The Price

A history permanently erased is not enough to question who I am, for who I am is more than my history. However my history does play a role as to why I am here. And then there is the question to why am I here?  A question that will probably remain unanswered by the end of this post and time  itself. I had recently come into contact with two artist that had taught me to look at line and space in unimaginable ways. There is the literal sense of looking at space and line as they surround you. And then there is that of the imaginary lines and space in which we use to limit or extend ourselves.

My history connects to imaginary space and line as to explain that I’ve been taught as my parents before me have been taught to think in a particular manor. To never go outside the lines, and to go around such space. Growing up in America I have become spoiled yet hindered in the way that I think, and that is not to just blame the country. My hindrance is in part my own responsibility. But it does not become hard to blame another identity for your restraints. Especially when in part they hold some responsibility. The idea of America’s biggest mistake, slavery, being something to confront, gives us a power like no other. We are able to acknowledge at least out loud that the damaging and genocide of innocent people were and is wrong. But we later think after confronting such issues what do we do? After the struggle what is there? I find it hard to celebrate when the consequences are so severe. Trauma is lasting generations affecting our mental health and what are we to do? How do we move on when moving on doesn’t always feel right? 

As a first year student I am struggling to find out who I am as a person and what my purpose is, all I have come up with so far is uncertainty. I have tried to look into history to see that all that has been done, the fighting, and protesting, and the endurance of lost and discrimination are sacrifices that I am reaping the benefits of. There is a guilt of not paying that sacrifice the justice that it deserves. But I can assume that not knowing, and having that freedom to exercise uncertainty is to in a way pay such sacrifice a thank you. And to be welcoming to the idea that history however ugly and blotchy it may be, the acts of fighting and continuous fighting were made for such benefits and should be celebrated. While looking at the work of Steve Prince, particularly Urban Mix-tape I was able to see the in-clarity in our history as African Americans. But I was also able to see clearly what came out of such a dark error, and era. And I think in time, although it will prove difficult I will be able to see the beauty in it somewhere.

 

Image result for steve prince the artist the art work with the Dj

(Fertile Mind by Steve Prince)

Art and Discipline

Art and discipline are akin; these two branches of expression and practice

I could not use my original image, so I substituted this one.

work together in order to produce structure and allow the expression of an idea through that structure. Some may believe it obvious: art and discipline’s interdependence, but the two are often described as  completely different forms. The typical connotations associated with discipline and art are strict regulation and extremely liberal and raw expression with little form, respectively.

I was once aware of both the detachment and coalition of art and discipline, conscious that the two were related somehow,  but I was unaware of how different and how indifferent they were. I recognized that an artist needs practice to better their ability of expression through a medium, but I was not aware of the rules and absolute structure that stopped art from actually being “raw expression” with little form. Concepts like lighting, the horizon line, and perspective are essential parts of the foundation needed for the creation of a proper composition in an area like visual arts; artists follow these basic rule to connect their art and simultaneously explore the options and possibility surrounding these rules. Continue reading “Art and Discipline”

Recursion in Hollywood

The past few classes have sparked me to think about the concept of originality, particularly when it comes to Hollywood with films and television. Ask yourself- how many films or TV shows have you seen that are original ideas and were made in recent years? The answer probably isn’t many. Many of the things produced today are based off of other people’s stories. This can include other writers’ books, following similar plot lines of previous works, other people’s life experiences or are simply sequels or remakes to a successful film of the past. In the simplest terms there aren’t many original pieces of entertainment being produced today. Hollywood is trying to imitate what has worked in the past. Continue reading “Recursion in Hollywood”

Art versus Artifact

Having a double major in English Literature and Art History, I have noticed a clear lack of representation of African or African American art and literature unless it is being appropriated by European culture or being specifically studied strictly for the Blackness of the author or artist.  I have noticed that there is a definite separation between what many of us, as Westerners, consider to be art and what we consider to be artifacts.  I feel as though the course epigraph by Toni Morrison,  “Black literature is taught as sociology, as tolerance, not as a serious, rigorous art form,” truly appears to be true in European and American culture.  This realization has inspired me to set a goal for myself of trying to breakdown this concept and appreciate the art and literature rather than appropriating it into an assumption I make about intent.

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We Do Language

We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.– Toni Morrison

I think the reason Toni Morrison’s epigraph stands out to me so much is the oddness of the phrase “we do language.” The idea that we “do” language is really unusual to me, because I had always thought of language as something that surrounds us, that we are brought up inside of language. Maybe that’s a privilege that comes with growing up in a place where my first language (English) was the default language, where I was read to and encouraged to read. Language was something that existed all around me, not something that was done.

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Looking Back to Notice More

After class the first week, I looked over the courses epigraphs, pondering which lucky quote I would choose to open my blogs with. While reading them over, one in specific jumped out at me. I had spotted a small-scale recursion!   

In the quote, “My job is to notice…and to notice that you can notice,” Dionne Brand repeats the word “notice,” circulating a word three times to emphasize a theme.  Similar to how one topic can start a class and end a class, recursion can also occur in a single sentence.     Continue reading “Looking Back to Notice More”

My Future Classroom Awaits

To be honest, I really did not know what to expect coming into this class. I have never taken a class that focused this kind of context, however, I have already found my future teacher self very inspired. I am a junior English major striving for a certification in adolescent education. Within my education classes over the past two semesters we have spent much time discussing how to connect and engage students of many different backgrounds and cultures. I have concluded that it is important to include a wide range of curriculum that would attract a wide range of students and yesterdays in class activity only enhanced that understanding

After participating in the straddling activity, I found myself thinking about the activity in terms of education. This activity made it clear that every person has their own personal way of dealing with obstacles and struggles. When the activity was over, and we were all describing our experiences with the activity, no two people described the same experience. I found this very captivating due to the fact that the activity exhibits the diversity among all of us as humans and I think that idea is something teachers should always have in the back of their minds.

It has been empowering to me that so much of what we have already discussed within this class has already got me thinking about how I could apply it to my future classroom. Out of the course epigraphs one that has stood out to me was said by Dionne Brand and it states, “my job is to notice… and to notice that you can notice.” I found this epigraph very fitting when thinking about my future. I believe that every teacher should strive towards creating a safe and understanding environment that puts an emphasis on the importance of noticing, accepting, and implementing curriculum based around different cultures and backgrounds.

The Power of Sound

After reading through the syllabus and looking at the epigraphs provided. Toni Morrison’s epigraph “We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives” really stood out for me. Right away by reading this I thought about sounds and more specifically our voices. When I think of someone using their voice in a way that measures our lives, I think of people using their voices to make an impact on the world and using it in order to help other people. When I read this epigraph, I see it as there is more to life than just living. You will be known when you die and the way you want to be known is a powerful idea. Morrison is saying that our legacy lives on when we do something greater without lives by use your voice and make an impact. Continue reading “The Power of Sound”

Art Saves College Students’ Lives

During the Fall semester,  Professor McCoy passed out a flier for this class, The Art of Steve Prince. Even though I was interested in taking the course, especially a course that was so heavily driven with the focus on artwork, I didn’t have the time to fit it in my schedule. I was disappointed, however, I figured that there would be another opportunity to take a similar class in the future.

Things didn’t play out how I had wanted them to, so I found the time to take this class. I was thrilled to get into this class because I had not been able to find classes at Geneseo that are centered around art. The lack of art in my life has definitely hurt my soul a little.

When I think about the learning outcomes and the epigraph, I want to learn. They make me thirsty for more knowledge. My favorite type of learning is when I engage in a conversation with someone that studies a completely different set of skills than I do. I learn a lot of useless (but never really useless) information through conversations, which I usually remember and use at a later date.

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