001: Exploration of Interests

This initial assignment — to explore our ideas and interests in order to discover a topic we wish to focus on for our thesis — actually seems to have come very late to me. I am not sure how one would wind up in a program like this without a sense of destination. Thus the initial card-lists, on our interests and influences, held no particular surprises. I will say that having just come back from a month of museums and explorations (aka the honeymoon) made the inspirations extra-easy.

I love the Mucha Room at the Musee Carnavalet for the same reason I loved I in Wonderland, Robert Grober's Untitled heart piece at the Prada Foundation, or the works of Proust: each has an intense sense of itself and is so inviting to the imagination. Then there is Bauhaus, SFPC, Fluxus, and The Ship Who Sang, all interested in our relationships with the world outside us, as humans or as machines. Altogether I never escape Zach Lieberman's contention that "art is R&D for being human."

Again my interest cards come as no surprise. The thing that is perhaps the most unexpected is that I did not choose imagination as a weapon as a more specific interest to elaborate on. I suspect this is both because it pervades the topics I did choose and because I am less interested in questioning the notion as in testing it through deployment.

Overall these topics seem somewhat artificially divided. Though I did combine a few into the larger questions, everything strikes me as related. But often graduate school means jumping through hoops and so I finished up with the Grid of 9: three questions on three topics, ranked by how much I am interested in each topic.

The grid and description of these topics will be presented in class.

(PDF for reference. Makes no sense without presentation.)