In this drawing workshop and discussion, we’ll practice Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s way of seeing, which he called “tender empiricism.” Today, Goethe is most famous for his Romantic Era literary works, written in German. Yet as a polymath, Goethe also developed his own way of science, which is less well-known today. He founded his way of science on a different type of observation, rooted in the sensory world and visualization techniques. According to traditional scientific concepts of empiricism, a strict subject and object duality occurs. This duality enforces an objective way of looking at the world, popular in science. In Goethe’s way of seeing, the subject is vulnerable to being reshaped by what the eye sees and understands—even to the extent where the subject-object duality blurs. Goethe believed that we can only experience an authentic insight this way. Goethe cautioned against leaving behind an original experience, with all of its phenomena, for abstraction—as Newtonian science does, for instance, with light. This way of seeing is an early example of ecological thinking. Goethe also resonates with ancient principles of visualization, which play out in the mind’s eye even as the visualization becomes an instrument of understanding. Through drawing plants, we’ll practice the four steps of the Goethean method: Exact Sensorial Perception, Exact Sensorial Imagination, Encountering the Whole and Becoming One with the Phenomenon. We’ll share our drawings and then discuss them. Goethe’s visualization method will serve as an inspirational example rather than a prescriptive one. Here, we’ll emphasize what we can learn about thinking through drawing—and ecological thinking in particular—by bringing to life Goethe’s way of seeing.
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Developed by Andrea Frank, System Drawing is an intuitive and process-based collaborative format which supports new ways of intuitively connecting and interacting with place, a chosen theme, and each other while sidestepping current paradigms based on rational inquiry. It is site– and situation specific, constantly evolving, and draws on processes borrowed from drawing, systemic constellations, and simulation games. A set of site specific tools, materials, or rules are provided. The System Drawing format is thematically framed by pressing environmental concerns seen through a multi-species social, historical, ecological, and psychological lens.
Workshop: Sunday, October 6 9:30-12:30 pm
By Andrea Frank with Michael Asbill and Amanda Heidel (I will never know this garden collaborative)
This System Drawing session will take place in the campus woods and fields. We will collectively and experientially draw and explore the evolving interrelations between human and non-human beings, technology, objects, and concepts through deep time.
Rain or shine, bring appropriate clothing and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.
Can drawing enable empathy? In an effort to explore this question, I embarked on a durational drawing during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. As a citizen of color from an immigrant family, I performed a 28-day drawing vigil for Muslims who were targeted with hate speech. Inspired by the patterns of middle-eastern prayer rugs, I traced my posture of prostration onto 60 feet of paper to explore the discipline of meditation through drawing. How can drawing be used as a tool of observation and compassion for the experiences of others? Does the duration of a drawing act change our body and it’s capabilities for transcendence?
Thinking through Drawing board member, Emily Sheehan, will discuss the drawing processes and reasoning used in her work and then lead a material focused participatory workshop.
The process of perceptual drawing has always fascinated me. Drawing from observation demonstrates how slippery and shifting my viewpoint is, and exposes the parameters of experience that are created by my body. The way I understand the appearance of anything (everything) is tethered to my literal point of view. A thousand tiny changes affect what I see. It turns observational drawing from an objective transfer, to a creative endeavor that involves artistic choices based on my experience of the subject.
I find that the time spent drawing from observation holds me in the human space between encounter and recounting longer and thus provides a conducive context for contemplating lived experience. In this workshop I will share insights and methods that I have discovered and used in my personal drawing practice and demonstrate a variety of unconventional drawing processes that I have used in my work.
Workshop participants will have the opportunity to experiment with the following drawing techniques:
- Drawing with obstructed vision.
- Graphite monotypes and dry-point graphite etchings
- Drawing with quickset concrete
- Metal point drawing
- Drawing on a surface that can be sanded – Priming paper with plastic wood filler
- Graphite printing using transparent tint-base
- Destabilizing ink-lines with colorless blender fluid
October 5 (1pm-6pm) and 6 (9am – 5pm)2019
How can drawing act to help us think, learn and understand? Drawing performances, presentations and workshops explore how the drawing process can work to materialize and extend our ideas and perceptions of ourselves, others and the world in new ways.
Register Here! email: email@example.com for more information
Saturday October 5 1pm-6 pm(The Terrace)
- 1pm Welcome
Coffee, light refreshments
Introduction to the Thinking through Drawing Project and Drawing Acts
- Faheem Haider, American Table
- 1:30 Drawing Conversations (DoBeDo): pairs or small groups, people who DON’t know each other draw together silently
- 2:30 Short presentations: Josh Korenblat, Andrea Frank
- 3:00 Jaanika Peerna, Glacial Elegy
- 4:00 Emily Sheehan: Personal Practice
- 4:30 Roundtable 1. Sharing Practice
- 5:15 Drawing Together: discussion and collaborative concept mapping
Sunday October 6, 9am-5pm
- 9:00 Welcome
- 9:30-12:30 Concurrent Sessions
- Andrea Frank and Michael Asbill: TIME DRAWING – a System Drawing Session
- 9:30-11 Cheryl Wheat: The Auspicious Mark Smiley Art Building room 114)
- 11:00 coffee break (College Terrace)
- 11:15 Ann Deutsch: Drawing for Student Engagement
- 11:45 Marta Cabral: Material Inquiry
- 12:30-1:30 Lunch (provided) Roundtable 2: Sharing Practice (Terrace)
- 1:30 Joyce Yu-Jean Lee: Embodying Empathy through Durational Drawing
- 2:00 Chris Moffett & Helen Singh-Miller: The Course of Improvisation
- 3:30 Coffee Break
- 3:45 Drawing Together : Concept Mapping
- 4:15- 5pm Closing Panel discussion: Drawing Together, Thinking Ahead!