Art/Aesthetics · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Education · Science

Frans Evers’s The Academy of the Senses: Synesthetics in Science, Art, and Education.

Frans Evers’s The Academy of the Senses is a book wanting to be three books at once. A study of the scientific approaches to synesthesia, related to the psycho-physical research conducted by Evers during his studies at the university; an alternative art history of the twentieth century based on the double paradigm of Castel’s clavecin oculaire and Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk; and a full account of the genesis of the Interfaculty Image & Sound. To encompass this entire range of subject, Evers coined a new term, “synesthetics,” to denote the experience, creative force, and study of synesthesia.

Throughout his career, Evers has profiled himself as an educational reformer. Together with electronic music pioneer Dick Raaijmakers, he started a series of projects and lectures exploring the interaction of music and fine arts, which culminated in the establishment of the first multimedia department in the Netherlands, the Interfaculty Image & Sound at the University of the Arts in The Hague, which Evers headed from 1989 until 2007. This book maps out the theoretical and artistic foundations of this educational reform project, as well as its synesthetic output: large multi-media performances such as a reworking of Anton Schoenberg’s Die Glückliche Hand, Mondrian’s Promenoir, and Scheuer im Haag.

The Academy of the Senses is a “source book,” a work of inspiration, rather than a rigid account of historical facts. It provides anyone with an interest in the wondrous realm of multimedia arts and synesthesia as a creative force, whether student or professional, an introduction into the foundations and extensions of seeing sound and hearing colors throughout the centuries.

Text and Image via Vangervenoei

Human-ities · Performativity · Social/Politics · Technology

Revolutionary Invention: Hip-Hop and the PC

What do hip-hop music and personal computers have in common? They were both children of the turbulent 1970s, born to innovative people who, building on inventive skills and technologies, nurtured them through creativity, collaboration, risk taking, problem solving, flexibility, and hard work. As with all inventions, their parents created them using some existing technologies. Hip-hop music evolved from adaptations of sound recording and playback equipment, while personal computers were built on integrated circuits, or “microchips,” co-invented in 1959 by Robert Noyce of Silicon Valley.

Imagine the social, cultural, economic, and political upheavals in America during the 1960s and 1970s. Picture the urban decay happening in inner-city areas of many major metropolises. Then picture the suburban communities that had burgeoned after World War II, representing the American Dream of where and how to live. Within these vastly different contexts, the Bronx, New York, and Silicon Valley, California, became places of invention—for hip-hop music and personal computers, respectively.

Excerpt from an article written by Steve Wozniak. Continue HERE

Image above: G Man and his crew DJ-ing at a park Bronx, New York, 1984 © Henry Chalfant/Silicon Valley East. Flickr photo by Andrei Z.

Design · Digital Media · Technology

Tony Fadell: On Setting Constraints, Ignoring Experts & Embracing Self-Doubt

From the iPod and the iPhone to the Nest Learning Thermostat, Tony Fadell’s incredible creations have disrupted industries, introduced beautifully designed solutions, and changed the way we live. Which is why we selected him as the inaugural winner of the ALVA Award, a new prize presented by Behance in partnership with GE to recognize remarkable serial inventors.

As Behance CEO Scott Belsky interviews him with questions sourced from the creative community, Tony shares insights on everything from his own creative process, to best practices for prototyping, to how to keep your team motivated and passionate for the long haul.

Via the 99%

Art/Aesthetics · Bio · Science · Theory

The Age of Insight: Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel Explains How Our Brain Perceives Art

Many strands of Eric Kandel’s life come together in his latest work, The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present. The 82-year-old University Professor and co-director of the Mind Brain Behavior Initiative was born in Vienna, where, as a boy of 8, he witnessed the Nazis march into the Austrian capital. Decades later, he recalls how much his own intellectual interests were shaped not only by the Holocaust that followed, but by the cosmopolitan city that in the early 1900 served as an extraordinary incubator for creativity and thought that shaped the world we live in today.

Q. What made you decide to turn your attention to the neurobiology of how we perceive art?

There are many motivating factors. One was my longterm interest in Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele, the three Austrian Modernists, my fascination with Vienna 1900 and with Freud. I wanted to become a psychoanalyst and I’m Viennese so I sense a shared intellectual history, particularly with turn-of-the-century Vienna. But the immediate stimulus actually came from [Columbia President] Lee Bollinger. The idea behind the Mind Brain Behavior Initiative is to try to understand the human mind in biological terms and to use these insights to bridge the biology of the brain with other areas of the humanities. Lee expressed the belief that the new science of the mind could have a major impact on the academic curriculum, that in a sense everyone at the University works on the human mind. I felt I was doing this for personal reasons, but isn’t it wonderful that it is also in line with one of the missions of the University?

Excerpts from an Interview at Columbia University in the City of New York

Book-Text-Read-Zines · Human-ities · Philosophy · Social/Politics · Theory

Our complex, difficult & fragile enlightenments. Katerina Deligiorgi interviewed by Richard Marshall

3:AM Magazine: Katerina Deligiorgi is a top Hegelian philosopher. She is a top Kantian philosopher. She philosophizes on history, on art history, on creativity, on literature, on the Enlightenment and what it means today. And what it meant back in the day. And how it has things to say about education. She wonders about action and how we intend to do things. She wonders about morality and autonomy and has a podcast on the theoretical challenges from cosmetic neurology. She has written a cutting edge book on Kant and the Culture of Enlightenment, and edited a book on Hegel: Hegel: New Directions. She has a new book coming out in June, The Scope of Autonomy: Kant and the Morality of Freedom which will dazzle us. She hasn’t burned her armchair like Josh Knobe, but is still a groove sensation.

Read Interview HERE

Digital Media · Film/Video/New Media · Human-ities · Motion Graphics

Amsterdam DNA

The Amsterdam Museum has opened an entire new department: Amsterdam DNA. This exhibition will take you on a three-dimensional 45-minute journey through our capital’s history. The versatile story of the city is presented in seven intriguing films, which we created. Above you can see the second film: Revolt Against King and Church.

In close cooperation with the curators, we developed seven scripts of about two minutes each, which shed light on the most important elements from more than 1000 years of Amsterdam history. Typical core values of Amsterdam were used as the theme for the films: entrepreneurship, freethinking, creativity and citizenship.

Visual material was collected based on the scripts. International collections were used in addition to the collection of the Amsterdam Museum, which has resulted in a selection of international renown. When visual material was not available or suitable, we had to develop the content ourselves.

The challenge was to bring the masterpieces to life without affecting their identity, or rather, their soul. We chose to add an extra dimension by making the images three-dimensional. Another dimension, sound, was added to make the whole even more appealing. Lifelike sounds and soundtracks that fit the spirit of the age add luster to the scenes.

Next to the seven films we also produced a trailer and a video-wall of approximately seven by three meters, in which past en present blend.

Commissioned by: Amsterdam Museum
Agency: PlusOne
Direction: Martijn Hogenkamp
Production: Marcel Vrieswijk
Motion Design: Sander van Dijk
Lead 3D: Tim van der Wiel
3D: Noam Briner, Chris Rudz, Hans Willem Gijzel, Richard Lundström
Music: Lennert Busch
Sound Design: Mauricio d’Orey
Thanks to: Harold van Velsen
Client: Bianca Schrauwen, Joost van de Weerd, Norbert Middelkoop, Laura van Hasselt

Via Explore

Human-ities · Performativity

Groupthink: The brainstorming myth

In the late nineteen-forties, Alex Osborn, a partner in the advertising agency B.B.D.O., decided to write a book in which he shared his creative secrets. At the time, B.B.D.O. was widely regarded as the most innovative firm on Madison Avenue. Born in 1888, Osborn had spent much of his career in Buffalo, where he started out working in newspapers, and his life at B.B.D.O. began when he teamed up with another young adman he’d met volunteering for the United War Work Campaign. By the forties, he was one of the industry’s grand old men, ready to pass on the lessons he’d learned. His book “Your Creative Power” was published in 1948. An amalgam of pop science and business anecdote, it became a surprise best-seller. Osborn promised that, by following his advice, the typical reader could double his creative output. Such a mental boost would spur career success—“To get your foot in the door, your imagination can be an open-sesame”—and also make the reader a much happier person. “The more you rub your creative lamp, the more alive you feel,” he wrote.

Written by Jonah Lehrer, The New Yorker. Continue HERE

Human-ities · Performativity · Science · Social/Politics

The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance

Author Susan Cain explains the fallacy of “groupwork,” and points to research showing that it can reduce creativity and productivity.

Do you enjoy having time to yourself, but always feel a little guilty about it? Then Susan Cain’s “Quiet : The Power of Introverts” is for you. It’s part book, part manifesto. We live in a nation that values its extroverts – the outgoing, the lovers of crowds – but not the quiet types who change the world. She recently answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

Cook: This may be a stupid question, but how do you define an introvert? How can somebody tell whether they are truly introverted or extroverted?

Cain: Not a stupid question at all! Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best. Stimulation comes in all forms – social stimulation, but also lights, noise, and so on. Introverts even salivate more than extroverts do if you place a drop of lemon juice on their tongues! So an introvert is more likely to enjoy a quiet glass of wine with a close friend than a loud, raucous party full of strangers.

It’s also important to understand that introversion is different from shyness. Shyness is the fear of negative judgment, while introversion is simply the preference for less stimulation. Shyness is inherently uncomfortable; introversion is not. The traits do overlap, though psychologists debate to what degree.

Continue on Live Science HERE

Architectonic · Education · Performativity · Public Space · Social/Politics

A Group Of Schools In Sweden Is Abandoning Classrooms Entirely

A new school system in Sweden eliminated all of its classrooms in favor of an environment that fosters children’s “curiosity and creativity.”

Vittra, which runs 30 schools in Sweden, wanted learning to take place everywhere in its schools — so it threw out the “old-school” thinking of straight desks in a line in a four-walled classroom (via GOOD).

Vittra most-recently opened Telefonplan School, in Stockholm. Architect Rosan Bosch designed the school so children could work independently in opened-spaces while lounging, or go to “the village” to work on group-projects.

All of the furniture in the school, which looks like a lot of squiggles, is meant to aid students in engaging in conversation while working on projects.

The school is non-traditional in every sense: there are no letter grades and students learn in groups at their level, not necessarily by age.

Admission to the school is free, as long as the child has a personal number (like a social security number) and one of the child’s parents is a Swedish tax payer.

Written by Meredith Galante for Business Insider. Continue HERE