For the final, I was placed into the “sounding” group, where ideas of sound, in its musical and acoustic dimensions become a part of the larger conversation of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the last time that I wrote concerning my final paper, the general content of my work has not changed, but rather garnered a greater degree of precision and purpose, as I work toward a final project as well as a written review of literature to accompany it.
Following the guest lecture from Siddarth Ramakrishnan, the idea of perception particularly stuck with me. More specifically though, in his lecture was the topic of relative perception, where external factors such as culture, language, and geography influence our perception, as well as internal factors such as variation in individual neurology and biology. It was fascinating to hear about how when Japanese students count, the motor areas of their brain light up on an EEG because they learn to count on an abacus.
The sound of a ventilator, courtesy of Youtube, 2016
There are very few persisting, ancient traditions that are as fervently followed as the Chinese Zodiac, a twelve-year cycle with each year corresponding to a different animal. Of particular interest for further investigation, 2020 marks the first year of the calendar with the Year of the Rat.
In artist Haytham Nawar’s “Collective Bread Diaries: Cultural Identities in an Artificial Intelligence Framework,” bread takes on multiple roles that transcend its materiality and humility. Bread not only becomes a vehicle for staple nourishment, but a vehicle for the sustenance of civilization, economic prosperity, and social order.
It is without question that we live in a more interconnected world than ever, and now that physical connection and globalization are viewed as hazardous primary drivers for the velocity of viral spread, our digital connections have become essential for work, study, and social connectedness. However, the new role of digitized correspondence as the “exoskeleton” of society is not without an insidious underbelly.
Essential to the studies of both science and art is the topic of emergence - patterns emerge, and order emerges from the chaos inherent in the largeness of unfiltered data. The primary topic that has been discussed in the first part of class is the responses to the COVID-19 novel pandemic, ranging from ruminations on activism, bio-art and ethics, xenophobia, therapy, food, coping, zoonotic viruses, atmospheric conditions, and food hoarding.