Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Susan Petry Lecture

I went to the lecture given by Susan Petry on perception, psychology, and art. Susan
Petry is a professor of Derner Institue for Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University which is in Garden City, NY. Susan Petry does art therapy, woodcarvings, and sometimes clay.

The lecture began with perception. Perception is the process where we interpret and organized our senses we perceive into a meaningful whole (also know as Gestault) Perception is important in order to survive in this world because without it we wouldn’t be able to understand and do a lot of things. Perception allows us to use things in context, simplifies, assimilate, and gives us a selective focus. Then Petry talked about illusory contour which is where you seen an edge in a drawing. There are three properties that come with illusory contour: objective ness, dual awareness, and problem solving. Petry also talked about perceptual construction, occlusion, and depth. Petry explained that in surface characteristics of a drawing 3-D guides dual awareness. Also how isolation is an understatement “less is more.”
From this lecture, I learned that the reason why people interpret art in many different ways is because we all have different perceptions. The process of perception is universal but our own experiences shape our perception. Parts of our perception can be shared with others. For instance, when Susan Petry showed us how illusory contours are visual peek-a boos; one person would point out what they saw and another person pointed out what they saw which they both have different perceptions of the same drawing, but when one showed others where and how they saw the image the other people’s perception changed.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Last class we discussed our artworks expressing the emotions that either had to be calm or anxiety and the collages we put together based on our drawings of a model. It was interesting to see people’s different views of how to illustrate emotions and collages. Although, we were given limitations on materials and specific instructions on the materials we were allowed to construct such as six lines, a circle, two other shapes of your creation, and only allowed texture such as shading or coloring. The collages were interesting because I thought it allowed us to see different perspectives of time, sequence, and motion of a person, place, or thing. Also in class we watched early films that were created such as Einstein, Muybridge, Melies, and Lumiere. You can definitely see how technology has changed overtime from the early films to the current films. For instance, black and white vs. color.

Questions to consider:

1) What type of art work (ex. Video, painting, sculpture etc) or movement ( Youtube, Impressionists, Cubists etc) was the most effective at communicating ideas, thoughts, and beliefs?

2) If we were given limitations of materials to produce artworks all the time would it change the way art is viewed?

Three Artists I’ve chosen to consider for the project: ( Harrell Fletcher, Tony Oursler, and Tape- Beatles) I chose Harrell Fletcher because he has done video artworks that are interdisciplinary projects and socially engaging. Also the focus of the projects isn’t entirely based on him but other people and their artistic skills and other things. I chose Tony Oursler because his work is focused on Synesthesia. Ever since I found information about people with synesthesia which I commented on in my previous blog I’ve become more interested in exploring the topic more. I chose the Tape-Beatles because they have been collaborating different artworks and turning the use of plagiarism into a positive art technique. There is this book I read called What the Dog Saw by Malcom Gladwell and one of his chapters comments on different perspectives of plagiarism (what aspects are considered okay vs. when have you crossed the line and it’s downright stealing) I found this topic interesting.

I would like to know more about peoples views on films.

Film was somewhat considered a performance art form. Film has many different uses such as educational purposes, propaganda, pure entertainment, political, and many other uses. Sometimes with films there is also participation from the audience. For example, people dressing up in costumes for a well-known or popular movie such as Harry Potter. As I mentioned before technology has changed a lot over the years. We have found ways to make film more efficient and effective as well as making the equipment more portable and easier to manage.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


In the past week we were given two readings: Drawing on Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards and an excerpt from Ways of Seeing by John Berger. Also we were given sketchbook assignments to draw certain objects upside down and rightside up or completing one half of a drawing.

In the reading “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” I learned that both sides of the brain can contribute different information to one’s mind and that artist’s mind’s shift from the left hemisphere to the right hemisphere of the brain. It seems the right hemisphere of the brain should be used when doing artwork because that is where spatial reasoning is processed. The left hemisphere of the brain is where verbal and analytic modes are processed. I have often heard the phrase “ Draw what you see not what you know” After reading this and doing classwork exercises I think I’m finally starting to understand that phrase. What an artist must learn to do is to be in tune with the right hemisphere of the brain and that way they can learn to see the negative space as well as the actual object, light, shadows, textures, and many other aspects. If you use the left hemisphere of the brain it won’t work because the left hemisphere can define what the object is and what is used for but from then on it’s limited.

In the reading, “ Ways of Seeing, “ I learned about different people’s perspectives about how one views Art. Everyone has a different interpretation of the same artwork before them because everyone has different beliefs, preferences, and knowledge of things which in turn affects how we see. How one views something also deals with context ;where you are at the time. For example, home vs. art museum. I like how in the reading there was a comment made about how the artwork and arrangements of how one decorates their room should replace museums because one’s room is a highly personalized place. I wonder if that did happen would it change many people’s views of art or ways of seeing?

Questions to consider : 1) If someone has brain damage or a certain disorder

actually affect their “way of seeing?”

2) What impacts us on how we view time and space?

I want to know more about time and space.

I found out from a BBC News article “Can you See Time” by Victoria Gill. She talked about how time and spaced can be a visual experience through the use of synaesthesia, where new pathways and connections in the brain can be opened up. Therefore a person who has synaesthesia can tell you meticulous details about any particular event in there life. For example, what day, what year, what time, what they were wearing, and what they ate. Scientists have done studies comparing memories with people with synaesthesia and people without it and results have shown that people with synaethesia can remember more facts from their own lives

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is Time?

What is Time?

This past week or so, we have discussed the concept of time in different religions, time periods, and cultures. Also, we watched the film ‘ Memento’ where the main character has short-term memory which means he can’t hold on to new memories. This film can have a lot of different interpretations such as: The main character, Lenny, has no sense of time, has no control over time because he’s being manipulated by others, or he has only some control over time and the rest is manipulated. We did in-class activities: drawing twenty different lines, how we got here, and loose drawings.

I want to elaborate a little bit on the film ‘Memento’ I will admit I was still somewhat confused at the end of the movie and left with many questions. I feel that time is a very broad subject as well as a concept, but I think the film definitely makes you question the reality of time as well as dreaming because I realized a few days ago that my dreams do rewind and go forward again with different things happening. Some people believe that time is important, our sense of time is controlled individually, time is manipulated by others or certain people or events in society, or time doesn’t exist. Nobody is right or wrong in their interpretation of time just like Art.

We were given two excerpts to read: What is Time? By G.J. Whitrow . The first excerpt was about the origin of the idea of time. Similar to the definition of Art; Time is also a subject that is open to everybody’s interpretation and even though we understand what time is we can’t define it. It’s difficult to say how the concept of time actually began because there are so many different theories such as: linear progression in the sense of using a clock and a calendar, part of the cycle of nature, use of planets, a journey, or followed religious rituals such as Christmas. I think there is no correct date or place to say where the origin of time came from. The second excerpt, was about time and ourselves. People often use their memory to remember passage of time: past, present, and future events or experiences. However, if one has a faulty memory or has brain damage and therefore there memory becomes distorted does that mean there concept of time is distorted as well?

Questions to consider:
1) Our the dreams we have an alternate reality?

2) If there are many different time zones around the world which time is right?

I want to know more about how the scriptwriter of the film ‘Memento’ process in writing the script.

Info found: The script of the film ‘Memento was inspired by the director’s brother Jonathan Nolan idea for a short story called “Memento Mori.” The director; Christopher Nolan and his brother both worked on the story and the script independently of one another for the most part. The basis of the film Memento is that memory is unreliable and sometimes we chose to use our memory for our advantage or disadvantage.