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[Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience



Beth. yes, when you reflect on something, it is already past. If you want to reproduce it, then as a human being you will have to analyse it. The trade of being an artist is the capacity to synthesise the elements and give you something of the ineffable. But I love that quote you have from Vygotsky, where he claims that art not only excites the experience in the reader, but also /explains/ it. I think that is actually setting a high standard for art. Dickens did not explain Dickensian London, but he represented it so faithfully.

Andy
------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
On 17/07/2015 4:13 PM, Beth Ferholt wrote:
But when we reflect on some things it is hard to do so without loosing the whole entirely in the process of reflection.

Jay said in a chain recently, in response to a related question, something about having an artist on every research team. I have been thinking about this. If the "artist, in comparison with his fellows, is one who is not only especially gifted in powers of execution but in unusual sensitivity to the qualities of things" then this is who we need to tell us which property is the one that can characterize the experience as a whole.

No? Am I missing something in what you just wrote? The unity is prior but how to study the object if this unity is its essence? -- sort of like the empty space in the bowl being the bowl, so when you study the bowl itself then you miss the whole point.

I am thinking of these two quotes, although maybe I am conflating things?:

"Its nature and import can be expressed only by art, because there is a unity of experience that can be expressed only as an experience." and

“Few understand why it is imperative not only to have the effect of art take shape and excite the reader or spectator but also to explain art, /and to explain it in such a way that the explanation does not kill the emotion/.” -- p. 254, Vygotsky (1971)


I am really meaning this question in a very practical way, thinking of how I am always speaking to preschool teachers who describe their students and the activities with these students with such art, and how I am getting better at creating classroom spaces that support this description -- but am still not clear about how to consistently create spaces in my papers for similar forms of representation and reflection.


This question also comes from reading the Alfredo and Rolf paper, and thinking about Leigh Star's work.


Beth


On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:45 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

    No, no, Beth. As Dewey says:

        "This unity is neither emotional, practical, nor
        intellectual, for these terms name distinctions
        that reflection can make within it. In
        discourse//about//an experience, we must make use
        of these adjectives of interpretation. In going
        over an experience in mind//after/ /its
        occurrence, we may find that one property rather
        than another was sufficiently dominant so that it
        characterizes the experience as a whole."

    Isn't this beautiful scientific prose! We make these
    distinction when we *reflect* on an experience. And
    perhaps we include the experience in our
    autobiography, act it out on the stage, analyse it
    scientifically, all of which presupposes analysis and
    synthesis. But it is important to recognise that the
    unity is prior. It is not only a unity of emotion and
    cognition (for example) but also of attention and will
    - and any other categories you abstract from an
    experience.

    Andy
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    *Andy Blunden*
    http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
    On 17/07/2015 3:00 PM, Beth Ferholt wrote:
Or reproducing the part that represents the whole? Like a fractal? I think it is the similarity across
    scales that makes an experience proleptic, or gives
    that 'bliss conferred at the beginning of the road to
    redemption" that Vasilyuk refers to.  You have an
    experience on several timescales and so a sense of
    deja-vu is central to having an experience. This is
    what I am thinking about after reading both the paper
    of Dewey's and your recent piece on perezhivanie,
    Andy, although I am picking up on a small piece of
    the last email in this chain -- : If something is
    only itself in its whole then you can't study it, is
    what is bothering me.  Beth

    On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 11:22 PM, Andy Blunden
    <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

        Not "getting at something", Michael. Just
        pursuing this question you raised about Dewey's
        saying that the aesthetic quality of medieval
        buildings arises from their not being "planned"
        like buildings are nowadays. He goes on to say
        "Every work of art follows the plan of, and
        pattern of, a complete experience." The puzzle he
        is raising here is the completeness of an
        experience which gives it its aesthetic quality,
        and this cannot be created by assembling together
        parts in the way a modern building is planned. An
        experience - the kind of thing which sticks in
        your mind - is an original or prior unity, not a
        combination, and this is what gives a work of art
        that ineffable quality, something which can only
        be transmitted by reproducing that whole of an
        experience.

        Andy
        ------------------------------------------------------------
        *Andy Blunden*
        http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
        <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
        On 17/07/2015 2:32 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:

            Andy,

            I'm still not sure about your question.  Did
            I set out to have that experience, that
            morning...no, I don't think so (it was a long
            time ago, but I'm pretty sure no).  Could I
            have just treated it as an indiscriminate
            activity, probably, I had done so before.

            But I am guessing you're getting a something
            here Andy?

            Michael

            -----Original Message-----
            From:
            xmca-l-bounces+glassman.13=osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
            <mailto:osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu>
            [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+glassman.13
            <mailto:xmca-l-bounces%2Bglassman.13>=osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
            <mailto:osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
            Of Andy Blunden
            Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:21 PM
            To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
            Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience

            YOu said: "... But that time I had the
            experience with the paintings..."

            I mean that was an experience. Did you set
            out that morning to have that experience?
            RE, your question: "what does he mean when he
            says you can't do things indiscriminately and
            have vital experience, but you also can't
            plan things?"
            Andy

            ------------------------------------------------------------
            *Andy Blunden*
            http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
            <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
            On 17/07/2015 2:09 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:

                Well I'm not sure I understand your
                question Andy, but perhaps it has
                something to do with my grandfather's
                favorite saying (translated from
                Yiddish),

                Man plans, God laughs.

                Michael

                -----Original Message-----
                From:
                xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
                <mailto:ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu>
                [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+mglassman
                <mailto:xmca-l-bounces%2Bmglassman>=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
                <mailto:ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu>]
                On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
                Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:04 PM
                To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
                <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
                Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience

                So Michael, there was just that one
                occasion, in all your museum-going, when
                you had an experience. Was that planned?
                (I don't mean to say you haven't had a
                number of such experiences,
                Michael ... just some number actually)

                Andy
                ------------------------------------------------------------
                *Andy Blunden*
                http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
                <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
                On 17/07/2015 1:19 AM, Glassman, Michael
                wrote:

                    Hi Larry and all,

                    I think this is one of the most
                    complex aspects of experience, what
                    does he mean when he says you can't
                    do things indiscriminately and have
                    vital experience, but you also can't
                    plan things?  I have discussed
                    (argued) about this a lot with my
                    students.  I have especially seen him
                    raise this point in at least two of
                    his great works, Democracy and
                    Education and Experience and Nature -
                    and again of course in Art as
                    Experience (notice he is not saying
                    how Art enters into experience but
                    how art is experience - I have come
                    to notice these little things more
                    and more in his writing).

                    The difficulty we have, at least in
                    the United States because of the
                    dominance of the idea of
                    meta-cognition, is that we too often
                    translate what individuals are
                    bringing in to experience to organize
                    it as a form of meta-cognition.  It
                    is kind of possible to make that
                    interpretation from Democracy and
                    Education, although what I think he
                    is doing more is arguing against
                    misinterpretations of his work as
                    random, child centered activities.  I
                    think he is clearer in Experience and
                    Nature that we bring in who we are at
                    the moment into the activity, and use
                    who we are (I don't want to say
                    identity) as an organizing principle
                    for what we do.  It is perhaps one of
                    the places where Dewey and Vygotsky
                    are close.  Perhaps I can use the
                    same Jackson Pollock example.  The
                    first few times I saw his paintings I
                    was trying to "apprecitate" them
                    because I was told that was the best
                    way to experience them.  Dewey says
                    no vital experience there because my
                    activities become stilted and artificia
                        l.  Sometimes I went through the
                    museum and just looked at pictures,
                    one to the other.  No vital
                    experience there, just random
                    threads.  But that time I had the
                    experience with the paintings I was
                    allowing who I was, what had been
                    built up in the trajectory of my life
                    to enter into my experience with the
                    painting, making it a vital
                    experience.  I think Dewey makes the
                    argument in Experience and Nature
                    that it is not just the experience
                    the moment before, but the
                    experiences leading to that
                    experience, the context of my life,
                    of my parent's life, of a long line
                    of historical experiences.

                    Anyway, my take.

                    Michael

                    -





-- Beth Ferholt
    Assistant Professor
    Department of Early Childhood and Art Education
    Brooklyn College, City University of New York
    2900 Bedford Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889

    Email: bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu
    <mailto:bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu>
    Phone: (718) 951-5205 <tel:%28718%29%20951-5205>
    Fax: (718) 951-4816 <tel:%28718%29%20951-4816>




--
Beth Ferholt
Assistant Professor
Department of Early Childhood and Art Education
Brooklyn College, City University of New York
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889

Email: bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu <mailto:bferholt@brooklyn.cuny.edu>
Phone: (718) 951-5205
Fax: (718) 951-4816