Looking Past the Other in Digital Communication

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When reading articles via the internet, it’s probably a good idea to just steer clear of the comments section. This is especially true when reading something that is related to issues of equity or accessibility for all. Trolling in the form of racist, sexist, and other fear-fueled rants can seem like the dominant mode of communication of many participants in this space. It can seem as if individuals are talking over and past one another, and communication is not founded on true dialogue.

Dialogue, Paulo Freire asserts, is an “existential necessity” that is inherently a vital part of learning (1968, p. 89). The act of participating in dialogue is an indicator of humility and the willingness to learn. It can provide participants the opportunity to recognize one another, the essential elect of identity development and respect. The willingness to think outside bias, to critically examine our biases, is at the heart of learning about the other and ourselves. It is our responsibility to one another (Buber, 1937). This may seem frightening, because it essentially places us in the unknown, the uncomfortable place of not being able too easily categorize and identify others. This identification makes life very simple. However, being uncomfortable is the only way we truly grow. The old saying reminds us that moss does not grow on a rolling stone. Stasis equates to a stillness that is not unlike death.

St. Johns River, Jacksonville, 2017


 

Margaret Wheatley expresses the significance of being uncomfortable: “We can’t be creative if we refuse to be confused. Change always starts with confusion; cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new. Of course it’s scary to give up what we know, but the abyss is where newness lives. Great ideas and inventions miraculously appear in the space of not knowing. If we can move through the fear and enter the abyss, we are rewarded greatly. We rediscover we’re creative” (2002, p. 37). This discovery can help give meaning to our lives and enrich those with whom we interact. Basically, we learn more about ourselves through others. It sounds simple…and it is…if we are ready to be uncomfortable.


MIT Press, 2017


 

Byung-Chul Han’s most recent English translations, The Agony of Eros (2017a) and In the Swarm (2017b), both discuss the absolute need for our encounter with the other. He warns that the digital medium of expression “is taking us farther and farther away from the other” (2017b, p. 24). Our ability or inability to articulate ourselves is exacerbated in the digital medium, and “nonverbal forms of expression such as gestures, facial expressions, and body language” are lost almost completely (2017b, p. 21). Our inability to plan for this learning leaves us with no “other” with which we may view new perspectives and understandings of the world.The visual images are constructed for us to see ourselves (or our closest analogue), thereby making everything the same. This massive normalization ends the need for an other, and it destroys the possibility for imagination or fantasy (2017a). We must be able to perceive through another viewpoint, one that is truly the opposite of the one we hold, so that we may engage in thinking that is infinitely more complex.

Without confrontation with the other, we are doomed to live empty lives, lonely and incomplete. There is a small piece of a recent poem by Joshua Marie Wilkinson (that is part of his series of poems that begin with a line from Osip Mandelstam, The Easements) that reads:

“as I’ve found in the stars

no friend, the lake

no brother, the current

no story to live with.”

 

I don’t know why my thinking takes this path, but it reminds me of the other as being the source of desire, the source of a true narrative. Without the necessary encounter with the other that produces co-constructed knowledge for the benefit of both participants, our individual life stories are stillborn (Han 2017b).

Perhaps comments and social media posts are not really avenues for actual discussion. If that’s the case, I don’t understand the necessity of providing a vehicle for reader voice if it isn’t to inspire dialogue.

Embrasures at Fort Clinch, Fernandina Beach, Florida (2017)

 


 

Note- The article that prompted this brief line of though is located here. The comments section yielded some replies that were blatantly racist and sadly myopic.

 


A Little Slash At The Meadow

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“Every creative act is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso

“I believe in a deeply ordered chaos.” -Francis Bacon, interviewed by Melvyn Bragg in 1985 (Link to Video)

I don’t write reviews in the traditional sense. I’ve learned how to critique a work of art through a proper university program. I’ve always known that art can open up one’s world, increasing connections across many facets of human activity and expression through the ages. There are times when this feeling/thought is present as I am interacting with a work. This short piece (or quasi-critique) is about one such instance and is probably an exercise in failure. Nevertheless, I wanted to write down my thoughts concerning this most recently completed book. 

To read Joshua Marie Wilkinson’s poetry from the last ten years is to take a journey with an artist that is determined to cut his own path. This all may sound cliché, but Wilkinson is a writer with a solid grasp on what has come before him. A scholar of poetic history and form, film, and philosophy, he has absorbed and synthesized his influences and has been creating an engrossing and challenging body of work for almost two decades.

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Cover Art (Black Ocean, 2017)

In his most recent book and the fourth work in his No Volta pentalogy , Meadow Slasher (Black Ocean, 2017), the author performs the task of cutting into his influences. He lays bare the work that is currently moving through his mind, and he dispenses with traditional narrative completely. There is no perceivable storyline. This work is more of a well in which the reader is plunged. This imagery of being overwhelmed by it all is mirrored in the text itself. Wilkinson’s “narrator” describes water and “watery graves” and sinkholes and the “black dank earth.” He brings in imagery of trains and baseball and birds. Wilkinson is referencing all of it. Robert Frost, Donald Hall, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Carl Sandburg, Paul Celan, T. S. Eliot, and countless others. He is bringing in the entire history of poetry, of art (with a particular emphasis on what constitutes an “American” art). But it’s all overwhelming as the narrator admits several times. This passage conveys the challenge of creating anything in our current place on the timeline:

How much noise did you take in?

I crossed out so much there’s

little left to work through-

There is a great deal of noise. Noise from the past. Noise in social media and interconnectivity. Noise in the political reality around the globe. Noise that one can get lost in. Too much, too fast. Wilkinson is touching on the philosophical ideas of accelerationism (Nick Land’s Quick-And-Dirty Guide To Accelerationism) and dromology with a strong hold on the despair that can occur in these times, despair that originates in a feeling of isolation and social paralysis. Take this passage from p. 30:

I’m on the computer

just to see if anything

I don’t want to go to

invited me out

to turn down.

We have all had these moments of loneliness. We want to be part of something larger than us, but we almost have no way of actually imagining ourselves participating. The invitation is online, and therefore has no connection to a reality with which we are familiar. It is a pale, curated version of reality. Yet, it breaks into our thinking and becomes part of this great noise that fragments our thoughts.

“I can no longer think what I want to think. My thoughts have been replaced by moving images.” -Georges Duhamel (1930) as quoted in Walter Benjamin’s essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 

Although Duhamel is describing his distaste of movies (in their beginnings), he has managed to capture how all media has the potential to break our thought process…how the noise can control your own thoughts. This is a powerful premonition of what was coming with propaganda film and the Nazi party. Is this really all that hard to imagine? Are we not overwhelmed by the quantity of information with which we confront daily? With all of this vast history and the speed of technology, we can be left with a deep loneliness. Out of this loneliness, this isolation, we become content recyclers…automatons that simply share the same memes…the same jokes…the same post-produced reality.

“But if images start pouring across screens and invading subject and object matter, the major and quite overlooked consequence is that reality now widely consists of images; or rather, of things, constellations, and processes formerly evident as images. This means one cannot understand reality without understanding cinema, photography, 3-D modeling, animation, or other forms of moving or still image. The world is imbued with the shrapnel of former images, as well as images edited, photoshopped, cobbled together from spam and scrap. Reality itself is postproduced and scripted, affect rendered as after-effect.” – Hito Steyerl, “Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?” (2012)

I don’t want to dwell too long here in the depths of what may be depressing to some. This context is key to understanding the situation of the poem. The poem is celebratory and exciting, fast-paced and funny. Throughout the text, there are echoes of seminal poetic works, re-envisioned in new language (not without some self-deprecation and irony). For example, the beginning few lines seems to revise the beginning of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) as a fast pitch, or a dash as Wilkinson puts it.

Here are Eliot’s lines:

April is the cruelest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.


Here are Wilkinson’s lines:

Do your friends know you well enough to pull you through your past?

I cut my face in looking.

Dogs on a hunt for what may come.

I am a looked-through garage window where a cat furred an oil stain.

A bright April dashing us to the curb.


The author reimagines so much while still referencing the three previous books in this series so effortlessly, I almost didn’t see them in the text during my first reading. Selenography (2010), Swamp Isthmus (2013), and The Courier’s Archive & Hymnal (2014) all appear either directly or descriptively. This helps to contextualize this particular poem and link it to-separate it from the others. One example is the line, “This isn’t for a book of polaroids” (p. 13).

My immediate thought upon reading this was that the author (by way of the narrator) was being incredibly honest up front. The narrator seems to exam his or her own ability to reflect on the past and shares with the reader a lack of confidence in their ability to create anything better than that which influenced them. The next sequence of lines includes the Celan-like phrase, bruisecuts, which perfectly captures those specific wounds that boxers get in the ring.

These are just the references on the first page (and I left out some). These are also the references outside the direct lines pulled and mentioned on the acknowledgment page, which include Marvell, Mandelstam, Catullus, O’Brien, and Shakespeare. He also pulls in references and descriptions of everything from the Illiad to Jay-Z and RZA, from Akira Kurosawa to Roberto Bolaño, from Faulkner to Tammy Wynette. Additionally, Wilkinson often refers to contemporary poets by name or by work. A few examples include Zachary Schomberg’s Scary, No Scary (p.44), Kazim Ali (p.56), Philip Jenks (p. 31), and John Cleary (p.51). Is that Dana Ward mentioned on p. 12?

The world as it is presented is a complex one, not the hollow dystopia of Eliot’s poem, but a more nuanced reality that includes both horror and beauty. The stage that Wilkinson sets is populated by loved ones, icons and friends.

This is a love poem, an ecstatic and challenging love poem to poetry and to life.

The world of Meadow Slasher radiates with love, gratitude, memory, and honesty.

Although there is much to cause dismay, we can still have agency of our lives. We can still create beauty from all of the noise. What are we waiting for? It’s not the air conditioning and geysers needed, but it’s something. We should follow Wilkinson’s lead on this:

Let’s stroll down to Hades & turn the box fans on. 


 

Purchase Meadow Slasher here.

A Partial Record of My Education

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“Those who love wisdom must investigate many things.” – Heraclitus

“I write-and talk-in order to find out what I think.” – Susan Sontag

In 2014, I graduated with my doctorate in education, and this seemed miraculous to me. A sustained focus, logical arguments, and the synthesis of an area of literature were inherent in the task of writing a dissertation, and I didn’t feel like I’d ever be able to live up to this challenge. As a child, I felt most comfortable with image and sound based communication. Music and visual art are such a large foundation for my thinking. I’m pretty certain this had to do with my mother taking me to museums and libraries, playing records in the living room regularly, and encouraging my growing interest in drawing.

Images could convey ideas that were both at the surface of my thinking and buried in my subconscious. Painting or creating something visually interesting and potentially communicative was something that came naturally. The imagery did not have to mirror reality. It could be completely conceptual. I was driven by the need to play with things that had an uncertain end. Not being driven to an actual destination, instead being propelled forward with intuition and curiosity, liberated me from having to make any sense of what I might be feeling in a way that would communicate to another. It was a drive to create.

This drive has pulled me in many directions at once. I have obsessively composed with sound, painted primarily textural (if not always aesthetically pleasing) images, and sometimes incorporated sound with paintings. Notes and small drafts of “diary” or journal entries have always been included as well. The outcome of these experiments was a amalgam of forms. I’m never quite certain how a thing may turn out…what form or hybrid it may take finally. I don’t even know if the outcome is the final version of a thing.

My default thinking is in fragments. If there are connections between the ideas or works, I have no knowledge of it during the process. It is always a dive into the unknown.

The past two months have included more than a few occurrences of fragmented thinking and organization that has not yet solidified into a coherent statement or group of thoughts. My regular lists of reading, listening, and watching have increased. I have rapid and incomplete connections between ideas and forms (text, image, sound, memory, etc.).

notebook march 2017

March-April 2017 Notebook, Thinking in Lists (more)

Recently, I have been reading Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy (Bubbles, Globes, and Foams) that have finally been translated, Hito Steyerl’s The Wretched of the Screen (2013), Kate Zambreno’s Book of Mutter (2017), Kafka’s late writings, Wittgenstein’s late writings on culture and aesthetics, Kadinsky, Susan Sontag, a biography on Eric Dolphy, so many disparate essays, and massive amounts of poetry.

Lately, I have been awed by the visual artwork of Rosy Keyser, Titus Kaphar, Fernando Zobel, Hito Steyerl, Julie Mehretu, Rebecca Horn, and Agnes Martin.

As I have written before, my sister told me once that whatever I put into my head must eventually come out. In what form will it arrive?

It eases my mind to know that others seem to have the same attraction to this process of discovery (like Sontag’s diary entry below).

From Sontag’s As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (with my scribbles)

Probably due to the Sloterdijk, the fact that Eleanor is beginning to trace the letter O, and my attraction to the simplicity of the ensō, circles and spheres have dominated my visual thinking. I seem to find them everywhere. From the Book of Genesis to NASA’s documentation of space trash, I seem to collide with imagery that represents a circular/spherical containment or a cyclical process.

 

Day 5 of Creation (Book of Genesis Illustration, 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle)

From Alberto Manguel’s Curiosity (2015)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

My Rambling On Photography & Fragmented Memory (or I Put My Ear To The Glossy Image But No Sound Comes Out)

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PicMonkey Collage

“We never remember the moments our pictures are taken. We think we do, but we don’t. Photographs do not reflect the turbulence underneath.” – Kate Zambreno (The Book of Mutter, Semiotext(e), 2017)

Can We Trust Our Memories If They Are Photographs?

I compulsively take photos of life events, recording experiences both rich and trivial. I may photograph book passages (for referencing later or sharing on social media) as a way of remembering the ideas. I often take photos of family, like this past weekend, when two family members graduated from their respective degree programs. I somehow believe intuitively that this will help me to recall these events later. But, I am reminded of Barthes and Sontag’s discussions of memory of photographs themselves as being the end result. We don’t remember the moment as much as the photo itself. The photograph allows the individual to construct a memory around it. The photograph becomes a way of seeing the world and collecting it for our own reconstruction. In this way, taking photos isn’t experiencing the moment as much as it is a cataloguing of it. We are shutting our eyes and allowing the camera to see for us.

This compulsive photography is not uniquely associated with my own personal relationship with the world. At this point in history, it seems that most phone apps are photography-based. Instagram and Snapchat are the touchstones for many, but even Facebook is based in the personal profile, which is essentially photography. Facebook has even leveraged, like so many others, the live video feature so that users can broadcast whatever they like whenever they like. We are enveloped in image-based media. I would add that all of us, in trying to explain what we have viewed (ekphrasis in its simplest form), reduce the complexity of imagery to language that fails to accurately capture the intellectual, emotional, or aesthetic dynamics at play. Thus, we resort to simplified images with simplified descriptions, like memes. We become disconnected from one another and unable to imagine our own ending and resurrection in the other. This is one of the foundational pieces of Byung-Chul Han’s (The Agony of Eros, The MIT Press, 2017) essay. In this work, he presents a compelling case for how and why this world of images only helps to disconnect us from one another.

IMG_1428

If We Don’t See The Other, We Can’t Love The Other

Han describes the act of photography as “the inner music of things sounds only when you close your eyes. Roland Barthes quotes Kafka in this context: ‘We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.’ Today, faced with the sheer volume of hypervisual images, we can no longer shut our eyes.” Due to this “excessive openness and unlimitedness,” our imaginations have suffered, and we have no way of conceptualizing an other. Han assures us that to love would mean to lose ourselves in the perspective of the other. This allows us to conceptualize the other through our relationships. This seems to be true. There are thousands of examples in the humanities, but the centennial of the birth of poet Gwendolyn Brooks is coming soon…so, here is this. However, Han is arguing that we are instead losing ourselves in ourselves. This narcissism is supported and rewarded in our world.

The images we are seeing all around us seem to be based mostly around data and economics, and this leaves us with no “other” with which we may view new perspectives and understandings of the world. The visual images are constructed for us to see ourselves (or our closest analogue), thereby making everything the same. This massive normalization ends the need for an other, and it destroys the possibility for imagination or fantasy. The other disappears completely in Han’s line of thought. Han describes this impact (in social and artistic arenas) as the agony of eros. On an individual level, one that is submerged in this narcissistic and empty reality is bound to never reach conclusion on anything. (There is a link in my mind here to Julia Kristeva. In Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia, Kristeva echoes this idea of depression- as one unable to bring anything to conclusion- as the loss of language and identity. The language is repetitive. The actions are repetitive. There is no breaking the cycle, leading to an existential crisis. The images fragment us, leaving language and imagery as disparate chunks of information that resemble the detritus of life, the leftovers.)

Is this all we have? Is this what life has become? Is this new form of “capturing images” doomed to create a stronger separation between individuals?

house rain 1

Norman Hall, 2013

Memory and Photography

I can’t help but consider Guibert’s own failed photography of his mother. His essay, Ghost Image (1996), reconstructs the act of taking these photos, only later to learn that it had failed to capture any of the images. Guibert still has this remembrance of his mother, her freedom away from his domineering father, her smile and happiness. He viewed it all from behind the camera lens, separated by the lens from the subject. The emotional engagement and intellectual stimulation persists. I think of this as a counter argument to Han’s conceptualization. I know that Han is speaking mostly of photography in the social media age, but is it all based in the ego? Does there exist a version of this image capture that actually brings people together? Like most things, it must be both. The same activity and ancillary activities (sharing, posting, etc) can have positive and negative impacts on individual minds. Is memory always negatively impacted? I think Guibert describes his failure to capture this moment with his mother as the negative, and he is growing through the reconstruction of the events in his mind.

Maybe the speed at which information is moving (see Paul Virilio for theorist interested in image sharing, speed, and its impact on our understanding), our ability to process memories may not be able to keep up, leaving us to move from thought to thought. This fragmentation may be the real issue with which we are faced.

I Have Only What I Remember

In Latin, the term loci means places. Method of loci was a means of creating a spatial “place” in one’s mind to catalogue and retain memory. Memories could be organized like rooms with furnishings. In this manner, one could create an entire palace of rooms with all of the knowledge they had acquired throughout their life. In Han’s description of photography above, it only serves to divorce one from their memory-making by letting the camera/phone do the work. This is light years away from Kaja Silverman’s (The Miracle of Analogy, 2015) conceptualization of photography as the discovery that expanded our language, forever including captured images as part of the grand dialogue.

This deep vocabulary of image and text is best captured by the relatively new word, multiliteracies (The New London Group, 1996). The multiliteracies are familiar to any educator as a cornerstone of most learning standards, including the Common Core Standards. Perhaps, these varied visual-textual communication activities are more positive in their ability to connect us organically.

Either way, there is something to the idea of being in the moment that is lost in the speed of modern communication, and there is something we may be losing from not building our memories through experiences. The reliance on apps for instant communication may let our minds rest a little too much. Only time will tell if this new visual-rich culture will make us all empty narcissists with no memories.

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Norman Hall, 2013

After thought- Fragment As Thought / Fragment as Compositional Element

In my view, something about this fragmentary existence can be see as a positive. Assemblages can be a kind of superstructure for the craft of storytelling when we want to bring in the complexity of multiple perspectives. Autotheory, a hybrid of autobiography and critical theory, has proven to be well adept to capturing the language of the moment. Some recent examples include Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015) and Kate Zambreno’s The Book of Mutter (2017). Nelson adapts Barthes’s citation method, pulling the actual citations out of the text itself and allowing the reader to become immersed in the actual story. Zambreno works with the fragment in an organic and effective way, also bringing in photos from film and her mother’s past. There is probably no other writer doing this as effectively today. Other touchstones for this methodology include Bhanu Kapil (specifically Ban en Banlieue, 2015) and Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation, 2014). The works that are constructed from image and text are the most powerful for me, like Camera Lucida (Barthes, 1981).

In these, the authors are always reaching for what is unable to be effectively described using traditional narrative forms. The fragment becomes the tool for analysis of memory and understanding. I eventually always end up discussing the unknown and the importance of the embrace of the unknown. Many times, this is based on my interest in fragments. From Hadrian’s only written work to endless revisions collected for viewing to Sapho to Decasia and broken thought or erasure, I am interested in fragment (and the fragmenting of the whole) as compositional style.

Even this post was improvised and completely a surprise. I had no idea where it was going, but I have been thinking about all of this and so much more. There is little time and so much to consider. These are just transparent notes that may find themselves into something else, in another form.

This evening, I took a photo of Eleanor having a pretend tea party. I shared this, knowing her parents and my parents would see it and smile. I suppose I shared it, because I wanted that connection…to nurture our love for one another.

Messy-Chalkboard-Texture


Note- The alternative title of this post is taken from Zambreno’s The Book of Mutter, 2017. The phrase, I have only what I remember, is from W. S. Merwin’s poem, “A Likeness” (The Shadow of Sirius, 2008). The image is a photograph of my brother, sister, and me from 1980. The televisions, stacked in the background, were apparently equal subjects to capture.

How To Become Who You Already Are

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“What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee;

What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage.”

    -Ezra Pound

To become who you already are, you’ll have

to go looking. Ridiculous as it sounds,

you won’t find it from there, and you won’t 

Find it alone. You’ll need to keep moving

to keep up with an ever expanding universe.

You’ll need to find an island, one

with fire still inside. You’ll know you’re there

with your fingertips. You’ll feel a

low volcanic vibration, unexpected

and elevating the earth beneath you.

Consider writing a play, one without end.

Your story should reflect like sunlight on water,

and be performed on an outdoor stage.

Create characters with storybook names, 

known only to you and your closest friend. 

Name your theatrical park after memory, and 

embellish it with angels both in flesh and 

in stone. This is where you’ll find your mirror.

Build a home that echoes your voices,

leave the windows open to a cappella birdsong. 

Finally, but most importantly

If you are going to believe in anything

               (anything at all),

believe that the rest of the world 

has changed with the both of you 

for as long as you possibly can.

(For Jason and Katrina Lewis)

Poem Beginning and Ending with Lines from The Doobie Brothers

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Somewhere back in her long ago

Every station moves to create

Time not made of now leaves life

She’s everywhere and nowhere


Swells sing above the static

Of pop songs misremembered

As oracles   dream lovers   dis

Associated       disappeared


She doesn’t identify us apart

From viscid evenings spent

Outside of one another again

Echo rises to her apology

Quotes re: Phenomenology, Body, & Language

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“Saying that I have a body is thus a way of saying that I can be seen as an object and that I try to be seen as a subject, that another can be my master or my slave.” – Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception (1962)

“This is why I write: to unfold the electrical mat of my nervous system.” – Bhanu Kapil, Ban En Banlieue (2015)

“The enlightened man says: I am body entirely and nothing beside.” -Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)

“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom that we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.” -Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch (1957)

“My favorite arts are the ones that can move your body or make a new world.” -Anne Boyer, Garments Against Women (2015)

“Writers…were out there creating a new language, one that I intuitively understood, to analyze our art, our world. This was, in and of itself, an argument for the weight and beauty of our culture and thus of our bodies.” -Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)

“The fluidity of the injured body’s referential direction is here manifest in the verbal habit of evoking all casualties as a single phenomenon once the war is over.” -Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain (1985)

“There is only one antidote to mental suffering, and that is physical pain.” -Karl Marx

Education within the context of oppression includes “teachers talking about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to “fill” the students with the contents of his narration-contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity…Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which for the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves that are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot truly be human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” -Paulo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970)

“Shifting how we think about language and how we use it necessarily alters how we know what we know.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We take the oppressor’s language and turn it against itself. We make our words a counter-hegemonic speech, liberating ourselves in language.” -Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress (1994)

“We reconstruct for ourselves the order of the world in an image, starting from limited, countable, and strictly defined data. We work out a system for ourselves, establishing connections and conceiving of relationships between terms that are abstract and for that reason possible for us to deal with.” -Simone Weil, “Forms of the Implicit Love of God” (from Waiting for God, 1951)

“This is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it.” -James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)

“Let us keep in mind the speech of the depressed- repetitive and monotonous. Faced with the impossibility of concatenating, they utter sentences that are interrupted, exhausted, come to a standstill. Even phrases they cannot formulate. A repetitive rhythm, a monotonous melody emerge and dominate the broken logical sequences, changing them into recurring, obsessive litanies. Finally, when that frugal musicality becomes established on account of the pressure of silence, the melancholy person appears to stop cognizing as well as uttering, sinking into the blankness of asymbolia or the excess of an unorderable cognitive chaos.” – Julia Kristeva, Black Sun (1989)

Endless Rabbits

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Covering rabbits with shapes is only one way to change the landscape of our refrigerator. There may be infinite solutions constructed by moving the magnetic shapes. I often wonder if intentionality plays a role, magnetic or otherwise. Shapes are named while rabbits remain mysterious. Less of life seems within control despite the disproportionate number of shapes. Today, I saw a sign that read Little Rain Lake. My mind wandered awhile, though I can’t recall where. These three words were the most beautiful thing I saw today.

Comfort in Temporary Confusion

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“We can’t be creative if we refuse to be confused. Change always starts with confusion; cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for the new. Of course it’s scary to give up what we know, but the abyss is where newness lives. Great ideas and inventions miraculously appear in the space of not knowing. If we can move through the fear and enter the abyss, we are rewarded greatly. We rediscover we’re creative.” – Margaret J. Wheatley, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future (2002)

Our Ruins

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Our Ruins 

 

A charred earth snaps awake

with each step backwards

against smoldering underbrush.

 

Look through these temporary angels.

Forget your given name.

 

From the sky,

cut paper petals return

as ash grey butterflies.

 

Descending figures,

briefly visible, vanish

without warning.

 

To a home silhouetted by fire

follow torn lines

through blackened trees.

 

Breathe

as evening breathes.

 

Open albums,

dreaming leaves-

only fragments remain.

 

We belong to a lifetime

of letting go.

 

 

(Originally published earlier in 2016 at Dead Snakes)

Freire on “Banking” Concept of Education

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Education within the context of oppression includes “teachers talking about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized, and predictable. Or else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students. His task is to “fill” the students with the contents of his narration-contents which are detached from reality, disconnected from the totality that engendered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of their concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity…Education thus becomes an act of depositing, in which for the students are the depositories and the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues communiqués and makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize, and repeat. This is the “banking” concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the students extends only as far as receiving, filing, and storing the deposits. They do, it is true, have the opportunity to become collectors or cataloguers of the things they store. But in the last analysis, it is the people themselves that are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot truly be human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” -Paulo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970)

Adrienne Rich on Politics and Art (1998)

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“From 1980 on, as Reaganomics opened the way to out-of-control corporate power, I began turning to history and to Marx’s writings for a different grasp on events. At a time when Marx was considered a dead letter, I was finding his words very much alive. The sixties were declared buried, the women’s movement pronounced dead, then the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain were hailed as the ultimate victory of democracy. Yet I saw democracy–in the sense of that participatory spirit, which to survive must always become more inclusive–shrinking visibly here in the US: the richest becoming richer and the poor poorer, access to resources accumulating in fewer and fewer hands. This has influenced how I see both my art and my life.

The arts, a crucial human resource, are hated and mistrusted by capital unless they can be commoditized. The past two decades have been a hostile, demoralizing time in this country for anyone who wants to participate in building a more inclusive and hopeful social order, an artistic life fueled by anything but money. These, too, have been important political lessons.”

-Adrienne Rich, interviewed by Ruth E. C. Prince for Harvard’s Radcliffe Quarterly (1998)

Synthesis, Revision, and Creating Art

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My sister used to tell me that “whatever you put into your head, must eventually come out.” She was speaking of exposing oneself to questionable cultural experiences, such as watching violent movies and placing oneself in unsafe places. These things, she had figured, would eventually emerge as we interacted with the world. However, as I grow older, I think this statement applies more and more to the artworks to which I find myself drawn: drafts and sketches of ideas as they are forming, usually founded on earlier works and other art forms.

This morning, as I reviewed the paintings on which I worked last night, I was remembering Robert Smithson’s sketches and notes (included in the first major retrospective of his art held at MOCA/California in 2004). There is an essay in that catalogue (written by Alexander Alberro) that focuses on Smithson’s library, including his records and ephemeral collections. Alberro explains that the artist’s library, whether it was all consumed by the artist or not, “provides a glimpse of his cultural landscape.” Smithson’s library and his archive allow us to view an artist always in the making, always becoming, a synthesis of the work he put into his head.
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Smithson’s “strong affinity toward modernist literature” and his voracious appetite for books of all types are see in his ideas and finalized artworks. From asphalt pours to partially buried woodsheds to the Spiral Jetty, it is easy to see the texts of biological, spiritual, historical origins next to texts of more aesthetic theory.
Last night, as Anna and I discussed these ideas, I brought up the synthesis of what created the “smoke painting” in our living room. I shared that I saw an article as a middle school student that detailed the start of the long cleaning/restoration of the Sistine Chapel murals created by Michelangelo. The authors (long forgotten if I ever knew) explained that hundreds of years of candles and atmospheric changes caused the dark residue that made the ceiling’s colors dark and rich. A few years later, I had seen images of burned paper used in artworks. It made me excited to see how non-traditional tools could change a work or create something completely new. I had started working with matches and watercolor paper in the mid-90s but became bored with the technique after a few years. I had exhausted the use of negative space to present superficial shapes of things in front of the residue and painting/writing within the smoke composition.
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When we moved into the home where we currently live, I decided to create a canvas that just captured the residue…but also worked with the framing, the sense of depth and movement, and worked as a finalized concept. The result felt right finally. It only took 15-20 years of sketches, trials, and inexplicably “unfinished” works.
Over the last 8 years, I have increasingly become more inspired with text as a visual compositional element of paintings and more ephemeral works, such as the Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art performance realized in 2010. That performance included 8 musicians or readers that performed a lightly composed/mostly improvised piece I titled Unrecognizable Beauty (after a line in Franz Wright’s early poetry and with his permission). The words derived from influences (Artaud, for example) and my own poems dedicated to Anna. Without fellow artists and collaborators (Clark Lunberry, Pat Greene, SLOTT, Jamison Williams, and Anna), this work would have inevitably failed. With prerecorded samples of the read pieces played and integrated with the live recording/processing of readings, the number of voices and the depth of the sound grew.
-4“Unrecognizable Beauty” (2010)- Video from this event- https://vimeo.com/10778058 & Photos-https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1378654499391.54037.1022733565&type=1&l=e2cfba9dcd

 

Very near this event, I decided to create a visual artwork that collected more text and visually dynamic interplay. The resulting piece, the subject of a Draft: The Journal of Process interview (found here), was the first attempt at this culmination. Although not my text (e.e. cummings, 1919 Dial Poems, which I shared with Anna during our courtship), I felt like the work captured the expression of making a mark on history, a violent swell of paint thrown over the visual grid of organized text.

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Dial Poems (1919) as canvas.

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Now, I find myself revisiting my own poems (written and revised/ marked up on the printed pages) as new compositional pieces that can be organized to create a whole. The pieces are being affixed and painted on/over and sometimes texturally buried (or “partially buried” like Smithson’s woodshed). They seem to either be unfinished or complete in their minor organization and treatment. This wouldn’t be completely out of place for me, as my library includes several examples of this negation-as-art aesthetic. In visual arts, I have Ana Mendieta, Gordon Matta-Clark, and Antoni Tapies (all hugely influential on my aesthetic development). There are books by Ronald Johnson (Radios, the erasure poems composed of Milton’s Paradise Lost), Jen Bervin’s Nets (poems composed by the erasure of sonnets by Shakespeare), and Mary Ruefle’s work. Musical examples include Taku Sugimoto (guitar or absence of guitar), Keith Rowe (ditto plus radio), and Axel Dorner’s solo trumpet (think air compressor and static). I have spent years putting this stuff and an innumerable examples of this type of work in my head, and it was bound to become synthesized and emerge in the things I create.
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Maybe, I am carefully reworking the writing I’ve completed over a number of years and undergoing a kind of redaction of my language. I am not completely certain of everything that is happening in my poetry or in any other art I create. Partly, the art is about the process of figuring it all out. As I change, these creations seem to change. They become memories that have been obscured over time or viewed through a partially blurred lens.

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Used Book Ephemera & Marginalia

*, Used Book Ephemera & Marginalia

I am, by nature, very curious and can lose myself while reading. However, I am always reading several things at once, and I can vary my selection wildly in a given sitting. Today, I moved from poetry to philosophy to essays, picking up Thomas Merton, Christian Wiman, William Bronk, Roland Barthes, Georg Trakl, and William Gass. Between books, I read older essays online, including a great one by John Yau on Christopher Middleton at the Brooklyn Rail from 2010. However, the only reason I was reading this specific essay was the fact that I became interested in the editor/translator (Middleton) of the Trakl collection, a small, gorgeous green book from 1968.

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Sometimes, I find notes in these books after searching for them or happening upon them in used bookstores. The notes can sometimes refer to small stories in themselves, pointing to emotional and psychological connections or just seemingly mysterious notes jotted by strangers. The note below, found in the Merton book, is almost not a note at all. It is simply hotel notepad paper with a phone number of a woman named Rebeca.

merton note

Mysterious only due to the lack of any context, this note does provide a place to seek out for the curious. Hotel Mora does look beautiful, situated right next to a botanical gardens and a few yards from the Atocha Station of John Ashbery’s poem from his second collection, The Tennis Court Oath (1962), and Ben Lerner’s novel of the same name (2011).

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Some of the notes I find are more fleshed out with references and names that are recognizeable. Take the one I found within the pages of William Bronk‘s Life Supports. It is written on stationary with the title of some oddly titled journal (that doesn’t sound like it’s real…and there is no finding it on the internet), Corona Mundi: International Journal of Comparative Mysticism, Visionary Poetics & Conceptual Book Arts. The journal calls Maine home, which is interesting to me only that it reminds me of Stephen King. It is dated as originating during May 1996 and refers to the poet, Joel Oppenheimer. Apparently, after Oppenheimer died, his library was up for sale. That would have been a pretty amazing collection, and the Bronk title was only a small element of the whole. The note seems like a friend sharing a nice find with another.

bronk note

Not all of the books I acquire have these little details tucked within their pages, but I am always happy to find one. I don’t discard these small treasures. They become part of the book’s hidden story, the continuing tale of its owners as it travels from reader to reader. The book becomes kind of a communication device/time machine that allows each new owner to discover something new about another place at another time. I’m thankful that “Greg” in the note above “passed ’em on” to eventually end up at Chamblin’s Bookmine in Jacksonville, Florida.

PicMonkey Collage

Brief Improvisational Thinking Regarding Organic Art and the Joris Translations of Paul Celan

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These thoughts are written without much preconcieved idea of the end product. Therefore, this post is kind of improvisational and completely reflects the basic start of my thinking regarding art as a living creation that reflects the changes of its creators. I have been creating things, whether they be poetry or paintings or music, for much of my life. In that time, I have had many friends and acquaintances that also created things. What I’ve learned is that artists generally want to be free from external defined notions of what constitutes their art, free from societal definition. Artists wish to allow their art to define and grow with their growth. According to Fred Moten, CA Conrad expressed that he wanted “to be poetry.” Conrad seems to echo Rilke’s quest to “align every fiber of his being with the great ideal” of poetry (Baer, 2004). The poetry (or other form of art) that these artists wish to be is organic, ever-changing with changes in their lives and the world in which they live.

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The 100 year old steps of Norman Hall at the University of Florida

Art that documents and mirrors life’s temporal quality has become more abundant. Some relatively recent examples include Basinski’s Disintegration Loops, which deteriorated as it was recorded, creating a documentation of actual disintegration as it was occuring; Kara Walker’s A Subtlety, which included statues made of sugar that started to melt and breakdown over the duration of the show; Andy Goldsworthy’s temporary sculptures made of ice, which recall the landart of another decade; or Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo, which has been in flux since its initial release earlier this spring. West’s record company has even released a statement that asserts that the album is “an innovative, continuous process, the album will be a living, evolving art project.”

A more potent (and perhaps more relevant) example of this kind of artistic document that lives and breathes the changes of society through text is Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. More specifically, pages 134 and 135. Here is a description of these changes with dates of new printings of the book. As time progresses, each new printing seems to add to the growing list of black lives that have been cut short at the hands of the police. More interesting reading about Citizen can be found in Nick Laird’s wonderful New York Review of Books article.

rankine_citizen

There are innumerable examples of this type of work. These are but a few small examples that have been more present in recent media than others.

Translations, albiet rigorously and creatively challenging like the artworks listed above, are temporal as well. These changing texts are more subtle than those referenced above. Translators that return to their previous translations can change their thinking based on their own personal relationship with the text, their experiences in life (and translating), and their reflections.

If there could be an author that exemplifies the idea of becoming poetry, Paul Celan is as qualified a candidate as one could hope. Most of Celan’s poetry is originally composed in German, so I come to the work solely through translation.

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Joris translations of Paul Celan from 2005 (left) and 2014 (right)

 

Pierre Joris’s translations capture the idea of growth and change over time in art. He captures a musical quality, minimal but powerfully resonant, in his translations. Joris includes captivating introductions that contextualize the work, and it seems like he is challenging himself in a way that makes me, as a reader, feel like I am in a trusted relationship. Joris is the guide, but he’s open to new ways of looking at the same path. An example of this is the subtle and gorgeous variation of lines from Joris’s translation of Celan’s Lightduress, from 2005 and 2014 respectively.

In Joris’s translated text over time, one can read subtle shifts in his reading of Celan. Below is one example of this revisioning. The differences between “bond” and “band” may not seem significant to some…but, compare the change in “knots it anew” to the more easily read “tied it anew.” The phrasing changes the tense and the entire feeling of the line. Equally interesting is the change from a proper name of Gehugnis to the uncapitalized version. There is a shift, and I am definitely not an acute enough mind to understand the ramifications on the entire text. However, I am transfixed by this. Although this translation does not indicate anything as radical as Merwin’s Hadrian examples from my earlier post, these are compelling.

 

You Be Like You 05 & 16

Joris translation of Lightduress from 2005 (left) and 2014 (2014)

 

Again, we see this subtle change in language throughout Joris’s work. Check out the lines below. “Economical ignition points/in the sky” is changed to “dotted pilotlights line/the sky.” This completely changes the interpretation of the line for this reader. The compound word “pilotlights” captures something of Celan’s own creative use of German, the limitations and illuminations that can come from working with language so closely.

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Joris translation of Lightduress from 2005 (left) and 2014 (right)

 

The translations of Celan’s late work are hard to uncouple from the facts of his biography. As I read these translations and their continued refinement, I can’t help but to consider Celan’s own deep commitment and challenges in using the tool of language to create his art. He has noted (again, in a Joris translation of Breathturn from 2004) that he would like to compose his poetry “even without/ language.” There are some engaging Joris conversations out there around the translations and the biography of Celan, including this one with writer, Paul Auster.

The revisioning of artistic works reflects our learning, deepens as we accommodate and assimilate more and more new information.

Thoughts on Conversation as Art as Learning Activity

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“There’s no doubt in my mind that collaboration, diversity, the exchange of ideas, and building on other people’s achievements are at the heart of the creative process.” – Sir Ken Robinson


It is no great surprise to anyone who knows me to any degree that I believe in process, the beautiful messiness of the creative act. I believe the process associated with the creative act in all of its forms requires a deep commitment to searching, to diving into the deep end, without complete understanding of what we’ll find there. I can remember viewing photos of Francis Bacon’s studio, walls covered in strokes of paint and chaos in physical form. This image of creativity was profoundly visceral for me, exciting and a little scary. I remember it accompanied a set of profound interviews with David Sylvester (a video example of one of these interviews can be viewed here). Note that Bacon explains that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he doesn’t have any story to tell.

Creativity that is truly about learning (learning about ourselves, our past, our future, each other) is always an unknown venture, one rife with much failure and lack of comfort. However, it is worth the risk of failure to discover and gain new knowledge. In my experience, art and education are two of the most direct methods for almost immediate access to the creative act of learning through the search itself. Both art and education can be viewed as conversations, either synchronous or asynchronous communication that is reciprocal in nature.

Art and education are forms of conversation in which the full potential of the creative act (or its initial creation) can only be experienced with the participation of the other. Whether the conversation is happening simultaneously (as in most classrooms or innovative online degree programs) or with the past (as in Adrienne Rich’s beautifully descriptive “Diving into the Wreck”), it must always include more than the lone individual (even if the other is experienced in mind/imagination only).

One example of dialogue with the audience of the imagination is Seamus Heaney’s “Digging”, a poem that describes his own connection to the past (and his lineage) and how writing poetry is similar to working in the soil to provide future nourishment. In this short work, we understand that Heaney is in dialogue with the past and present, family and himself. Martin Buber, in his philosophical work I and Thou, explains that humans define the world through our interactions with the other. These interactions can take place regardless of time and place. Heaney’s work is locked squarely in direct dialogue with memory, self-reflection, and his role in the patrilineality of his family.

Marcel Duchamp claimed that without the viewer/participant, the artistic act is stillborn and never really complete (Maria Popova shares this in her amazing blog, Brain Pickings, here). This really connects with me as a teacher. Teaching is a dynamic, ever-evolving act of creativity, a beautiful conversation (Tricia Whenham describes this very well on her blog).

Art is difficult. Real conversation is difficult. Learning makes us uncomfortable. There are reasons for this (not the least of which includes Piaget’s concept of equilibration). When we are in situations wherein we encounter something new, perhaps even unpredictable, we can become emotional. According to the concept of equilibration, we are having to cognitively accomodate for new information and assimilate within our existing schema (or our knowledge map of the world).

 

Conversation is one of the most basic creative acts. However, the act of real conversation may not be long for this world, if we believe the statistics collected by the Pew Research Center (2015) regarding the prevalence of cellphone usage in social settings. Teachers and artists must create the conversational act, must shape it to help generate deep thinking and self-reflection.

I have discussed the importance of creativity, conversation as pedagogical framework, and the impact of engaging learning experiences for months now. Even this is a process for me. Conversation is that important as a transformative activity. It is a contract with the unknown, the improvisational, and it is essential to understanding.

We Need Weapons of Compassion and Insight: A Brief Note on Love, Education, and Dialogue

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It’s easy to misinterpret thoughts, acts, and beliefs that originate in fear as freedom; to do so is normal as we emotionally and cognitively mature. Dorothy Day warned that even when we believe we are headed in the right direction, we must continue to resolutely question our actions and motivations and those of others. She explains that many tyrannical leaders “were animated by the love of brother and this we must believe though their ends meant the seizure of power, and the building of mighty armies, the compulsion of concentration camps, the forced labor and torture and killing of tens of thousands, even millions” (1951).

To challenge ourselves to interrogate our beliefs and thinking requires real courage and a willingness to understand one another. The courage to investigate our beliefs and the world demands that we enter into dialogue with others. This dialogue may take the form of real-time discussions or engagement with the past (i.e., cultural artifacts). This dialogue, an act of learning through the co-construction of knowledge, is absolutely necessary to deeper learning and commitment to others. Paulo Freire refers to this act as an “existential necessity” that is founded on love (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970, p. 89-90).

I believe that the recognition of love is synonymous with the evolution of our morality and capacity for understanding the complexity of the human experience both individually and as a species. Love, in other words, is education. Education is synonymous with love. Humility and the desire to learn are required for the acceptance of new understanding. Education, bell hooks declares, is “very much an act of love in that sense of love as something that promotes our spiritual and mental growth” (2004).

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Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development, Public Domain

Cultivating our ability to move from an outlook based on fear to one founded on love is most likely the greatest and most courageous achievement. It is not an easy task to move to love. It is moving to the unknown, and this can disrupt our equilibrium and shake our existing individual schema of the world (Piaget, 1928).

This shift to the unknown (uncomfortable) is necessary for learning to take place, but it’s not easy. This shift to love, to the unknown, provides the opportunity for us to view the “fully present” world, and we can no longer afford not to accept responsibility for it (Martin Buber, 1937, p. 82). To love this way, with complete attention to learning and growing unexpectedly, is challenging. Attention of this sort, according to Simone Weil, is prayer (Gravity and Grace, 1952).

We must remind ourselves daily to attend to love, to seek learning, to allow ourselves dialogue with one another.

 

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Window at Norman Hall, University of Florida College of Education (2013)

Links to Further Reading

Note: The title of this post is a partial quote from bell hooks’ Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (2006)

Rough Notes on Art as Vital Learning Activity in Early Childhood

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The deep link between creativity and education, although universally acknowledged in recent educational literature, was not always accepted as axiom.  The idea of creativity as an indicator of cognitive and emotional growth in the early education of children (as established in educational research) did not really catch on until the 20th Century.

Recently, I have been revisiting works about early childhood development and observed growth/development found in creative output. Further inspired by the work of Brosterman on the origins of kindergarten and Fröbel’s gifts, I have started keeping personal notes around the subject of early childhood and creativity as a vital learning activity. It seems as though Fröbel arrived at the notion of fostering the creative instinct as pedagogy first, because pedagogical research for the early 1800s isn’t exactly easy to find.

Beentz, Erntekindergartengruppe

Although one can easily locate Vygotsky’s The Psychology of Art, the work isn’t strictly about early learning, early childhood, pedagogical practice, or creative development outside of interpretation of artistic works. However, Vygotsky does discuss art as educational tool. In the introduction to one of the later chapters, he explains that “art has always been regarded as a means of education, that is, as a long-range program for changing our behavior and our organism…the significance of applied arts, involves the educational effect of art. Those who see a relationship between pedagogy and art find their view unexpectedly supported by psychological analysis” (Vygotsky, 1925).

Vygotsky is respectful of the work of others in the domain of teaching research. He shares that “we must take into account the specific peculiarities facing one who deals with children. Of course this is a separate field, a separate and independent study, because the domain of child art and the response of children to art is completely different…There are remarkable phenomena in the art of children” (Vygotsky, 1925).

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Eleanor paints a picture (2015)

Although Vygotsky’s book dealt with some of these ideas at a superficial level with regard to early childhood, the work of Dewey and Piaget extended the idea of art as an experience associated with learning. Dewey was driven to promote the link of experience to learning (art being only one of the ways to engage in that experiential learning), and Piaget (and Inhelder) were observing the behavior of children to possibly gain insight into their cognitive development. The interpretation of childhood drawings can yield artifacts of psyhological and cognitive development. But, does one get a true picture of what is happening in the interior of the child’s thought?

Harriman and Zernich (1980) suggest that Piaget’s Cognitive-Structuralist Theory (and his own descriptive examples of a child’s cognitive development and response to increasingly abstract phenomena) can be observed in the artistic growth of children and that this increased complexity of thought and interpretation reveals a broader cognitive development at work. The limitations of this work are obvious considering the nature of the data collection and research: only observed actions were used to perceive possible changes in growth. The perception and creative output of children provides another, richer view of their experience and cognitive and emotional development.

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Pre Kindergarten student draws me and the class (1995)

Taking account of the unique phenomenological experience of children for the purpose of understanding their cognitive and emotional development was really highlighted by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, the philosopher that occupied Piaget’s former chair at the Sorbonne, where he lectured on child psychology and education from 1949-1952. Although Merleau-Ponty was well-known in the areas of aesthetics and phenomenology, this period of his writing provides a great bridge between art, psychology, philosophy, and early childhood.

Merleau-Ponty built on Vygotsky’s (pre-Existentialism!) idea that learning is experienced through the body, not just the mind. His work of this period seems to echo Vygotsky’s idea that “art performs with our bodies and through our bodies” (1925). In this way, experience is surely unique for every person. Even if an experience is shared, our own interpretations of it and the implications of its assimilation may be vastly different from one person to another. This complicates pedagogy. It is the basis for the differentiation of instruction.

What does this mean for art as a tool in today’s early childhood centers or elementary schools with which to engage learners individually? It seems Fröbel was tapping into something which we now better understand. However, where is art education today? Is it soley a piece of our pre-kindergarten experiences, never to be addressed in middle or later childhood?

Experience and cognition are not separate activities, and every one of these thinkers mentioned understood that to some degree. Early childhood seems to be one of those areas that we don’t really completely understand. There is no formula for educating all children, because each child uniquely experiences the world.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dewey, J. (1934). Art as experience

Hardiman, G., & Zernich, T. (1980). Some considerations of Piaget’s Cognitive-Structuralist Theory and children’s artistic development. Studies in Art Education, 21(3), 12-19. doi:1. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1319789

Vygotsky, L. (1925). The psychology of art

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2010) Child psychology and pedagogy: The Sorbonne lectures 1949-1952

Piaget, J. & Inhelder, B. (1956). The child’s conception of space.

Draft of Conference Proposal on Video-based Learning for Instructional Improvement

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Conference Session Proposal Draft

Title: Enhancing Teacher Preparation Online through Video-based Modeling and Feedback

Abstract:

Although video of teaching practice has long been a part of the national discussion concerning teacher observation and evaluation (i.e., TIMSS 1999 Video Study), online video-based pedagogical practice has only recently been acknowledged in the research literature as a cornerstone for effective online and face-to-face teacher preparation and continued professional development (i.e., Archer, Cantrell, Holtzman, Joe, Tocci, & Wood, 2016; Borko, Koellner, Jacobs, & Seago, 2011; Derry, Sherin, & Sherin, 2015; Gaudin & Chaliès, 2015).

The University of Florida College of Education faculty and staff have unique expertise in planning and implementing innovative online video-based pedagogy for the purpose of improving teacher and leader preparation and professional development. Motivation of online students played a key factor in the initial decisions to redesign coursework to include professional video in addition to synchronous observation video software (i.e., Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014). Some examples of our efforts include the implementation of synchronous and asynchronous video solutions (with annotation) for teacher observation and pre-service mentoring, embedded video of UF graduates modeling teaching best practices within our online courses, expert and practitioner interviews and case studies woven through online discussions, and targeted video demonstrations of instructional strategies for teaching students with dyslexia.

In this session, the demonstration and effectiveness of these design changes will be discussed, including the sharing of student feedback regarding how these changes have impacted their instruction in the field.

References

Archer, J., Cantrell, S., Holtzman, S. L., Joe, J. N., Tocci, C. M., & Wood, J. (2016). Better feedback for better learning: A practical guide to improving classroom observations. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.

Borko, H., Koellner, K., Jacobs, J., & Seago, N. (2011). Using video representations of teaching in practice-based professional development programs. ZDM Mathematics Education, 43, 175-187.

Derry , S., Sherin , M., & Sherin , B. (2014). Multimedia learning with video. In R. Mayer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 785–812). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gaudin, C. & Chaliès, S. (2015). Video viewing in teacher education and professional development: A literature review. Educational Research Review, 16, (41-67)

Guo, P. J., Kim, J., & Rubin, R. (2014). How video production affects student engagement: An empirical study of MOOC videos. Paper presented at Learning @ Scale 2014 Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA.

 More at- https://www.academia.edu/25847583/Enhancing_Teacher_Preparation_Online_through_Video-based_Modeling_and_Feedback

Searching through Language: Translations of Hadrian (W.S. Merwin) & Limits of Human Perception

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Below, I have included a couple of translations of the only poem ever to have been found attributed to Hadrian (A.D. 76-138). The first word in the original Latin, animula, translates to little soul or small soul.

These first three photographs capture the relatively hard-to-find Pheonix Book Shop chapbook, Three Poems. I have a copy (only 100 were ever made, and it is signed by the author in 1968). The second poem is Animula. This was a kind of translation, I believe. But, it was more of Merwin’s work than an actual translation of the original.

The fourth photograph is from Merwin’s Selected Translations (2013, Copper Canyon Press) and includes a small bit of description about the origin and attempt to truly provide an adequate translation of Hadrian’s work. This is also included at the end of Merwin’s 2009 collection, The Shadow of Sirius (also Copper Canyon Press), which won the author his second Pulitzer Prize. His first Pulitzer was for the collection, The Carrier of Ladders (Atheneum), in 1971.

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These variations on the poem are vastly different from one another in content, form, and intent. You can read a little about Merwin’s thoughts on translation and the impact of this act on the rest of his learning in his interview with Paul HoldenGräber in 2010 (here), or watch his discussion with Michael Silverblatt in 2012 (here). A nice, printable pdf version can be found at the Poetry Society website (here). The first version included here is probably (since it was published in The Carrier of Ladders as well as the chapbook) an attempt to create anew from the inspiration drawn from the original Hadrian poem. However, it could be the lifelong pursuit of understanding that sometimes takes the form of endless revisions. This is what I would like to believe.

Language, in one description, is a temporary attempt to articulate this experience of being alive and being human. Language may attempt to communicate; however, The most important things in this life are not easily communicated in any form (including verbal and written languages, visual representations in paint or sculpture or architecture, music, etc.). Language is temporal at best. It “works” well enough for a time. Then, it must evolve to something new. Sometimes, this can mean an entire language changing or being lost. With spoken and written languages disappearing at an alarming rate, we are reminded of the temporal nature of everything. Language, like our individual lives, does not last forever (here is a list of extinct languages).

This small poem that has interested Merwin for a good portion of his life could be symbolic of humankind’s attempts to grapple with larger meaning. But, it is only a poem, a short verse. How could it convey so much? I am reminded of Adrienne Rich’s (a friend of Merwin) title for her final book, Tonight No Poetry Will Serve (2011). Poetry can be fawlty. It can evolve. It is indicative of what it conveys. It is temporary. For me, this poem (and this author) are reminders to keep searching, to not completely become comfortable with what I believe I know. Merwin wrote (in “The Nomad Flute,”another poem from The Shadow of Sirius), “I have with me / all that I do not know / I have lost none of it.” Merwin reflects often on the limits of memory and language. The Shadow of Sirius is probably the collection which captures this so starkly throughout its poems. Here is the complete text of “Going” from the same collection:

Going

Only humans believe
there is a word for goodbye
we have one in every language
one of the first words we learn
it is made out of greeting
but they are going away
the raised hand waiving
the face the person the place
the animal the day
leaving the word behind
and what it was meant to say

There is a constant wrestling with the limits of communication. These very brief poems carry the weight of the world, prophetic and powerful, not unlike traditional religious texts. This is probably not accidental. Merwin wrote hymns as a young boy. His father, a Presbyterian minister, would have probably remarked on the following passage from Corinthians (King James Bible): While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18).

Even as language is a temporal excercise, Merwin describes the thumbing through pages of his father’s 1922 copy of Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language “in search of meaning” (from the poem “Inheritence,” The Shadow of Sirius, p. 32). In one of his three “forwards” to each section of the Selected Translations, Merwin admits that this practice of translation (and, maybe all writing) has “evolved” and is essentially an “unfinished art” (2013, p. 281).

Maybe, I am rambling beyond what I attempted to describe in the beginning, which was just the dissimilarity of two translations by the same author. Maybe I’m searching for something that’s not in these texts, something that is just beyond them. Maybe it’s in the past, and I am wrestling with some existential questions that one of my favorite poets can’t help me resolve.

These “eternal” things (2 Corinthians 4:18) are perhaps the mysteries that will keep us pursuing clearer understanding…although Joseph Joubert (as translated by Paul Auster) warns that in some cases, it may “rob them of their illusions.” Of course, Joubert is referring to one of man’s symbolic preoccupations, looking at the stars. Merwin continues to search, not worrying of the loss of mystery. He knows that his attempts to capture the uncapturable are futile, but they are attempts nonetheless. Perception changes as we age, as we experience new things. We attempt to hold experiences, thoughts, and create things from these elements. They may not be good forever. But, as John Berryman told Merwin (and Merwin passed on to the reader in the poem, “Berryman”:

I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can’t

you can’t you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don’t write

Knowing we may fail is not an excuse to try to communicate, to connect with others. That is where the magic is- in the trying. Maybe this is what Merwin meant when he admits in yet another poem from the life-changing volume that won him the second Pulitzer,”from what we cannot hold the stars are made” (from “Youth,” The Shadow of Sirius, p. 39).

 

Selected References

Auster, P. (1997). Translations (Selection of Joseph Joubert’s Notebooks). Marsilio Publishers.

Merwin, W.S. (2013). Selected translations. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press.

Merwin, W. S. (2012). Interviewed by Michael Silverblatt on April 18, 2012. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/41266851

Merwin, W. S. (2010). Interviewed by Paul Holdengräber on October 22, 2010 at NYPL. Retrieved from http://www.nypl.org/sites/default/files/av/transcripts/merwin_transcript.pdf

Merwin, W. S. (2009). The shadow of Sirius. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press.

Merwin, W. S. (1997) Flower and hand: Poems 1977-1983. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press.

Merwin, W. S. (1970). The carrier of ladders. New York: Atheneum.

Vidal, J. (2014). As forests are cleared and species vanish, there’s one other loss: a world of languages. The Guardian (US Edition). Retrieved on April 28, 2016 from http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/08/why-we-are-losing-a-world-of-languages

Brief Reflective Notes on the Leadership of E-Learning, Technology and Creative Services

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Although, this department (ETC) has been a fixture of UF’s College of Education for a number of years, this year has been a year of optimization of services.  Throughout the past year, our department has coalesced into a very agile and forward-thinking group composed of five distinct sub-teams. These teams, usually not found clustered in one department, all work intimately to help our faculty to reinvent online education practice, implement new ways of teaching and learning; build engagement and support for alumni, current, and future students; create web designs that leverage learning, usability, and aesthetic design; and, support the building of collective efficacy and collaboration through internal marketing and awareness. The main pursuit of this office is to become leaders of instructional design for the university and the field of higher education.

Instructional Design for Online Learning in Higher Education

It is generally acknowledged that online educational experiences offered by most institutions of higher education do not reflect identified high-yield learning strategies (e.g., Hattie, 2009; Marzano, 2009), specific strategies (including frequent and specific feedback) for the online environment (Mandernach & Garrett, 2014; Mayer, 2015), or the teacher presence (Ragan, 2015) found in their analogous face-to-face counterparts (Berrett, 2016). A recent national survey conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (2016) suggests the problem may rest in multiple areas, including the preparation of faculty and staff to create pedagogically sound digital learning opportunities. The report suggests, “high-impact educational practices are offered by many institutions, but rarely required.” Additionally, the findings indicate that approximately 36% of Chief Academic Officers report that “most of their current faculty members are using digital learning tools effectively in their courses.” This seems to ring true. Incidentally, the UF College of Education (CoE) has earned its first #1 ranking from U.S. News and World Report for our online graduate programs during my tenure. However, “faculty credentials and training” was still cited as an area of need in the scores that make up this ranking.

Our College of Education and its faculty have the greatest experience on campus in planning and implementing innovative pedagogical change in any context, including but not limited to online learning. This wellspring of expertise must inform future University of Florida endeavors in online education. Recent work in the area of multidisciplinary approaches to teacher preparation being offered online include the newly formed Center for Elementary Excellence in Teacher Preparation, the cross-department institution of teacher observation and mentoring through synchronous and annotated video solutions, cutting-edge research agenda (including the exploration of cognitive and social neuroscience methodologies and technologies) of Educational Technology faculty, video-based research conducted in SESPECS, and the digital outreach efforts to communities of learners led by our CoE-based centers. It is imperative that the teaching and learning research ecosystem fostered here at the College of Education is leveraged in support of the growing need for expanded online degree offerings and highly individualized learning environments.

Brief Notes re: Strategies in Redesigning ETC in 2015-2016

Communication and Collaboration

One of the main goals for this past year for ETC has been investing in relationships, connecting departments doing similar or complementary work, and supporting the improvement of all online activities. The first collaborations included the analysis and restructuring of hardware (servers) and the gap analysis of current websites. This massive undertaking (three months) was a change that could happen through collaboration with IT and wouldn’t necessarily impact the ETC staff directly. In effect, this change, and the rebuilding of the relationship between the two offices, allowed the instructional and cultural changes to happen more gradually. This direction allowed for the planning of slower change of “behaviors of people” in our department over time (Deutschman, 2005).

Relationships with key stakeholders of faculty, specifically department chairs, were revisited with renewed vigor and transparency. I led this charge, supported by our administration and instructional design. Additionally, the web design team leader assisted with the “soft sell” of our services, creating digital “profiles” for key department areas.

Employing Research-based Attributes of Highly Effective Online Learning

Our team has led the way for the implementation of attributes associated with effective online learning, backed by the understanding that designing online educational experiences founded in learner motivation and interest rely on shared contextual learning activities that promote the use of technology in service of creating authentic online collaboration and interaction (Sawyer, 2016) while supporting a personalized learning approach (U.S. Office of Educational Technology, 2016).

Specifically, we have worked to offer online learning opportunities that promote explicit articulation of student outcomes, the integration of assessments (formative and summative), learning designs promoting self-directed and collaborative learning, and implementing professional development strategies that assist faculty in embracing and utilizing technology effectively for teaching and learning (U.S. Office of Educational Technology, 2016).

Learning Asset Production and Digital Asset Management

Early on in the transition, it was agreed that investment in high-quality videography and other learning material design was a priority in enhancing and/or redesigning the existing online courses, and we created a mobile video unit and a small studio. Furthermore, the investment in these resources would help other areas of the College of Education, including the Office for Alumni Affairs and News and Communications. The video and photography digital learning assets produced support three main areas of work:

  1. Research-based video observation for learning (e.g., teacher video self-reflection or leader preparation in observation practice to inform instructional improvement). This focus is supported by recent research in video-based teacher observation for reflection on practice (e.g., Gates Foundation, 2010; Stigler et al., 1999), in teacher preparation and professional development support (Guaden & Chalies, 2015), and evaluation (e.g., Kane, Wooten, Taylor & Tyler, 2011).
  2. Classroom video examples, lectures, and expert interviews as digital pedagogical support. The literature informing this work includes the measurement of student engagement in video-rich MOOCs (e.g., Guo, Kim, & Rubin, 2014), the examination of the impact of case-based video assets for instructional design (e.g., Gomez, Zottman, Fischer, & Schrader, 2010), and the review of the impact of teaching video used in professional development courses (Borko, Koellner, Jacobs, & Seago, 2011).
  3. Marketing and awareness video for external stakeholders of the College of Education (including alumni, partners, and legislators).

In addition to video, which has increasingly become vital to our work, our department has employed instructional, user-centric design principals to everything from websites to paper-based marketing material for programs. The team has built and maintains a digital asset management (DAM) system with photography and video archives that may be accessed by media and communications personnel throughout the college. Illustration, animation, graphic design, and branding were all employed to assist in redesigning the aesthetic look of courses, websites, ideas (e.g., STEM Hub and logic models for grant applications), and physical space (e.g., banners, posters).

Cultural Change

In the effort to improve the culture of the College of Education’s Office for E-Learning, Technology, and Creative Services (ETC), we have explicitly engaged in an initiative that has motivated the internal stakeholders of our office to revisit our commitment to improving and supporting online and hybrid instruction for all degree and certification programs. I have worked closely with each of our internal teams (instructional design, web design, creative media production, systems administration, and student support services) to establish attainable but rigorous goals and have provided opportunities to build processes to achieve their goals. We planned a retreat to revisit and explore our identity and better understand our mission, to interrogate our shared beliefs and values as a group, and to plan strategies to build and strengthen relationships across our college and the university (Wheatley, 2005).

Mark Dinsmore (Associate Director for Enterprise Systems) and I targeted staff to take on informal and unofficial but recognized leadership roles, mentoring and reinforcing goals and objectives daily within small groups. We instituted a weekly department huddle with a focus on shared “project-based” discussion. We also created an “on boarding” series of strategic meetings for all new programs and those being redesigned, including every facet of the department. This continuous project/program-based improvement model in group meetings and individual mentoring allowed all teams to engage in discussions.

Implementing Uniformity in Processes of Support and Production

All sub-departments of ETC have been assisted in documenting and codifying processes for production of digital learning assets, courses, websites, reports, etc. This work has been difficult but has provided uniformity to the stages of design and delivery of learning experiences for all courses and programs. Our team has worked to become cohesive and build on strengths associated with assisting faculty, students, and the College of Education.

Some Foci of the Department in 2015-2016

  • Creating innovative CoE course content production that includes video, photography, graphics, animation, software, etc.
  • Designing or optimizing online pedagogy, supported on researched best practices.
  • Refining of data analysis for strategic support for all departments.
  • Supporting faculty innovations, research, and outreach/communications.
  • Supporting student recruitment, alumni and student engagement, and success through effective web strategy (social media, web redesigns, graphic design, illustration, etc.) and student services.
  • Hosting and supporting infrastructure of products as diverse as web applications to large databases used in research or in testing.

 

References

Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2016). Recent trends in general education design, learning outcomes, and teaching approaches. Retieved on April 1, 2016 from http://www.aacu.org.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2010). Measures of effective teaching (MET) project–Working with teachers to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching. Retrieved on December, 7, 2012  from http://metproject.org/downloads/met-framing-paper.pdf

Berrett, D. (2016). Instructional design: Demand grows for a new breed of academic. The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 4, 2016.

Borko, H., Koellner, K., Jacobs, J., & Seago, N. (2011). Using video representations of teaching in practice-based professional development programs. ZDM Mathematics Education, 43, 175-187.

Derry , S., Pea , R., Barron , B., Engle , R., Erickson , F., Goldman , R., Hall , R., Koschmann, T., Lemke , J., Sherin , M., & Sherin , B. (2010). Conducting video research in the learning sciences: Guidance on selection, analysis, technology, and ethics. Journal of the Learning Sciences , 19, 1–51.

Derry , S., Sherin , M., & Sherin , B. (2014). Multimedia learning with video. In R. Mayer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 785–812). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Deutschman, A. (2005). Change or die. Fast Company, 94, 53-57.

Fullan, M. (2009). Turnaround leadership for higher education. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.

Goeze, A., Zottman, J. Schrader, J. & Fischer, F. (2010). Instructional support for case-based learning with digital videos: Fostering pre-service teachers’ acquisition of the competency to diagnose pedagogical situations. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) International Conference 2010 (pp. 1098-1104). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible-learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Kane , T. J., Wooten , A. L., Taylor , E. S., & Tyler , J. H. (2011). Evaluating teacher effectiveness in Cincinnati public schools. EducationNext, 11(3).

Mandernach, B. J. & Garrett, J. (2014). Efficient and effective feedback in the online classroom. Magna Publications White Paper. Retrieved on March 28, 2016 from             http://www.magnapubs.com/white-papers

Marzano, R. J. (2009). Setting the record straight on “high-yield” strategies. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(1) 30-37.

Mayer, R. E. (2015). The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (2nd Edition). Cambridge University Press: New York, NY.

Ragan, L. (2012). Creating a Sense of Instructor Presence in the Online Classroom, Online Classroom, 12(10), 1-3.

Sawyer, K. (2016). The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (2nd ed.) Cambridge University Press: New York, NY.

U. S. Office of Educational Technology. (2016). Characteristics of future ready leadership: A research synthesis. Retrieved on April 2, 2016 from http://tech.ed.gov/leaders/research/

Wheatley, M. (2005). Finding our way: Leadership for an uncertain time. Barrett-Koehler: San Francisco, CA.

Stream of Conscience Morning Rambling on Recent Reading

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Simone Weil’s describes the potential beauty of popular will in its purest form and once it is corrupted by collective passions triumphing over individuals in her last essay, On the Abolition of All Political Parties (1943).

“Similarly, a certain mass of water, even though it is made of particles in constant movement and endlessly colliding, achieves perfect balance and stillness. It reflects the images of objects with unfailing accuracy; it appears perfectly flat; it reveals the exact density of any immersed object…When water is set in motion by a violent, impetuous current, it ceases to reflect images. Its surface is no longer level; it can no more measure densities. Whether it is moved by a single current or by several conflicting ones, the disturbance is the same.”

Weil proposes that this eventual inner ethical conflict is detrimental for mankind and can have grave consequences.

“If a man, member of a party, is absolutely determined to follow, in all his thinking, nothing but the inner light, to the exclusion of everything else, he cannot make known to the party such a resolution. To that extent, he is deceiving the party. He’s thus finds himself in a state of mendacity; the only reason why he tolerates such a situation is that she needs to join a party in order to play an effective part in public affairs. But then this need is evil, and one must put an end to it by abolishing political parties.”

Although Weil is not technically discussing the social philosophy concept of “Groupthink” (coined by William Whyte in a 1952 Fortune Magazine article), the group dynamics that include the “rationalized conformity” associated with Groupthink are present. Weil is pointing to the idea that independent thinking is lost in the blind group loyalty. Weil is concerned with the individual being lost in the decisions made to support group passions. I would suggest that this inner conflict isn’t far from the concept of society’s accepted form of schizophrenia posed by Deleuze and Guattari in their Anti-Oedipus (1972). In their (arguably rambling) text, the authors describe individuals as alienated from the start in a society built upon capitalism (and I would add…any other man made conceptual structures to guide society as a whole).

Isn’t this same concept of smothering the individual in support of the group mirrored in the concepts discussed in Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Freire, 1970)? In his text, Freire uses the terms of “colonizer” and “colonized” but is accurately describing the oppression of one group by another. Some of these oppressive actions may include those that are perpetrated by the oppressed individuals, unintentionally complicit and diminishing of the self in service of the new group’s will.

Some reading from the past month (citations are possibly incorrect):

Blocker, J. (2016). Becoming past: History in contemporary art. University of Minnesota Press.

Deleuze, G. & Guattari, F. (1972). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Penguin.

Freire, P. (1968). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing. New York, NY.

Guattari, F. (2008). Chaosophy: Text and interviews 1972-1976. MIT Press: Semiotext(e).

Guattari, F. (2009). Soft subversions: Text and interviews 1977-1985. MIT Press: Semiotext(e).

Weil, S. (2004). The notebooks of Simone Weil. Routledge.

Weil, S. (2014). On the abolishment of all political parties. NYRB Classics. New York, NY.