The Politics of Pangea

The Super-Continent Pangaea that Existed 300 Million Years Ago, but with Modern National Borders. What Political Issues Would this Make? In these circumstances, The USA would have land borders with Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and Cuba. Brazil would be neighbours with a number of African nations and Antarctica and India would enjoy the same climate.

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain

Coming from the world of outdoor and experiential learning and then the arts and the arts therapies, it seems clear that we think with our bodies as well as our brains. Dancers and climbers both do this. As do joiners and sculptors, painters and decorators and artists. Art as research or art a way of exploring and expressing personal experience connects directly to embodied cognition, but the output of exploration or research is art and experience. If we are seeking models for understanding art making experiences and or outdoor experiences, embodied cognition is a kind of conduit to shift ideas from one context to another.

A Sense of Direction – BBC Radio 4

Very interesting radio show, particularly for any outdoor educators. It explores animal and human ability to sense direction and evidence of magnetic sensitivity in the brains of animals and whether it is present in humans. Our brain can sense magnetic fields but this is reduced by radio signals. Whether this sensitivity allows some people to sense north is not yet proven. But anecdotal evidence suggests that they are but only in times of physical stress, ie when the cognitive function is compromised by fatigue or stress. This could be interesting to people doing extreme sports, or undergoing rigorous activity needing a sense of direction ie lost on an expedition. It also confirms that when lost we walk in circles.

Shoshana Zuboff on Surveillance Capitalism

Ai Weiwei (untitled)

Outdoor experiences are an antidote to the web. The way online worlds creep into our offline worlds is worthy of examination. This is a theme I want to come to a lot and it drives some of my outdoor art making. I like that, by and large, if you leave your device behind, and navigate with a map and compass, you are invisible to the inernet. The art you make with marks on paper or canvas is invisible to the internet. The outdoors is the analogue world our ancestors evolved in. There is a lot of stuff about Shoshana Zuboff out there but at 50 minutes this is neither too long nor too short and is visually interesting, better than watching her lecture. The other really good person on this is artist and journalist James Bridle.

Dresden – 75 years on

A very interesting episode of this excellent radio show on BBC Radio 4. Touches on how geography, namely East Germany before the wall came down, still influences German politics today. Also bits about the idea of transnational nationalism (ie fascism in cyberspace) is a result of this history. Good stuff about art and how it also becomes politicised, for good or ill. Lots of resonance with current rise in populism and what is happening to art in Poland under a populist government. (see my Flipboard magazine for more on this.)

What It Actually Means to Be Creative

"The ancient Greeks were so mystified by creativity that they attributed it to a series of goddesses: the muses. Calliope inspired poetry, while Melpomene and Thalia were responsible for tragedy and comedy." An article from Artsy.net Read More...