Tag Archives: Literature

Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces

“Deep time represents a certain displacement of the human and the divine from the story of creation. Yet in the Anthropocene, ironically we humans have become that sublime force, the agents of a fearful something that is greater than ourselves.”

David Farrier is a senior lecturer in English literature at the University of Edinburgh, where his research interests include eco-criticism, postcolonial studies, and asylum and refugee contexts. He is currently working on a book about deep time in contemporary poetry

A New Music

Sarah Howe is a British poet, academic and editor. Her first book, Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015), won the T.S. Eliot Prize and The Sunday Times / PFD Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. ‘A New Music’ was commissioned for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition/project.

AI and the idea of the human: myth, metaphor and agency

AI challenges fundamental concepts such as the human and the machine. Myth, metaphor, and generally the languages of art and literature as well as philosophy can be helpful in thinking through the challenges of AI when the languages of science, technology and commerce fail. The paper examines the enduring value of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in considering the questions of AI. The impact of AI upon human agency is also discussed. Without ways of thinking about, and grappling with a phenomenon as far reaching and transformative as AI, humans risk unintended, unforseen and perhaps unwelcome consequences of their technologies.

David Buss: Jim Dales – ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’

In 2016, Jim Dales’ debut novel, ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’, was published, which is based loosely on the Dutch Master, Rembrandt. ‘RHL, The Man in the Mirror’ does not present a flattering portrait of the man whose artistic oeuvre is universally recognised as that of an outstanding master. We observe Dales’ Rembrandt as artist, husband, father, lover, teacher, employer and businessman, a mortal with negative as well as admirable characteristics, a three-dimensional and believable character.

Memory: What exactly happened?

Garry Kennard is a painter, writer and founding director of Art and Mind (www.artandmind.org). A fascination with how the brain reacts to works of art has lead Kennard to research, write and lecture on these topics. With Rita Carter and Annabel Huxley he devised and directed the unique Art and Mind Festivals which attracted leading artists and scientists to explore what light the brain sciences can throw on contemporary culture.

Creativity and Metaphor video blog

Featuring – Sir Ken Robinson: Can Creativity Be Taught? ; an interview with David Cope ; ‘Beautiful Minds: The Enigma of Genius’: a discussion between Brian Greene, R. Douglas Fields, Philip Glass, Rex Jung, Dean Keith Simonton, Julie Taymor and Marcus du Sautoy ; and ‘Madness Redefined: Creativity, Intelligence and the Dark Side of the Mind’: a discussion between James Fallon, Kay Redfield Jamison, Susan McKeown and Elyn Saks

Creativity and Language

Creativity in language has conventionally been regarded as the preserve of institutionalised discourses such as literature and advertising, and individual gifted minds. In this exclusive interview, Ronald Carter, Emeritus Professor of Modern English and bestselling author, explores the idea that creativity, far from being simply a property of exceptional people, is an exceptional property of all people.

Utrechts Psalter 2016 A.D.

In the first months of this year, twenty Dutch artists with a background in comics devoted themselves to the early medieval songbook Utrecht Psalter. They had received an assignment from the Utrecht University, who have custody of the book, to illustrate one given psalm in their own, modern style. Their orientation material was the ancient text and accompanying ancient drawing, each filling about half of the surface of the Psalter’s parchment pages, giving the book, at first sight, a strong resemblance to a modern graphic novel. Also, upon closer study, one learns that the illustrations sometimes follow the Psalms, stanza after stanza, in elaborate non-linear compositions. Every one of them drafted in a flexible but accurate, clear style that is emotional and almost cartoonish.

The artists were asked to add to their work no, or minimal text, for that would be placed integral next to the image in the final publication; and if they designed a serial structure for their narrative they were asked to do this without frames. For their content no restrictions were imposed, contrary to the original illustrator team – monks who then had to operate within the church hierarchy- so any religious or political connotations would be the artist’s individual choice.

This resulted in a broad variety of works that were publicly displayed in the landmark Utrecht Dom cathedral in April 2016, and bundled in the ‘Utrechts Psalter 2016 AD’ album (which can be obtained through www.de-inktpot.nl). (Information on the original Utrecht Psalter can be found at http://psalter.library.uu.nl/)

You can read below how, in this task, the creative process from six out of these twenty artists has run. (Albo Helm)

The Encounter: A new play by Complicite/Simon McBurney (review)

Simon McBurney’s new play, The Encounter, transports us into the humid depths of the Amazon, his storytelling served by the enveloping presence of binaural technology. In 1969, National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre became hopelessly lost in a remote part of the Brazilian rainforest while searching for the Mayoruna people. His encounter was to test his perception of the world, bringing the limits of human consciousness into startling focus.

Threading scenes of his own life with details of McIntyre’s journey, McBurney incorporates objects and sound effects into this solo performance to evoke a rainforest landscape. Transmitted direct to the audience through provided headphones, the show’s ground-breaking sound design plugs into the power of the imagination, questioning our perceptions of time, communication and our own consciousness.