seminar – jean boyd

Jean Piaget

(1896 – 1980) was employed at the Binet Institute in the 1920s, where his job was to develop French versions of questions on English intelligence tests.

He became intrigued with the reasons children gave for their wrong answers on the questions that required logical thinking. He believed that these incorrect answers revealed important differences between the thinking of adults and children.

Piaget was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development. His contributions include a theory of cognitive child development, detailed observational studies of cognition in children, and a series of simple but ingenious tests to reveal different cognitive abilities.

Before Piaget’s work, the common assumption in psychology was that children are merely less competent thinkers than adults. Piaget showed that young children think in strikingly different ways compared to adults. According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based.


Piaget’s Theory Differs From Others In Several Ways:

o It is concerned with children, rather than all learners.

o It focuses on development, rather than learning per se, so it does not address learning of information or specific behaviors.

o It proposes discrete stages of development, marked by qualitative differences, rather than a gradual increase in number and complexity of behaviors, concepts, ideas, etc.

The goal of the theory is to explain the mechanisms and processes by which the infant, and then the child, develops into an individual who can reason and think using hypotheses.

To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and enviromental experience. Children construct an understanding of the world around them, then experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment.

There Are Three Basic Components To Piaget’s Cognitive Theory:

(building blocks of knowledge)

  • sensorimotor,
  • preoperational,
  • concrete operational,
  • formal operational

Victorian images – post mortem – portraits

info and text from

For anyone who has personally lost children, it’s hard to imagine taking a picture of the dead. Taking photographs at a funeral is one thing, as many times this is the only chance one will get to see relatives who live very far away.

We take our digital and technological era for granted. Everything is instantly gratifying and with this comes wastefulness and materialism.

In the Victorian era, there was little in the way of instant gratification and anything desired took months or years to labor for. In the early part of the 1800s, photography was just in it’s infancy. Memories could finally last forever (or so it seemed) outside one’s mind or imagination. However, despite this great technological breakthrough, infant mortality was still very high as the world of medicine and vaccines had not caught up yet.

 mournful loved ones preserving the memories of those who fell victim to common diseases, many of which have now been all but eradicated thanks to modern medicine and vaccinations.

There was nothing odd or disgusting about this practice. In fact, it was practical and understandable when one considered the odds that were stacked against those who lived at this time in history. Most people then couldn’t afford modern funerals, so the dead had to be quickly buried, preventing family from far away from being able to arrive in a timely manner. There weren’t cars or planes to quickly move people around, remember.

Once only affordable to the very rich and elite, photography became less expensive and thus attainable for the middle classes towards the end of the 1800s. Note: this was just over a hundred years ago; now we have digital photos and YouTube.

The deceased person would be arranged in their natural setting. If they were a carpenter, they would be placed in a woodshed; if they were a priest (as seen above), in a church; a baby would be positioned in a nursery. The body would be posed along with other family members as if all was normal and well.

These pictures took a long time to develop or print and, of course, it wasn’t cheap. The first photographs appeared on tin, then later cardboard. The photos were easily damaged by the elements or finger smudges. There wasn’t useful, working knowledge of how to preserve these heirlooms.

Often such memento mori were the only picture of the person ever taken. Rarely were coffins shown in the pictures because the idea was to make the person look alive – only sleeping or lost in thought.

In fact, so desirable was it to make the person look as though they were living alive that, later on in history, the deceased person had their eyes propped open, or the picture was manipulated to make the deceased’s face look rosy.

Incredibly, they would often keep the body of an infant and, once it was mummified, they would dress the baby’s body and keep it as a memento. It was the equivalent of the modern day taxidermy of a treasured pet.

The very wealthy – who didn’t have T.V.s or radios to entertain themselves, remember – would dress up in odd garb and pose in theatrical settings for entertainment. As suggested, photography in this era was still mainly used for keeping the deceased loved one’s memories alive.

Eventually, technology allowed for multiple copies of the same print to be enjoyed by relatives. This was close to the turn of the 20th century. Post-mortem photography is still practiced by Eastern Catholics, Oriental (Eastern) Christians, and many non-religious people in Eastern Europe

Now, with the likes of the legendary Enrique Metinides, whose post-mortem photographs you can see here, the view of the dead is much more graphic and realistic. No longer are the faces of the dead rosy and the eyes propped open. No longer are the dead leaned up against flowers and made beautiful. This is perhaps because now photography is commonplace and no longer marveled at. Our society has felt the need to take photography to the next level and exploit the fragility of mankind.

Memento mori” is Latin for “Remember you will die.” How can we forget this elementary concept with images like these? We all deal with death differently, based on our past experiences, our culture, our upbringing, and our faith. It is truly fascinating how each era in history reveals how humanity dealt with its own mortality. One wonders what future generations will think of the way we in the present day mourned our dead?

Loretta Lux –

Loretta Lux (born 1969) was born in Dresden, East Germany and is a fine art photographer known for her surreal portraits of young children. She currently lives and works in Monaco.

Lux graduated from the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich in the 1990s, and debuted at the Yossi Milo gallery, New York in 2004. The show put both Yossi Milo and Loretta Lux on the map, selling out and setting prices never before seen from a new gallery.

In 2005, Lux received the Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography. Her work has since been exhibited extensively abroad, including solo exhibitions in 2006 at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands, and the Sixth Moscow Photobiennale. Her work is included in numerous museums collections worldwide, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Fotomuseum, den Haag; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, and National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan. She has had portfolios featured in numerous fine art magazines.

The artist executes her compositions using a combination of photography, painting and digital manipulation. Lux’s work usually features young children and is influenced by a variety of sources. She originally trained as a painter at Munich Academy of Art, and is influenced by painters such as Agnolo Bronzino, Diego Velázquez, Phillip Otto Runge. Lux also owes a debt to the famous Victorian photographic portraitists of childhood such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Lewis Carroll.


Grizzly man

Bill Viola – I do not know what it is I’m like  – dvd

lev manovich – database as symbolic form

Lev Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (released under CC license, 2008), Soft Cinema: Navigating the Database (The MIT Press, 2005), and The Language of New Media (The MIT Press, 2001) which is described as “the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan.” Manovich is a Professor in Visual Arts Department, University of California -San Diego, a Director of the Software Studies Initiative at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2), and a Professor at European Graduate School (EGS). Manovich has been working with computer media as am artist, computer animator, designer, and educator since 1984. In 2007 Manovich founded Software Studies Initiative – the first digital humanities lab focusing on exploring massive visual data sets.


VCO444 – work is trhe dissertation

process/variations – many themes/outputs – then edit

Analysing Visual Comms from Contextual Arenas

  • Art practice – experimental thinking, avant garde – asked to shift ‘viewing position’ –
  • Active viewing – awareness of materials – reconsider spectators ‘view’/positions on themes –
  • DESIGN – relation to ‘material world’ – space of media ? new media ? ever evolving… the ‘space’ around us ?
  • objects, surfaces, environments – how we understand them? – arena of  ‘public spaces’
  • design – shape experience of space – objects around us – internet of ‘things’
  • ‘pro-sumers’ – produce/consume
  • data haunting us – blurring commodity and servive
  • space – memory – community memory

typo-berlin – sustain

Back to the future: Sustain

For decades, design has been looking for something new, for something different – often at the expense of resources and global justice. Many companies have already had to learn things the hard way, because they ignored contemporary social values. Others have learned from the crisis and take social and ecological matters into consideration in their business strategies. Discover at TYPO Berlin 2012 sustain the long-living and the constant in design!

  • DESIGN – investing something into humanity
  • providing spaces/oppertunities for design
  • lev manovich – interactive art/media –
  • ‘creative’ choices are pre-selected? – by logic of database
  • the CITY – information surfaces ?

marcel broodthaers

department of eagles – 1968 – MOMA

This kind of art isn’t that new. Marcel Broodthaers created, the Museum of Modern Art’s “Department of Eagles”: an elusive exhibition from 1968 to 1971 of found objects with eagles on them and eagle-related art that he made, though the exhibition was really about appropriating the language and structures of museums and authorities, using the eagle, a symbol of power, as a metaphor. – ref

OBJECTS – susan hiller


Mark Dion

Richard Wentworth

“Richard Wentworth was born in 1947 in Samoa. He attended Hornsey College of Art from 1965 and worked with Henry Moore as an assistant in 1967. He was awarded an MA in 1970 from the Royal College of Art and went on to become one of the most influential teachers in British art over past two decades at Goldsmith’s College, University of London, where he taught from 1971 to 1987. He was appointed by the prestigious German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) to work in Berlin from 1993 to 1994, and in 2002 was made Master of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University.

Wentworth emerged as a major British sculptor in the early 1980s. His work centres on the idea of transformation, of subtly altering and juxtaposing everyday objects which, in turn, fundamentally changes the way we perceive the world around us. His palette is one of ladders and lightbulbs, buckets and tins, tables and chairs, sometimes with legs partly sawn off and counterbalanced by a weight as if to defy gravity. In his ongoing series, Making Do and Getting By, Wentworth also uses photography as a means of documenting what might be called ‘the sculpture of the everyday’: a cigarette packet jammed under a wonky table leg; a makeshift construction to reserve parking space; a bucket jammed on to the side of a dented car so that the headlight can still operate. ‘I live in a ready-made landscape’, he remarked early in his career, ‘and I want to put it to use’.

He was one of the selected artists in the London section of the 2002 São Paulo Biennial and in 1999 curated ‘Thinking Aloud’, one of the most creative contemporary exhibition projects staged in the past five years and which was seen in Cambridge, London and Manchester.”

written by Cass Sculpture foundation


fichli and weiss

  • visible world –
    • material world – internet images of ‘world’
    • but cannot categorise everything – it is whats NOT there that is more interesting !

Detail of Visible World (1986-2001), set of 15 light tables with 3000 photographic slides, 83 x 2805 x 69 cm.

the ways things go  – [honda remade it]

the virtual shapes the physical – ??

Lawrence Weiner – as far as the eye can see – manhole cover

‘art is catalyst for socail / political change’

jeremy deller –

narrative/re-anactment/ minors strike etc

jeremy deller battle of orgreave

iraqi car –

car and soldier taken on tour of US to encourage debate

in ‘gallery’ – inanimate, ‘on tour’ – animate

Red Saunders

the leveller women ‘level social class’

‘faith in the artwork ‘ – to encompass all narrative


Tom Hunter

~ by mrtbrown on August 21, 2012.

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