waking up

25 Apr

Someone forwarded me a fascinating article about the impact of being aware of the emotions of others: What It’s Like to ‘Wake Up’ From Autism After Magnetic Stimulation.

“Though he wasn’t diagnosed with autism until he was 40, John Elder Robison felt isolated and disconnected throughout his entire youth and early adulthood. But in 2008, at 50, he took part in what became a three-year research project looking at brain function in individuals with autism spectrum disorders and exploring the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to help them.”

So what exactly happened when you first stated noticing emotional cues?

When I got to work I walked into the waiting room, as I usually do, and I looked at everyone and there was this flood of emotion. I could see it all: They were scared and anxious and eager, and never in my life had I seen something like that. I had to step out of the room because I didn’t know how to cope. It felt like ESP. Maybe in the past I used the logical part of my brain to look at people around me and carefully analyze. I figured out situations using logic. So I had that powerful ability but now the screen of emotion was turned on, too.

So it wasn’t the positive outcome you had hoped for?

I’d fantasized about really understanding other people’s emotional world. I imagined a world of sweetness and light — emotions I’d been missing all my life. But when it happened, the reality showed me what a fool I’d been. Now, I could look at a person and sense all their emotions. And most were downers. Maybe they were upset about whether they could afford to fix their car. Maybe they had kids in college and tuition was choking them. Maybe they were jealous or angry. It was enough to make me burst into tears over ordinary auto service-department conversations. I couldn’t talk and I had to go outside. I must have come across as so very weird.

So, in a way, you feel your autism had protected you from the pain in the world?

Yes. And now, I realized, that protective shield was suddenly lost.

Perhaps non-autistic people are so accustomed to this that we don’t feel the impact like Robison. Or at least I’d always assumed that empathy was a good thing. Seeing it from his perspective puts a new spin on it. Maybe we haven’t quite evolved along with the pace of urbanization and globalization. I’d imagine that if we lived in small towns back in the day, empathy was manageable, but being exposed to news from all over the world, feeds from hundreds of contacts, an endless stream of strangers in dense cities… maybe our brains are a bit behind in being able to properly manage the emotional load.

ASCO

19 Apr


ASCO (wiki)

Julie Nyman

8 Apr

Julie Nyman‘s Shreds of Laughter and Kys

Echolalia

6 Apr

wild as the wind

31 Mar

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illumination

29 Mar

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Yoko Ono says

9 Feb

I think it is possible to see a chair as it is. But when you burn the chair, you suddenly realize that the chair in your mind did not burn or disappear. The world of construction seems to be the most tangible, and therefore final. This made me nervous. I started to wonder if it were really so.

Isn’t a construction a beginning of a thing like a seed? Isn’t it a segment of a larger totality, like an elephant’s tail? Isn’t it something just about to emerge – not quite structured – never quite structured… like an unfinished church with a sky ceiling? Therefore, the following works:

…A garden covered with thick marble instead of snow – but like snow, which is to be appreciated only when you uncover the marble coating.

One thousand needles: imagine threading them with a straight thread…

– Yoko Ono, Grapefruit

weekend silliness: ? whazupwitu?

6 Feb

I try to push my students toward experimenting and taking on real issues in the world, and then I see something like this, and I think, well, okay, or you could make something like this.

STORMY WEATHER IN THE CHANNEL

4 Feb

Look at these successful proposals from apexart.

Now look at the ranking of all the proposals. Many of the titles were fascinating. Not necessarily good, but very effective at eliciting confused curiosity. Here are some of my favorites, loosely organized in a way such that sometimes it is dialogue, sometimes title and subtitle, sometimes the highest poetry and sometimes plain mopey whinging. Also, a dramatic ending. (If it was good enough for Bon Jovi,) I call it:

    SLIPPERY WHEN WET: STORMY WEATHER IN THE CHANNEL

    Other Mothers
    Breastfeeding our nightmares away
    Just eat it – From identity to art
    Slippery When Wet
    STORMY WEATHER IN THE CHANNEL

    Gaping: Scenes from a Chasm
    Laws Change. People Die.The Land Remains.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
    We dance, we smoke, we kiss
    you, me, angel, ghost
    Agony, Again

    There is a Killer Among Us
    Starry Speculative Corpse
    The Dog Is Dead
    and together we are alone
    Phantoms speak to the living, we shall listen with our eyes.
    If Only You Could See, What Iʼve Seen With Your Eyes
    TRY TO FOCUS
    What do you see?
    Blue-pencil. Black-out.
    The White Cube and the Altar of Darkness.

    Race just isn’t what it used to be
    Do we live in the same world?
    Whatever happened to gender equality in Scandinavia?
    Where to go from here
    WHAT IS NEXT?
    What’s up?
    How Are You Feeling Today?
    Thursday?
    If yes, say yes. If no, say no
    REACTION
    7 practical exercises of communication to try with your usual authority figures, should they be absolutely necessary to have aro[und?]

    If I were a grown-up
    I Will Have My Own Washing Machine
    How free could I be without you, Money?
    This is one of the main problems we have with imagination today

    What’s in the package?
    BOO!
    THE MEANING OF LIFE
    Your Life is a Story
    So HERE’s My Jetpack

    I Have Become to Perform Significant Embodiments
    The Act of Stretching
    Out of Bodies
    IF YOU WANT TO DESTROY MY SWEATER
    Shut the Fuck Up
    I AM MY OWN PRIMAL PARENT AND I COPULATE WITH MYSELF
    And You Are All Flops
    I don’t want to talk about the world anymore
    Why Are You Here?
    FATAL JUMP FROM A STEP STOOL
    #$@&%*!!!
    ~!@£$%^&*()_+
    I Love Dick, the Exhibition
    A Roomful of Teeth – An Oral Exhibition
    BEWARE OF DOMESTIC OBJECTS
    HEART/BEETS
    EAT IT

I really wish we had access to all the proposals. I’m dying to know what some of these were, especially “BOO!” and maybe “THE MEANING OF LIFE.”

Also, I’d like to be in a show titled “Shut the fuck up.” What about you?

Table for two

1 Feb


Shani Ha

Shani Ha plays with the context and vocabulary of the restaurant by twisting an archetypal bistro table in an interactive installation. The table is split between the inside and the outside, playing with the boundaries of public spaces and questioning social interactions and relationships in New York. “Table For Two” appears on the corner of 7th Avenue and Carmine Street…