Author: Scarlet Holvenstot (page 1 of 2)

December 5th The Artist Book Class Presentations

The Artist Book Class Presentations
I spoke with Maddy Placik about her project titled, “1932”. For this response I will share with you all the interview I conducted with Maddy Placik about her project.
S: What have you been working on in your Artist Book Class?
M: We started by learning how to bind; we bound our own sketchbooks. Then we moved on to our zine projects and made 25 of them. My Zine was about fashion and trends. After that we worked on page design and layout. I made a page design based on future. After that we started working on our books. I wanted to do 1932 because that was the year my grandpa was born, 1932. We are both in physics. I found when I looked at the photos that a lot of important things happened in American. For example that was the year Einstein came to America and a scientist won a Nobel Prize.
S: Tell me how you chose the collection of photographs in your book.
M: They all had to be from 1932. I picked the ones I thought were most interesting in terms of the aesthetic and also the subject. I wanted the physics pictures that I took to be artistic as well.
S: What’s your favorite photograph in your book?
M: My favorite is probably this picture of Einstein, taken by an unknown photographer.
S: Why do you like it so much?
M: I think it is super clear and I wouldn’t expect a photograph from an unknown artist to be so clear. It is shocking how good of a picture it is. It is very candid.
S: Explain the process of making the book.
M: First we decided what subject it would be on and then I looked at some pictures that I would want to include. Then I laid out how all the photos would be organized. We had to make a draft because is hard to organize the pages. We printed the first draft on normal paper. Then we printed our final pictures on really nice paper and then we took our paper to the bookbindery. We took them to Chuck Ferguson in the basement of the Chapel. He directed us and we bound our own books, it took a total of 3 hours.
S: What was your favorite part of book project?
M: Seeing it all come together at the end as one.
S: Do you think you will ever book bind again?
M:I would like to. It was a fun process and it is rewarding to have a book that I made start to finish.
Gary Green joins us*
(He picks up the book)
G: This is beautiful this is great. Wow! Congratulations.
S: What are you going to do with the book?
M: I feel like it would be nice to have on a bookshelf. It reminds me of my grandpa which is nice. I’m excited to show my parents. I’ll probably bring it home for winter break. Maybe I’ll just keep it safe at home.

Nov 28 Origins of Science and The History of Science

On November 28th we received a lecture from Elena from the University of Santa Barbara about the origins of science and the history of science. Elena studied the history of science. The origins of science can be understood as revolutions. Elena looked specifically at 3 origin stories.
The scientific revolution of the 17th century was very important. One way to look at this group of scientific findings is to look at them as a collection of experiments.
Joseph Priestley created a chart of history and chart of biology that framed history in quantitative terms. You can see that there is a great acceleration in arts and sciences in the 17th and 18th century. You can observe the patterns in the chart. Priestley did not use the term scientific revolution. The scientific revolution was during a time that was simultaneously a time of crisis. While people were contributing to the scientific revolution people were trying to survive the political revolutions going on at the time.
The second international congress for the History of Science took place in London, 1931. The most memorable paper was, the social and economic roots of Newton’s principia. The paper argues that political upheaval and the scientific revolution were connected. The other speakers are hardly remembered.
Vavilov had many collecting expeditions. He explored Europe, Asia, Mediterranean countries and expeditions in North and South America. People envy his collections. The collections contained an assortment of cereals and other foods such as barley.
There was a special soviet session at the International Congress for the History of Science in London 1931. Unfortunately, someone recalled that the chair of the convention tried to “shut up” the Russians. The Russians were very different compared to the English scientists. The Russians “proceeded integrally with the social aspect dominant.
Elena’s last point regarded the information revolution of the 1960s and the history of science (measuring the scientific revolution). Bernal was one of the most imminent scientists of the time. He was the personification of a real scientist in Britain. Bernal was part of the communist party and visited the Soviet Union on a regular basis. Bernal was designated as a threat of democracy in the west. His ideas about scientific communication were taken very seriously.
The Russians’ documentation facilities were envied in the west. Sputnik exacerbated anxieties in the US. The Soviet system was “locked”. The strength in the system was the upside of the communist regime.
Who was Eugene Garfield (1925-2017)? We looked at the trajectory of Garfield’s work. Garfield founded his own firm and looked for sponsors for his new project. His new project was titled the use of citation data in writing the history of science. However, sponsors were unresponsive. He questioned, “Can a computer write the history of science”? He found that yes, a computer can. He argued that the timeline is linear. You can see citation patterns. The citation index was published in 1965. The project turned into something bigger and larger. However, at the time the reaction to the citation index was not particularly enthusiastic.

The Origin of the Origin Nov 14.

November 14, 2017

The Origin of the Origin

Janet Browne Harvard University

The lecture this week discussed the Origin of the Origin of Species written in 1859 by Darwin. Darwin looked at the distribution of inhabitants in South America during his Beagle expedition as a young man. Darwin had merged theory and natural history. Darwin’s book presented a valid hypothesis based on the evidence presented. Contrary to many beliefs, Darwin tried to use science to explain the divine, the origin of the earth and all species.

Darwin claims that the Beagle voyage was the most important experience in his life. Although Darwin was on an English ship, he saw and experienced so many things. Darwin had with him Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology during the Beagle expedition. Lyell suggested that everything was very gradual. Darwin adopted a lot of information from Lyell. We can think of Darwin as a geologist during the Beagle voyage. Darwin saw a volcano eruption in January 1835. He also experienced a very large earthquake in 1835. It was quite fascinating to look at Darwin’s original geological drawings. One of Darwin’s biggest geological accomplishments was coming up with an answer for the shape of coral reefs.

Darwin paid a lot of attention to fossils while on the Beagle voyage. Darwin found fossils and connected them to current residence of South America. Darwin found fossils such as carapace plates of the Glyptodon and was able to compare to with the armadillo that still lived in South America.

Darwin was fascinated with the ingenious people. He was particularly amazed by the differences between the indigenous and Europeans. The possible roots of humanity shocked Darwin; he was excited to see the possible linkage. Although he was a racist of sorts, there was something in him that made him see the brotherhood of man.

Darwin had geology, fossils and indigenous people on his mind when he went to the Galapagos Archipelago where he studied many species and the geology of the island.

Once Darwin got back to Britain he began discovering links between his findings. Darwin began attempting to visualize evolutionary change. Darwin was trying to connect everything together. Darwin began writing Zoology and the Voyage of the Beagle. Darwin started to theorize that species has been taken and modified for different ends.

Darwin spent 8 year on barnacles. The barnacle work helped his theory move towards the final theory in the Origin of Species. Some of Darwin’s barnacle drawings were saved because they had his children’s’ drawings on the back. Darwin also spent a lot of time looking at Pigeons.

Some little corks about Darwin that made him successful included: Darwin used letters as a research tool. He thought a lot in silence. He walked the sand walk. Darwin didn’t end up writing the book he was going to write. Darwin created an origin story of his own. Darwin wanted to use scientific method. He knew that although the conclusions may be hard to believe, he believed his work was of the work of scientists

November 7th: Origins of the National identity of Indonesia

This week the Origin class listened to a lecture about Igniting Change: In search of the “origins” of national identity in Indonesia. Arnout van der Meer gave the lecture.

Throughout the lecture we looked at the national identity formation in colonial Indonesia. It was very diverse in Southeast Asia because there were lots of influences from the outside. Soemarsono, a key player in mobilizing people in Indonesia to work against the colony. Soemarsono compared the situation with an oil lamp. The wick of the lamp represents the hindu Buddhist heritage. The lamp oil also came from Islam and Islamic modernism. The lampshade was given by the Dutch (western culture). The metaphor is that they (Indonesians) have to light the oil lamp themselves.

Soemarsono radicalizes very quickly and it causes him trouble with his superiors. He just wanted the socio political emancipation of the Javanese. This lead to the overhaul of the system of cultural hegemony. Everyone wanted to embrace modernism. Meer argues that this all occurred before world war 1.

So who was Soemarsono? Born in 1887-?. He helped spark a national awakening. He was wealthy and well respected. He received western education in Batavia. He was Muslim and fluent in Dutch.

Problems start to arise within the colonies in Southeast Asia. The boundaries of the colonies in Southeast Asia were drawn the second half of the 19th century by these European colonizers. This causes problems for the young nation states. Their entire history is shaped by people coming into the area, therefore agriculture, colonizers, Indian influence on culture, decolonization and the cold war all affected Southeast Asia.

How does one find the root of the national identity? The onion theory –to get to the core of national identity you can peal away one piece of the onion at a time. However, it doesn’t allow for change over time. It is interesting to apply the onion theory to the built environment of Indonesia. One can look at specific examples of where these onion layers are very close. For example in Indonesia you can see a massive Cathedral and a Mosque. You can also see these relationships in language and clothing as well as many other products of cultures.

One can look at the Origins of National Identity in Indonesia and see where and when influences entered Indonesia. We can see that western colonialism effected Indonesia in the 16th-20th century. Later we see the influence of the spread of Islam 1200- present. Also, the Hindu Buddhist past 100-1200. So what are the actual origins?

The relationships between all of the colonizers and the native Southeast Asians are bizarre. It seems like a scramble of cultures. It is very difficult to try and find the origins of Indonesia’s national identity. However, one can see where they are at today, which is a nation that could perhaps surpass the imperial states that infiltrated their culture in the first place. The new national identity includes western concepts. Soemarsono created a new identity for the Indonesians connecting the past and the modern. They believed in Asian modernity, chose to adopt western science and technology, chose Islamic morality and ideas about democracy and equality.

October 31st Lecture Voice & Verse

This past week our Origin class received a lecture about Voice and verse: at the origins of contemporary poetry from Stefano Colangelo. Colangelo argued poetry does not have origins. It is a state of mind. Colangelo references Croce who makes the comparison between poetry and aesthetics. “Art is pure intuition or pure expression… but a kind od intuition not at all devoid of concepts and judgments, the primordial form of knowledge, without which it is impossible to understand its other more complex forms”. Therefore Colangelo says that poetry is about intuition and expression is poetry itself.

Colangelo discussed Gaston Bachelard who said, “While all other metaphysical experiences are preceded by endless introductions, poetry rejects all preambles, general principles, methods and proofs. It rejects doubt. At the most it requires a prelude made of silence. At first, drumming on concave words, it quiets prose and those reverberations that would leave in the soul of the reader a continuity of thought or a few murmurs. Then after these empty sounds, it produces its moment” it’s another way to be timeless. It is really fascinating to look at the relationship between poetry and time.

We also discussed Paul Valery who claims language speaks in poetry.“In short, the Language generated by the voice, not the voice generated by language”Therefore voice is the root of poetry. Poetry only needs voice to be born.

In addition, Colangelo talked about Roland Barthes who said, “Style is predominantly a phenomenon of generative order, it is the transposition of a humor. Style, on the contrary only has a vertical dimension, it plunges to the closed memory of the person, it draws its opacity from a certain experience of matter; style is but a metaphor, that is to say an equation between the literary intentions and the carnal structure of the author.” From Barthes points Colangelo argued that style is a metaphor in itself. It is the connection between writer and reader. Style is related to the instrument of perception. Style is connected to body. Poetry is connected to voice We perceive poetry with our bodies. You can love a poem that someone else doesn’t because you have a different body.

We looked at the words of Paul Celan – “composing verse relates not so much time, as to universal time” “an entire language is gathered in every first word of a poem” “Poetry: language in its nascent state. Thus, language in statu nascendi, language that is setting itself free. “ “The word in a poem is only partially occupied by the vicissitudes of the poet; another part is occupied by the vicissitudes of poetry; a third part is left empty, to be occupied”. I found his words really interesting. I like what he said about poetry setting the language free.

Lastly we looked at Elias canetti – “I dream of a man that unlearns the languages of the earth” When he went to Morocco, because he didn’t understand the language, “Over the course of our life, we all learn a little something about all the countries and the peoples in the world, but I lost that bit of knowledge in a matter of a few hours” he wanted to listen to the sounds and the cries without understanding. Foreignness is the key to understanding poetry.

In conclusion, there is a good relationship between origin and being a stranger. It is helpful when one is switching among languages and switching among different cultures. When you are too familiar with a culture you do not receive the language the same way. Everything is related to poetry. Colangelo’s last words of advice were to be less academic, and to be more human.



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