The addition of production to definitions of literacy is always a good
in my view, Jay. Reading is not equivalent to writing. In the case of
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
I did. I plan to take the family during their visit. Donovan take
objects (tar paper, straws, cups, and more) and creates installations
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
general; we have agreed too often here to warrant repitition.
But quite specifically, our work in creating the "Fifth Dimension" was
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
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
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
only a few features remain. The children participants, who are almost
impossible to track over time are now adults -- i sometime encounter
ucsd. The college participants are parents I sometimes hear from. All
recorded in their fieldnotes written at the time. I have some money
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
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
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
are in the process of creating a book that traces its origins and the
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
a more powerful medium the other day, but it turned out to be a
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
protect us from advertising!
Of course that is an old idea in visual education circles, and it can
on the widespread folk-skepticism toward advertising. Unfortunately
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
in images, with or without any literacy education. Maybe there is an
emphasis on FIND, in the sense of digging below the surface/obvious,
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
for your own purposes", and include in that the meaning-making we do
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
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
to enjoy visual interpretation more than textual. Textual
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
basis for the popularity of the DaVinci Code and similar popular works.
And there is not a word about visual interpretation skills in our
curricula (meaning as practiced in schools, there are some nods in the
Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
University of California -- San Diego
La Jolla, CA