Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thinking Through Gestures

Just some things to consider while researching/thinking about gestures.
The University of Chicago's Theories of Media Keywords Glossary entry on "gesture". Consider these passages:

The physical gesture could be a variety of different actions; it may be composed of a small wave of the hand, large movements incorporating the entire body or simply be a state of being, a posture or a stance. Gestures in dance, martial arts, sports, ceremonial occasions, religious events, dramatic arts, the symphony and even at the stock market are part of complex systems of regulated movements. Yet such habitual activities as eating, drinking, working and greeting one another can be considered gestures too. The word "gesture" does not refer to subconscious or involuntary actions like expressions or mannerisms. Gestures are generally regarded as intentional movements.

Perhaps what makes a gesture so powerful is not the gesture itself but the moment before the gesture or between the gestures. Walter Benjamin explains that in theater a pause between gestures is essential because spacing the gestures apart from one another makes them "quotable" or perhaps memorable. These spaces between the gestures allow the viewer to reflect on what is being seen and experienced.
Another project-based example to check out from the MIT Media Lab

Also, for people free on Thursday from 10-11:30, a lecture by the Chair of our New Media program, Kevin Hamilton, who is currently researching the development and representation of console interfaces during the Cold War.

Where: 3401 Siebel
What: Process and Method in Contemporary Art and Design

If the design business forms a cornerstone of the creative industries, then the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees maintain an influence far beyond the esoteric domains of metropolitan art galleries and glossy review magazines. Education for young artists and designers is largely modeled on the work habits of successful modern artists and design collectives of the last 100 years. This presentation will provide an overview of how modern artists and designers learn to ideate and explore. I'll show examples of the avant-garde artworks on which these methods are based, talk about some of the pressures and changes in the field. We'll also look to reconnect these methods to their historical contexts, as well as examining them in light of theories of creativity.

posted by ryan griffis  # 3:07 PM
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