Week Ten Response

I’d Just like to respond to the three things we did in class.

First, Rachel Mayeri’s work with the primate cinema struck me in two ways. For one, the juxtaposition with the humans in the bar made me think a bit about how primal a lot of human interactions really are, and it was really fun and educational to see them side-by-side. I really loved how they took an un-scientific approach to it as well. Yes, doing things for science could yield some factual results that could be used in some way or another, but as just a science experiment it wouldn’t have been the same experience. The let’s see what happens when we go for this approach is so much more fun, for one, and allowed for some amazing footage of an experiences with the ape audience experiencing the humans acting as apes, and their reactions to it. We wouldn’t have been able to experience anything like that if someone like Mayeri hadn’t gotten creative with it, and we certainly wouldn’t just be viewing more traditional experiments on apes in a vis arts class. Overall I felt really enlightened and learned a bit more about ape interaction, and I think they must have gotten a kick out of seeing a bunch of humans dress up as apes.

Onto Adam Burgasser’s movement/gesture approach to learning physics. Similarly to the ape situation, where we learned more about ape interactions but through art, this activity was so much richer than just viewing a powerpoint or reading about the physics that we did in a text book. Being a part of something and witnessing the gesture that you created populate around the room in a matter of seconds was so cool, and a way better example than some numbers in a book. I also loved how we worked collaboratively on the last thing to create two sculptures, that not only taught us, but embodied our learning experience (and subjugation!) in a physical form. Yes, some people learn better by reading, but I love hands on activities so much more, so this was a great experience and would love to learn more this way.

Lastly, Deborah Forster’s activity was so eye opening (if we had eyes inside our body that could look inwardly and what it was experiencing) for me. Ever since, I’ve been more aware of what I’m doing with my body, and I want to do more of these activities. I went into lecture feeling groggy and unlikely, but during the break after the activity I felt better than I had all week. I have just been thinking about how repetitive my movements are every day, and I want to look more into the Feldenkrais method and maybe include it in my life somehow…

Also I think this is our last blog post, maybe? If so, it was a pleasure taking this class with you all and reading your blog entries! See you on Tuesday and good luck with finals next week! 🙂

-Ben Breidenthal

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