> structure
> > >> far more helpful than the usual vague talk about extra-corporeal
> artistic
> > >> experience and reflection that we get, even in the work of Bakhtin.
> > >>
> > >> But I confess, I found the idea that children spend their days in
> museums
> > >> recreating paintings with their bodies for a Flickr account a little
> > >> depressing. I wonder if there is any evidence that the evident
> > >> understanding that emerges leads to any actual creativity or even any
> > >> posing outside the museum. Perhaps, if it doesn't, that is a good
> thing:
> > >> Munch, in addition to being a smoker, was a notorious depressive.
> > >>
> > >> Some specific questions:
> > >>
> > >> a) On p. 149, the author says that "meaning is embedded in the word".
> > >> Doesn't this imply a conduit metaphor? Isn't it more likely--on the
> basis
> > >> of the author's own argument--that the way in which words carry
> cultural
> > >> meaning is by forcing the hearer to re-enact the meaning making
> itself?
> > >>
> > >> b) On p. 151, the author appears to confuse the concept of metaphor
> with
> > >> Lakoff and Johnson's "conceptual metaphor". Also, I can't see how
> children
> > >> can develop concepts from metaphors, because it seems to me that in
> order
> > >> to have a metaphor you need a concept first.
> > >>
> > >> c) On p. 152: if we assume that visitor gestures are either iconic or
> > >> deictic, doesn't that suggest that artwork has no ideal content at
> all?
> > >>
> > >> d) On p. 152, the bottom: isn't "depiction" more of a NARRATIVE
> stance,
> > >> while mimesis is a more DIALOGIC one because it places us inside the
> > >> artwork? Just a thought.
> > >>
> > >> I remember taking part in an art exhibition in my wife's hometown of
> Xi'an
> > >> in China twenty years ago where we left a huge canvas by the exit and
> > >> invited all the viewers to try to paint something. It was at a big
> > >> university and some of engineering students tried gamely, until the
> art
> > >> students came along and painted everything black. Interestingly,
> though,
> > >> neither the engineering students nor the art students tried to
> reproduce
> > >> any of the artworks--they were more interested in looking out the
> window
> > >> than in looking back at the exhibition.
> > >>
> > >> David Kellogg
> > >> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On 23 May 2014 01:09, Vadeboncoeur, Jennifer <j.vadeboncoeur@ubc.ca>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Dear XMCA,
> > >>>
> > >>> Rolf Steier is now on XMCA, and his article "Posing the question" is
> open
> > >>> on the T and F website:
> > >>>
> > >>> http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/.U3zs4Sjsq24
> > >>>
> > >>> Just click on the green button to the right side of the article.
> > >>>
> > >>> There is loads to talk about, and one question that comes to mind is
> in
> > >>> relation to the museum installation as a design experiment. In what
> sense
> > >>> is it a design experiment? What does it make visible? How is learning
> > >>> shaped by access to this experience in a museum?
> > >>>
> > >>> More questions?
> > >>>
> > >>> Best - jen
> > >>>
> > >>
> >
> >
>
>