Visualization and Intelligence

-Questions to address:

  • what if television, video games, and surfing the web is good for you?
  • Answer: Youtube, Facebook, Grand Theft Auto, World or Warcraft, The Bachelor. Digital, visual stimuli is everywhere, and people will continue to gorge upon the vivid and pictorially focused fruits of the digital era. We have to obey the times. I think the prejudices against actively using the digital age as a foundational tool stem from a lack of honesty within the education system…Tradition is a terrible thing… There is denial that visualization and intellegence can weave together and be generative in a useful way because its deemed as new territory. Wrong. Pictures have been with us forever and have such immense potential to influence us just for that reason. To become well-versed in digital life is to bring yourself out of a place that is quickly becoming stale.
  • what if exercising the modes of cognition demanded by visually sophisticated video game and web environments could actually increase your intelligence?
    Intellegence isn’t static, so this seems like a more than likely evolution of education and thought. If we’re basing our lives on the digital, to be at ease in the realm of it would make your more savvy..

Ulric Neisser and James Flynn:

-we’re not getting sillier from digesting all these visual information. the Flynn Effect notes that IQ test scores have been increasing steadily since it was first issued.

-some possible explanations for this increase:

  • children attend school longer now and have become more familiar with the testing of school-related material. (unsatisfactory b/c the increase in scores is mainly due to improvements in non-academic areas.
  • nutrition and child-rearing practices.
  • change in cognitive environment: increase in exposure to various types of visual media.

Have more visual stimuli than ever before and are now more capable of analysing them quickly and accurately. eg. See patterns, recognize things based on font, reflexes (video games), focus. (visual analysis is perhaps one of the most active modes of cognition.)

another example:

more examples at:

-as an exercise, we can give couple examples and time how long it takes people to answer them. then ask them how the visual representation of the puzzle actually help them solve the puzzle quicker. ask for possible explanations of why these kinds of pattern recognition come so quickly to us now. (hopefully people might say stuff like “did something like this before”, “accustomed to seeing tables or matrices”..etc)

Also means we learn from visuals better than we used to and can make connections (pattern rec.) that fewer could before. Better at interpreting situations? More capable of visualizing outcomes than before?



Hypericonomy: Economy of Hypericons
Using images to shape perception of the viewing the world within a perscribed hypericon and beyond.
Using pattern recognition across different mediums to conjure up an “aha” moment – a moment of invention with generative potential.

The parts of a hypericonomy:

1. Personal – “Primal Scene” – Something in your life which causes you internal conflict or cognitive dissonance

2. History – A historical moment, which may embody notions about class, race, social issues

3. Discipline – A realm of study, a philosophy or guiding educational theme

4. Pop Culture – A current, trendy token, such as a catch phrase from a song or a brand logo, something on the move

These are just what he chose to have us do for one. It’s more about pattern recognition between hypericons (images with multiple interpretations) —

The point is to have each of these topics outlined individually before pursing the unified hypericonomic goal — the active search to weave each parts of the hypericonomy togther after establishing each part of it in segments is crucial to the invention process — it allows more room for creativity and boundless potential.


William Blake:
-similar to Magritte’s pipe image, blake’s work can be seen as a hypericon, which is an image that encapsulates an ambivalence of imagetext, an coexistence of opposing attitudes towards the subject

eg. the nurse’s songs example

An Island in the Moon, like many other satirical texts, from Gulliver’s Travels to Animal Farm, works on a variety of levels, at least some of which can be appreciated by children. This concern for couching political and cultural critique in a form suitable for both children and adults is yet one more reason why Blake may have chosen to write children’s books.” (page 55)

Digitization in the Age of Blake

Against Remism. Dislikes the binarism/catagorization of everything b/c it’s dehumanizing and separates form from content. Lacks originality and creativity. Internalizes knowledge and doesn’t apply it.

Ramism – Presentation Topic

Information overload leads to a discourse on methods of logical organization. One being the method of Ramism.

Definition: Imitation and reason, conservative view towards media/delivery of content, staying with the printed form, emphasis on organization and classification based on the idea of topical logic, awareness of spatial layout

-involves placing things things under proper headings. eg the powerpoint slides we’re presenting right now are categorized under different headings.

“What’s important here is that these texts document a shift from strictly mnemonic, internalized practices to methodologies that are reliant upon the external spatialization of thought.” (page 48)

Education on logic:
-Thomas Wilson’s “The Rule of Reason” (1553)
-Thomas Murner’s “Chartilumdium logice” or logical card game. attempts to translate a pictorial logic from the virtual space of memory to the hard, material space of a textbook.
-short-lived because of Ramus’ logical method

Arbitrary mnemonic devices had to be discarded from Ramus’s tables of dichotomies, which he claimed were based on ‘the order found within things themselves,’ and thus were to be considered as ‘the truest possible representations’ of reality (Ong 1958: 194).”

Images: table of dichotomies

Contrast to Ramism: Murner, who did flashcards

  • Murner is more external spatialization and application –> “What makes Murner’s work short-lived is that it met its greatest foa in Peter Ramus, whose logical method could be applied not only to pedagogy, but also to the growing print materiality of books.”
  • Ramus was logic and catagorization. Big on regurgitation of knowledge rather than producing it

Exercise – Presentation

removing the words from a cartoon panel exercise

Gary Larson

Esao Andrew’s paintings


Residing in the US, he’s one of my favourite comtemporary artist.

With  respect to the mentioning of imagetext or hypericons that embodies the coexistence of two opposing meanings, I realized that paintings and their titles often try to achieve similar type of ambivalence.

This is particularly common in Esao Andrew’s paintings. Look at the following examples, and note the title of each piece.

Esao Andrews

"Letting Go" 19"x23" by Esao Andrews

Other Half of Letting Go   7x8.5 by Esao Andrews

"Other Half of Letting Go" 7"x8.5" by Esao Andrews


Okay, did I leave class early yesterday night? I’m really sorry if I did.

Those are really great celebrity gossip sites. I’m really into celebrity gossip right now.  It’s pretty addictive, very consuming. I’ve been up all night reading rubbish. Really. I’ve not slept.


Since I did leave class early … which I’m sure I did because that’s when we figured out what we are presenting on….

I’m REALLY sorry. I’m an idiot, I just …. *groan*

Group Presentation Date and Meetings

Our presentation date is: Thursday, January 29

We are presenting on: E-crit, chapters 3 and 4

We are meeting:

  • Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

at the weird hexagonal staircase in the PAS building (Tuesday) and the couches by Turnkey in the SLC (Wednesday).

Tyger Exercise

A 5-minute remake of William Blake’s Tyger

by Winniefred

by Winniefred

Is a Banana Art?

So last week during class the prof briefly mentioned avant-garde art.

Here is an interesting experiement by Michael Fernandes.


From Globe and Mail

HALIFAX — Is a banana art?

A passerby walking along Granville Street in Halifax might now have reason to think so. Because in the window at Gallery Page and Strange sits a humble banana.

At first glance, it appears to be a forgotten part of someone’s lunch. Perhaps set aside because it’s still a bit green and not really ready to eat. But on closer look the passerby will notice a tag alongside the piece of fruit. The artist is identified as Michael Fernandes. The work is called Banana. The price is $2,500.

And there’s a blue sticker, indicating that a buyer has put a hold on this work.

It’s a gutsy move, even for a recognized experimental artist, one that has sparked public bemusement, a guerrilla raid by the so-called Patrick Swayze Collective and the anger of some local students who claim the project has trivialized art.

“Collectors are contacting us, they’ve seen the picture on our website and they’re asking us what medium he’s using,” gallery co-owner Victoria Page said. “And I say, ‘It’s a banana, you understand that it’s a banana.’ ” The window sill was chosen as a place where the public and private spheres meet and, since the middle of June, Fernandes has been exchanging the banana almost daily. Each time he uses a slightly greener banana to gradually reverse the ripening process.

“I’m taking it back to green, before green it doesn’t exist,” said the 64-year-old native of Trinidad, who lived near banana trees before immigrating to Canada in his teens. “The banana is temporal. We are also temporal, but we live as if we are not.”

But the work is not actually the banana, Fernandes explained in an interview. The process is what’s important. He’s hoping to mount a similar project for the Beijing Olympics, using a blood orange.

The buyer should not be expecting a superlative piece of fruit in return for $2,500. The bananas Fernandes is using for the display are ordinary, purchased from local supermarkets. Indeed, most days the artist eats the banana he has replaced. Instead, the buyer will be paying for the concept and will receive photos documenting the project. The buyer may also get press clippings or credit as patron if the project is staged again.

No tangible piece of art will trade hands.

“It’s not the banana. Yes, anybody could give you a banana,” said Fernandes, who is staging the exhibition without public funding.

“One of the [potential] clients wanted to know if I could come to her condominium and install the 21 days of bananas. I said ‘No, no, there is not a banana for sale,’ ” he added, acknowledging: “Her friends think she’s crazy.”

The most he can offer a buyer is the final banana, which will be installed at the gallery Friday and will be put on display in the completely unripe state the industry describes as “uniform green.”

“Maybe you could shellac it,” ventured Page, who said that the artist initially wanted to make a statement by offering the piece at $15,000. Gallery staff believed it would actually sell if priced more reasonably, though, so they settled on $2,500 to keep it in line with other work for sale at the gallery.

Two people have put a hold on the piece, Page said. There has also been a surge of public attention, she added, not all of it positive.

“Some people are really angry about the banana. Especially some [art] students who feel it’s poking fun at art, [and say] ‘How can anyone take this seriously?’ ” They’re not the only ones uncertain how to react. The gallery’s insurer refused to cover the piece, Fernandes and Page said, and one of the bananas was stolen not long after the exhibition started.

Last month, shortly before closing time, Page’s business partner Victoria Strange was distracted while a mysterious group swapped the banana for an apple. The thieves left a note scrawled on a napkin, calling bananas “the most radioactive fruit on earth.”

The thieves identified themselves as “The Patrick Swayze Collective” and claimed, “We exist. We definitely exist.”