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[Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience



Hi all, 

I am an xmca lurker, but am particularly interested in some of the matters
raised on this thread in relation to experience, the arts perezhivanie and
learning so I will venture forth! My particular background has been drama
(including process and improvised forms of drama) and teacher education
but I have been involved in many projects working with children and young
people.

I would like to present a number of points for consideration that respond
to some of the issue raised:

 
It is important to note that Dewey was making a point that the
art-making/creative experience was somewhat different from general
experience per se.

 
In relation to art and experience, art-making becomes a mediated,
expressive and reflective process whereby experience is crystallised and
ideas/emotions internalised and externalised in specific expressive modes.
Through art and creative processes, experience and emotion is shaped
through expressive 'forms', with the subjects or agents projecting and
externalising their expression of emotion and ideas.
 

Through art making these emotions and ideas are not just Œexperienced¹ but
selected, shaped and communicated socially in
some material form.  ³Selection and organization of material are at once a
function and test of the quality of the
emotion experienced² (p. 72).  These forms (such as art, music, theatre
and so on) are realised through reflection-in-action which involves
processes of selection and the relationship of qualities (and here
Eisner¹s work on the quality of qualities is also
pertinent) ­ ³Only when the constituent parts of the whole have the unique
end of contributing to the consummation of a conscious experience, do
design and shape lose superimposed character and become form² (p. 122).
Dewey¹s work draws attention to the process
and materiality of the making, and the embodiment of emotions and
imagination through Œform¹ involving these processes of selection,
organisation, elimination and resolution: ³In short, art, in its form,
unites the very same relation of doing and undergoing, outgoing and
incoming energy, that makes an experience to be an experience².  (Dewey,
1934:50)
 

Therefore when it comes to possibilities to studying perezhivanie or
children¹s experience, while you can never get inside their
personal experience, it is possible to record their external expressions
of experience (through video/audio etc) and also their art-making
(drawing, dance,dramatic play, songs etc) and also engage them in
reflection-on-action about their experience.  It is also possible to trace
ongoing activity and expressions to trace their appropriation of concepts
and tool use and the development of ideas in their externalised
expressions.
 

In relation to experience and reflection perhaps it is worth considering
two different notions of reflection and two different Russian terms that
relate to experience ­ perezhivanie and opyt. At a Perezhivanie forum
convened at Monash University earlier this year Nikolai Veresov noted that
in Russian the title of Dewey¹s book used another word Œopyt¹.Opyt implies
an experience that is in the past or is like the Œaccumulated body of
experience¹ (see Meshcheryakov in Blunden 2010).  However, it could be
argued that what Dewey was discussing was perezhivanie and a much more
immediate, active process, as Dewey says ³Experience Š..it signals active
and alert commerce with the world²(Dewey 1934, p. 18).
 

I wonder if there has been any recent analysis of the Russian translations
of Dewey¹s ŒArt as experience¹ to consider whether it really is
appropriate to translate it as opyt or whether it should be perezhivanie
(or perhaps both).
 

Likewise in art making and criticism, two different types of reflection
are involved, as proposed by Schon ­ reflection-in-action and
reflection-on-action.  These inform the immediate experience but also the
ongoing possibilities for the experience to be remade, reconceived and
inform future experience (and perhaps as Beth suggestions chains of
ideas/events/experience). Reflection-in-action is an active reflective
process that is part of the art-making experience, where the artist is
actually reflecting upon what is happening and being created, and drawing
on their toolkit of skills and knowledge and weighing up the qualities of
such to make moment by moment decisions about what to do next.  This
experience has a unity in itself, however there is also a provisionality
about it.  Reflection-on-action may then be engaged in after the
event/experience, as the experience is interpreted and made sense of and
other modes of expression and communication may be involved (eg.
Reflecting on a visual arts or music experience using verbal or written
language). This may be an act in itself or may inform further creative
activity and experience that may even extend upon, reinvent or reinterpret
the first.


I look forward to hearing some of your thoughts about these points.
Kind regards

Sue Davis 

Dr Susan Davis
Senior Lecturer | School of Education & the Arts/Higher Education Division
CQUniversity Noosa, PO Box 1128, Noosaville Qld 4566
P +61 (0)7 5440 7007 | M +61 (0)418 763 428 | E s.davis@cqu.edu.au





On 19/07/2015 3:43 pm, "Lplarry" <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

>Greg, Beth,
>How do we find a way to describe (in a way that is true) what the
>preschool children are experiencing.
>
>The images of the video that Greg sent on the magic of synchronized hand
>clapping is one example of "showing" or "perceiving" Can this experience
>we see in the video  be described in a way that expresses the truth of
>the way the children are having this experience.
> can we do this type of truthful describing as observers of the
>experience? 
>Or must we undergo the experience (with) the children prior to describing
>the experience?
>Is synchronized hand clapping which is transformative a matter of
>describing "subjects" and  "objects" or does the truth of this matter as
>lived experience exist in the undergoing the experienc of hand clapping.
>
>Greg, I am reading the Gendlin article on (befindlichkeit) and this
>concept seems relevant to this theme of having an experience and the
>truth of describing synchronized hand clapping
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: "Greg Thompson" <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
>Sent: 2015-07-18 8:37 PM
>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience
>
>Beth,
>"a method of perezhivanie" sounds like a brilliant and important thing to
>develop.
>
>I wonder if you might be able to use it to get at that sentiment that you
>described earlier where, talking about children's experience of time, you
>said "time is so condensed for young children so it is happening all the
>time". How to translate that experience to adults for whom time has slowed
>and expanded and for whom it is difficult not to impose on those poor
>children?
>
>(and I love the little gems you dropped throughout - "conserve the effect"
>(and perhaps the "affect" too!) is just one of many favorites...)
>
>Much appreciated.
>-greg
>
>
>On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 2:40 PM, Beth Ferholt <bferholt@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> This chain of ideas is the closest I have ever felt to what interests me
>> most.  It covers all the interests that brought me first to play and
>>then
>> to the playworlds and then to perezhivanie.  Before I went to LCHC I
>>was a
>> preschool teacher and this is a profession that I think can be
>>described as
>> being, in its first part, responsible for reflecting upon the 'having an
>> experience' that is happening all around you every day (time is so
>> condensed for young children so it is happening all the time) so that
>>you
>> can support the self-creation beings who are able to "have an
>>experience''?
>>
>> Like with Greg's students, as a preschool teacher you find that what is
>> most important is to describe what is happening in a way that is true to
>> the children's experiences. Vivian Paley shows us how to do this.  If
>>you
>> don;t do this you find dealing with the Golem who has had the words that
>> give it life removed from its mouth: you just have dirt, nothing even
>> remotely related to the Golem, not even weight.
>>
>> I think it is the teacher/artists who can find for us those properties
>>that
>> will characterize the experience as a whole.  What Monica named
>>'preschool
>> didactics from within' is a process of working with these people in
>> research. This sounds like 5D.
>>
>> Andy, Vygotsky is talking about the the two purposes of art criticism.
>>One
>> is entirely in the domain of social life, he says, guiding what art
>>creates
>> in its audience in useful directions.  The other is to 'conserve the
>>effect
>> of art as art'.  He says we know this is needed, because art is a unity,
>> and without the whole criticism is not related to art -- he calls what
>>we
>> have left, without the unity, a wound.  But criticism of art treats art
>>as
>> a parliamentary speech -- often -- he says.  Vygtosky shows how to avoid
>> this in the chapter on Bunin's short story.
>>
>> As a preschool teacher you know that art is life because if you forget
>>this
>> then you have unhappy children and your job is impossible, or worse.
>>As an
>> researcher, every time you hit something hard you can revert to the
>>first
>> purpose of art/life criticism, or anyhow to the part that does not
>>conserve
>> the effect, without any consequences on your livelihood.  If we could
>>have
>> a system of science that makes it impossible to leave the hardest
>>questions
>> to the first purpose of criticism, then we could have so many people
>> working on these hardest questions in a meaningful way, but I do not
>>know
>> how to do this even in my own work.
>>
>> Except one way is to place the desires of the teachers and children
>>before
>> your own.  This is sort of a method of love or empathy.  Kiyo suggested
>>The
>> Method of Hope by Miyazaki (no relation I think) and this is related,
>>also
>> Edith Turner's work where she sees the reality that the people she is
>> studying see.
>>
>> Maybe it is a method of perezhivanie.
>>
>> Beth
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 1:58 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil
>><a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Mike, could you elaborate on that?
>> >
>> > Alfredo
>> > ________________________________________
>> > From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
>> > mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>> > Sent: 17 July 2015 19:40
>> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience
>> >
>> > Alfredo--
>> >
>> > a "method of organization" seems close to a synonym for design.
>> >
>> > mike
>> >
>> > On Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 9:42 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil
>><a.j.gil@iped.uio.no
>> >
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > I like very much how Greg brings in a methodological issue here with
>> his
>> > > mention about ethnography and his reading of "fidelity"; that the
>> latter
>> > is
>> > > not about representing exactly, but about describing events in
>>terms of
>> > > consequences for the participants, which they display for each
>>other in
>> > > their actual practice.
>> > >
>> > > This methodological aspect makes me think that the the notion of
>> ANALYSIS
>> > > BY UNITS, which has been discussed in xmca before, is useful here.
>>Unit
>> > > analysis reminds us that, as units, experiences, as concrete and
>>real
>> > > phenomena, have some form of organization that extends in time.
>>That is
>> > > why, if I understood the discussion below correctly, Beth is warned
>>not
>> > to
>> > > think of the unit of experience as a unit "in itself".
>> > >
>> > > Dewey and Bentley 1949 made the differentiation between self-action
>>and
>> > > transaction. In self action, things are explained by their own
>>powers.
>> > This
>> > > is, I believe, what Vygotsky would have referred to as analysis by
>> > > elements. In transaction, they say, ³deal[s] with aspects and
>>phases of
>> > > action, without final attribution to Œelements¹ or other
>>presumptively
>> > > detachable Œentities,¹ Œessences,¹ or Œrealities,¹ and without
>> isolation
>> > of
>> > > presumptively detachable Œrelations¹ from such detachable
>>Œelements¹².
>> An
>> > > experience can be studied precisely because it is not a thing in
>> itself:
>> > it
>> > > is always a moving, gesture, a "method of organization" as Dewey &
>> > Bentley
>> > > write.
>> > >
>> > > I thought this my add something to your fascinating discussion,
>> > > Alfredo
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > ________________________________________
>> > > From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf
>>of
>> > > mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>> > > Sent: 17 July 2015 18:23
>> > > To: Andy Blunden; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Having an experience
>> > >
>> > > Marx: It is only in a social context that subjectivism and
>>objectivism,
>> > > spiritualism and materialism, activity and passivity, cease to be
>> > > antinomies and thus cease to exist as such antinomies. The
>>resolution
>> of
>> > > the theoretical contradictions is possible only through practical
>> means,
>> > > only through the practical energy of man. Their resolution is not by
>> any
>> > > means, therefore, only a problem of knowledge, but is a real
>>problem of
>> > > life which philosophy was unable to solve precisely because it saw
>> there
>> > a
>> > > purely theoretical problem."
>> > >
>> > > On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 10:45 PM, Andy Blunden <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/
>> > > > 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>
>> > > >>
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > --
>> > >
>> > > Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
>> > > ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova &
>>Storch,
>> > > Ecological Niche, 2008)
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> >
>> > Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
>> > ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
>> > Ecological Niche, 2008)
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> 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
>> Phone: (718) 951-5205
>> Fax: (718) 951-4816
>>
>
>
>
>-- 
>Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
>Assistant Professor
>Department of Anthropology
>880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
>Brigham Young University
>Provo, UT 84602
>http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson


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