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jerryking : noticing   4

Opinion | Can We Slow Down Time in the Age of TikTok?
Aug. 31, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jenny Odell. Ms. Odell is a writer and artist.

"I can’t give my students more time. But I try to change the way they think about and value it."

Ms. Odell, a writer and artist at Stanford, wishes her students would slow down, be allowed to focus on one thing--particularly in an era where "Time is precious; time is money". Students spend their time responding to their phones and to social media which is a drawback to their capacity to concentrate......The attention economy demands not just consumption but also the production and upkeep of a marketable self. The work of self-promotion fills every spare moment. In the age of the personal brand, when you might be posting not just for friends but potential employers, there’s no such thing as free time.....Odell's students includes many who aren’t art majors, some of whom may never have made art before. She gives them the same advice every quarter: Leave yourself twice as much time as you think you need for a project, knowing that half of that may not look like “making” anything at all. There is no Soylent version of thought and reflection — creativity is unpredictable, and it simply takes time. .....When Odell is bird watching (a favorite pastime that is, strictly speaking, “unproductive,”), she's noticed that her perception of time slows down. All of her attention is collected into a single focal point, kept there by fascination and genuine, almost unaccountable interest. This is the experience of learning that she want for her students — that she wants for everyone, actually — but it’s a fragile state. It requires maintenance.........That’s why she's built time into her classes for students to sit or wander outside, observing something specific — for example, how people interact with their devices. She takes one of her classes on a hike, using the app iNaturalist to identify plants and animals. Students don’t just need to be brought into contact with new ideas, they also need the time for sustained inquiry, a kind of time outside of time where neither they nor their work is immediately held to the standards of productivity......Odell wants people to make work that is *deliberately useless* in a way that pokes at prevailing notions of usefulness. Art seeks not to resolve or produce, but remains (and, indeed, luxuriates) in the realm of questioning......the attention economy makes time feel contracted into an endless and urgent present. A simple awareness of history can help cultivate a different sense of time.......reading history about the past trials and successes of activism, or taking historical walking tours of a city can counter feelings of despair and distraction.....Taking a longer view can help to stop feelings of being an unmoored producer of work and reaction and all you to see yourself as an actors grounded in real, historical time. This, just as much as the capacity to follow one’s own curiosity at length, might be the best way to fortify yourself against the forces that splinter our attention.....If we want students to be thinkers, then we need to give them time to think....Let's all agree: to just slow down.
advice  art  attention_economy  buffering  Colleges_&_Universities  creativity  focus  idleness  mindfulness  monotasking  noticing  op-ed  personal_branding  reflections  self-promotion  slack_time  Slow_Movement  students  sustained_inquiry  thinking  timeouts 
september 2019 by jerryking
Creative summer: visiting an art gallery
AUGUST 19, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Viewing John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, an exhibition of artworks and objects from Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George — a charity founded by the English polymath, which he endowed with a tiny museum intended for what the exhibition guide calls “the iron workers of Sheffield”. ....Ruskin, who wrote about 9m words in his lifetime and was variously an art critic, artist, social commentator, polemicist, philanthropist and thoroughly eminent Victorian (he died in 1900), has left one of the most creative legacies that most of us will ever encounter. What can he teach us about creativity at work?....the guide talks about the artist’s ideas about the ways in which we see the world around us — and how we can learn to see more clearly, and in more detail. ...Ruskin believed that in order to properly observe, one had to draw what one is seeing — not something we could do in the gallery, but it suggests a different way of engaging with the world around us for some of the people on the team. “Ruskin was a great joiner of the dots, and showing that everything is connected,”........the surprising ways in which we can make connections — suddenly seems to be one of the most important ways in which we can be more creative in a workplace focused on being “agile” and “collaborative”. We tend to think in well-defined ways, with longstanding colleagues whose reactions we can often guess in advance.....the importance of just . . . noticing. Of finding beauty and interest in a wide range of things, just for the sake of it, and allowing thoughts to drift about.....The simple act of looking at beautiful things, the sort of activity Ruskin would have considered a good in itself, is a way of taking time out to be reflective.
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Rob |Aug 20, 2019.

I’m on board with the thrust of the article. I’m fortunate (although it doesn’t often feel that way) to work for an artist. This has given me access to yet more artists and regular recommendations for exhibitions.

Two recent examples are ‘Beyond the Streets’, an exploration of graffiti and it’s genesis in Brooklyn, and ‘Visions of the Self’ at Gagosian in London — both were mind-bending-ly good; both were outside my usual interests and I wouldn’t have attended unless pushed.

I really don’t know anything about graffiti or Rembrandt. However, visiting an exhibition with a knowledgeable friend, provided they aren’t particularly overbearing, is a delightful experience that, to my own surprise, leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and creatively invigorated. (Anecdotally. I haven’t done an RCT to assess the impact on my work...)

The upshot: provided they’re well assembled, almost any exhibition can provide relaxation and stimulation in equal measure.
art  art_galleries  attention  connecting_the_dots  creative_renewal  creativity  focus  mindfulness  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  reflections  serendipity  think_differently 
august 2019 by jerryking
You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be
July 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

I called up Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.” In his book, Mr. Walker writes: “To stay eager, to connect, to find interest in the everyday, to notice what everybody else overlooks — these are vital skills and noble goals. They speak between looking and seeing, between hearing and listening, between accepting what the world presents and noticing what matters to you.”.... it’s just about trying to carve out and give yourself permission to have this time where you’re tuning into things, listening to your own curiosity and seeing where that leads you,”......Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

Remember: It’s looking vs. seeing. Hearing vs. listening. Accepting what the world presents vs. noticing what matters to you.

“There’s nothing more important than the stuff you notice that no one else does,” Mr. Walker said. “That’s where every single innovation begins; that’s where all creativity begins. It’s honoring what you notice, what you tune into and what you care about.”
attention  books  focus  listening  mindfulness  overstimulation  pay_attention  noticing  Slow_Movement 
july 2019 by jerryking
Center for the Future of Museums: Painting in Blue
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Painting in Blue

Often, I must repeat what I do for a living. You teach police about art? Not exactly. I teach them to improve their observation and communication skills by learning to analyze works of art. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs have proven to be transformative tools in professional training programs for authorities in law enforcement, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Agencies from around the country and around the world are turning to museum collections to bolster their efforts to combat crime, terrorism, and unrest in our increasingly threatened and complex world....The US spends about $15B each year to train doctors, and over $100B per year to train and maintain police forces. Shouldn’t museums, drawing a direct line from their resources to improved outcomes for these and other critical social needs, be included in that support? ..... In 2001, as Head of Education at The Frick Collection, I instituted a program for medical students, The Art of Perception. Based on a model program at the Yale Center for British Art, the course took medical students from the clinical setting into an art museum to teach them to analyze works of art—big picture and small details—and articulate their observations. When they returned to the hospital, they would, we reasoned, be better observers of their patients. (You can find an assessment of the program in Bardes, Gillers, and Herman, “Learning to Look: Developing Clinical Observational Skills in an Art Museum, Medical Education, vol 35,no.12, pp.1157-1161.) Humanities in medical training has a strong historical precedent and this program underscored the value of critical thinking and visual analysis in the disciplines of both medicine and art history.
art  art_galleries  Communicating_&_Connecting  creativity  critical_thinking  empathy  historical_precedents  inferences  law_enforcement  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  perception  policing  the_big_picture  training_programs  visual_analysis  visual_cues 
december 2016 by jerryking

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