The Beginnings of an idea…

Click here for further documentation of completed projects

Click here for further documentation of completed projects

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IF WE ASK THE QUESTION ‘WHAT ROLE DOES THE BODY PLAY IN OUR ARTICULATION OF THOUGHT’ WE ARE SOON PROPELLED TOWARD QUESTIONS OF WHERE AN IDEA TAKES PLACE, WHERE IS IT GENERATED CAN IT SO SIMPLY BE THAT AN IDEA IS TREATED IN THE MIND AND SIMPLY EVIDENCED EXTERNALLY? PERHAPS THE QUESTION NEEDS TO BE ASKED OF AN EARLIER STAGE IN THE PROCESS OF IDEA DEVELOPMENT, OF EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE TO THEN SYNTHESISE AND GENERATE IDEAS…                                  Andy Clark, 2008. Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action and Cognitive Extension, Oxford Press

Social Potentials of Making the Creative Process Visible

The project aims to identify evidence of how children infuse meaning into their imagery, both as individuals and groups. To achieve this, a specific context has been identified that the children can respond to; a shared context that enables identification and construction of a vocabulary of marks and symbols. This research centres on drawings created from a series of workshops with children from Bettws Primary School, Bridgend, as they come to terms with the destruction of their junior block when it burnt to the ground in July this year.
The workshops will take place with children at key stages in artistic development, namely pre-reflexive, schematic and representational, in order to examine thoughts and ideas that are spontaneous and gestural as well as more cognisant articulations of the event and its consequences.
​The remit of the workshops will be to examine how creative play can transport the mind from one reality to another; from the harsh reality of the children’s experience of the fire at Bettws into the more liberated or suggestible world of the drawn image. Allowing us to see incidence of play and at the same time appreciate the child’s wider psychological world. These worlds will be explicitly traversed, as this is where therapeutic properties lie, enabling objectivity, a new perspective from which to view familiar thoughts and feelings. Specifically, children will be facilitated in creative play through drawing as a means to encourage the progression of their ideas.

press here

 

Can the activity of thinking / idea development be rendered tangible, be given form – Initial experiments:

…and does this begin to express the activity of thinking – a child, their identity formed through interactions and response to the world?

The photo drawings were created by projecting children’s drawings onto a child’s face and taking photographs, then attempting to blend and explore the boundaries between the drawing and the face.

What is offered by the relationship between 2 and 3 dimensions? – where does one become the other and what is the significance of the cross over in suggesting the development of thought – does it symbolise a blurring between the physical and mental/creative world?

Qualities that could be bestowed with metaphoric/symbolic meaning include:

  • Scale
  • alignment with the face from projection
  • Opacity/transparency
  • flat imagery

The actual process of generating the images involved: rebuilding the solidity of the face – white to heighten areas and washes to push back – decision making took place in the moment of creating.

Thinking Loops: extending our capacity to think…

Thinking Loops

Extract from Andy Clark Supersizing the mind

 

Consider this famous exchange between the Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman and the historian Charles Weiner. Weiner, encountering with an historian’s glee a batch of Feynmen’s original notes and sketches, remarked that the materials represented ‘a record of [Feynman’s] day-to-day work’ But instead of simply acknowledging this historic value, Feynman reacted with unexpected sharpness:

 

I actually did the paper’ he said

‘well’ Weiner said, ‘the work was done in your head, but the record of it is still here.’

‘No, its not a record, not really. It’s working. You have to work on paper and this is paper, Okay?’

 

Feynman’s suggestion is, at the very least, that the loop into the external medium was integral to his intellectual activity (the ‘working’) itself. But I would go further and suggest that Feynman was actually thinking on the paper. The loop through pen and paper is part of the physical machinery responsible for the shape of the flow of thoughts and ideas that we take, nonetheless, to be distinctively those of Richard Feynman. It reliably and robustly provides a functionality which, were it provided by goings-on in the head alone, we would have no hesitation in designating as part of the cognitive circuitry. Such considerations of parity, once we put our bioprejudices aside, reveal the outward loop as a functional part of an extended cognitive machine. Such body – and world-involving cycles are best understood, or so I shall argue, as quite literally extending the machinery of the mind out into the world – as building extended cognitive circuits that are themselves the minimal material bases for important aspects of human thought and reason. Such cycles supersize the mind.