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Artful Brain


From: Marvin Bartel (marvinpb_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Feb 24 2004 - 12:55:31 PST

Vilayanur S Ramachandran will be the keynote speaker at this years
NCECA (National Conference on Education in the Ceramic Arts)
conference in Indianapolis in March (see: Ramachandran
is a neurologist (brain scientist) whose work appears to confirm what
we know about learning to draw, about abstract art, about cubism,
learning skills such as throwing, and so on. Furthermore, he adds
several new theories that may help us to understand how we might be
teaching aesthetics, art history, art criticism, and creative art
production (DBAE - discipline based art education).

Quotation ---
. . . with vision, we know all the intricate mechanisms, the 30
areas. We know the detailed circuitry of these areas. We know a lot
about how these areas might have evolved. We know the laws of
perception and you can start studying these laws of aesthetics . . .

Attached is something similar to his upcoming speech to NCECA for us
to read or to listen to (the BBC radio web site includes audio).

Vilayanur S Ramachandran The Artful Brain
Reith Lecture series 2003 The Emerging Mind series.

This site includes streaming video of one of his presentations - not
so much on art, but fascinating none the less.

Ramachandran proposes 10 universal laws of art:
1. Peak shift
2. Grouping
3. Contrast
4. Isolation
5. Perception problem solving
6. Symmetry
7. Abhorrence of coincidence/generic viewpoint
8. Repetition, rhythm and orderliness
9. Balance
10. Metaphor

What if an art curriculum was to based on Ramachandran's 10 universal
laws of art? How are these laws being learned or observed and
identified in today's art courses? How might art curriculum
(syllabus) change if we started using a lie detector, not to find
truth, but as an assessment tool to determine student responses when
exposed to art? How valid would galvanometer measurements (used in
lie detection) be to assess art learning for no child left behind?
What would 10 classroom posters look like if they were to explain the
meaning of each of these LAWS OF ART to elementary, middle school,
secondary art students, and college students?

Hope you enjoy these ideas.