237.130 Week 5 TASK 1 – Video Presentation Response

This is in response to ‘The power to tell the difference: Visual literacy in a visual age’, TED Talk by Don Levy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f09ybYDJoSE

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Claude Monet. Impression: Sun Rising, 1872. Oil on canvas, 48 x 63cm

In Levy’s talk he mentioned the way that imagery can blur the line between fact and fiction: “The more convincing the imagery, the gap between fact and fiction blurs”. In terms of Monet, and the Mirzoeff reading, Impression: Sun Rising could easily be shown to blur the gap between fact in fiction in terms of the anesthetic: In beautifying the pollution, Monet blurred the reality of what people perceived as good and bad. The facts (that pollution harmed the environment and people) were blurred by the perceived beauty of the image.

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237.130 A1 Week 3 TASK 2- Reading Response

This is a response to “Critical Thinking.” Beginning University: Thinking, Researching and Writing for Success, by Andrew Wallace, Tony Schirato, and Phillippa Bright. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1999. 45-61. Print.

Personal Response

I think the points the authors make about critical thinking and about university itself are really key to remember when you’re in the situation. Often, I find myself wondering what the point of this whole paper is, but I guess it’s all about critical thinking, and stimulating different ways of seeing, thinking, and making judgements. It’s easy to just get lost in the task and just read it, then write about it without really taking a second to think about the greater context and importance of what you’re analysing or thinking critically about why you are doing it. But critical thinking and lateral thinking allows us to broaden our options and think of different ways of doing things, and that will always be an extremely necessary tool in art making.

The Authors’ Voice

The authors’ voice in this passage is quite different to most of the other readings in that it has a much more formal, academic tone. It makes use of specific vocabulary that gives the writing credibility and formality, and the sentences are well structured. For example, the sentence, “Knowledge and behaviour tends to be organised in ways appropriate to some dominant paradigm.” (Wallace, Schirato, Bright 48). It sounds academic, and it sounds knowledgable. The authors also make use of the pronouns ‘you’, and ‘we’, and reference the the audience and themselves as apart of the same group. It allows the piece to be relatable while still holding a formal tone, and almost giving advice. I think this piece was well written, it wasn’t difficult but it challenged me to think about what I was reading, and analyse what the authors may mean. I think it gives a lot of insight into the purpose of this paper, and also a reminder to always be thinking broader, and trying to challenge myself.

237.130 A1 Week 1 TASK 4- Reading Response

This is a personal response to Sheraleigh Walker’s “Chapter Seven: Conclusion. Notes to myself: Writing from the gut”. Kia tau the Rangimarie: Kaupapa Maori theory as a resistance against the construction of Maori as other. Auckland University: Unpublished Masters thesis (excerpt), 1996. 153-154. Print.

The author says in the opening statement, “I struggle to retain my Kaupapa in a predominantly Pakeha institution” (Walker 153). What the author is trying to say is that within the institution of her university, she finds it hard to retain her purpose as a Maori student when the thinking systems of academia focus on Pakeha ways of learning and thinking. She calls this a, “mono-cultural education system in Aotearoa” (Walker 153). She goes on to say “I struggle to write essays and a thesis when I would rather be standing in a wharehui engaging my korero with listeners, to ‘whai te korero’.” (Walker 153). The author here is saying that in having to write and theorise her thoughts and practice, she begins to lose her Kaupapa. She feels this struggle is one of all Maori children within this system, who often do not get to engage with learning in a way that respects how they would like to learn. As a Maori person she would rather be able to speak to her audience and engage with them. She feels the audience who is engaged by writing her thesis is the Pakeha audience and that in writing, the people she wants to listen, Maori, will not be able to engage.

When I read this excerpt I feel anger, and disappointment from the author. I can feel she identifies strongly with Maoridom and although she is seen by other people as a successful academic, I think she feels that this success doesn’t align with who she wants to be. I think she is angry that there is no space within academia for real Maori purpose, and that instead it is constantly being objectified. Her piece talks in first person; Me, I, but Walker makes it clear that she speaks on behalf of Maori, on behalf of her whanau, through herself. She feels strongly about this topic. I found that once I got the definitions of a couple of the Maori phrases, I found it easy to follow, seeing her ideas clearly.  I am a person of Maori descent, and although I have never identified strongly with Maoridom and the typical practices associated with that, I feel the authors view on the issue is an important and valid one. I think that different ways of learning and presenting, and also seeing the world are important to retain within the education system, and I hope she gets to change the world.

237.130 A1 Week 1 TASK 3 – Reading Response

This is a personal response to the reading of Nicholas Mirzoeff’s “Introduction” to How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 1-11.

What I found most interesting within this introduction was Mirzoeff’s talk about the Blue Marble:

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The Blue Marble. Captured by NASA from Apollo 17. 1972.

He starts by stating the fact that The Blue Marble is, “the most reproduced photo ever” (Mirzoeff 3). That’s a massive thing, and you immediately have to think, Why? What about this photo made its impact on society so great? I think often humans take for granted that they live in a bubble, within their own circle of people going about their lives, and to be shown that they are apart of this “blue marble” with every other person on the planet is something to behold. As Mirzoeff put it, it, “show[ed] that the world was a single unified place” (Mirzoeff 4). I think there is also something humbling and awe-inspiring about being able to see ourselves as a tiny part of this beautiful, endless universe. As a photography student as well,  I immediately thought about the ability of a photograph to move people. Mirzoeff goes on to say that with the arrival of social media and the internet, there has been an explosion of visual information; “Every two minutes, Americans alone take more photographs than were made in the entire nineteenth century.” (Mirzoeff 6). This says to me that photographs and visual information is the most eloquent way of expressing a thought, information, memory, or anything else, and that is only being proven more in the digital age.