Link to jeanne's Birdie Index Transforming the Imaginary: Visualizing Together

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Transforming the Imaginary

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Created: January 4, 2001
Latest update: January 4, 2001
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Transforming Local Discourse: Shared Visualization

January 4, 2001
Data Sequence: Visualization 1

Mac Torn Between Thoroughness and Overview

One day this week jeanne wrote to Wisconsin:

OK, Susan, the first drawing of Mac is up on dpjc for this week: Weekly Preps, Week 3 of Winter Break 2000

I tried to find the photos you sent me because I couldn't get onto the web board. Still can't. Later. bokra ? But one can never find anything in a faculty office. So I made Mac up in my imaginary. Now I'd like for all of you to play with any software program you have to bring that image up: just right click on it and save it under any name you want. Then pull it up in your photo house or paint program, or whatever, and redo it until it fits your imaginary. No, I won't scrap mine. There's no reason we have to have just one imaginary. The colors on my Corel Photo House aren't working right, so I've had to work with whatever comes up! Ain't technology great? But it doesn't matter. I think we can still effectively paint our virtual community. All together now, PAINT! lnp, jeanne

Well, now, I wanted you to have lots to play with so, here's another of Mac. This time she's pondering so deeply Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth that she doesn't even hear the fireworks behind her. I think we used to call that the Ivory Tower.

Try changing the colors, adding patterns, changing the fireworks, etc. Here are the different versions available:

On Friday, January 5, 2001, Mac wrote:

I'm beside myself in some of these images. I was so compelled to change it to my own interpretation. Hardly as an "ivory tower" sort of image. lol Help me understand further what you mean by, "This time she's pondering so deeply Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth that she doesn't even hear the fireworks behind her. I think we used to call that the Ivory Tower." Attached is my own interpretation....just for the fun of it....Let me know what you think.

On Friday, January 5, 2001, jeanne responded:

This has to be my worst nightmare. I can't find the attachment, although it says it has one; nothing seems to be attached. Please resend. I can't wait to see it. What I meant by this second painting was that here you are engrossed by substantive theory, focussed on the micro, getting things down at a deep level of concentration, so that you aren't even aware of the fireworks all around you. That was "ivory tower" intellectualism. It's something you said early on - that you were torn between doing as much as you could and between learning deeply with the discipline of concentration. That's a tension we all face. How many balls shall we toss in the air? and How many can we really keep juggling??? That's what I meant by tension in the first drawing.

Lots of this comes from the influence of Francis Bacon on my painting. I love his work. It's not pretty. It affects me in spite of my not understanding it all. I feel it, and I have been drawn into a gallery in the Tate where I wanted to just sit forever and stare. He painted portraits, but not portraits of external traits, portraits of what he saw within. That's how I'm trying to use the Who's Who paintings and the scapegoat painting in the Yanomami pieces. That means that all of you should be able to alter them to your vision with relative ease, if I do my job well.

I think that's what made me respond this way to you and Susan. The paintings and drawings are not realistic representations. They are imaginary representations. And for Cheryl Wilson, a CSUDH student, the drawing of Patrick Tierney as Hunt's scapegoat, brought the AAA's Yanomami discussion into a realm she could relate to, in a personal way. That's what we're trying for.

In the same way, I could paint word pictures in class, and students began to call out : "Do me! Do me!." They were beginning to learn each others' names and personalities, just as I was. This technique seems to help us bond in ways we had not tried before. And this in classes with 50 or so students. Classes on which the college would normally have placed limits of 24. We need to seriously think on the significance of that. I don't think it means we should teach larger classes. I think it means that we have failed to develop techniques in large classes that could establish bonding and learning in different ways. I think it goes back to what Yvone Lenard at UCLA taught us in the sixties: people have the strongest need to communicate when the discourse is about them. One of my students even said last semester: "This stuff is about us!" No, it doesn't have to be art; could be word pictures; could be music, except I don't know yet how to put music up on the site. Will have to go find David Bradfield.

More later . . . jeanne

gtg finish that article for jac. I'll start putting it up in an hour or so. lnp, jeanne

Mac with her head(s) in the sky, searching, searching . . .

Go to Shared Visualization 2.
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