Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wave Motion and Mime

I've been trying to figure out how to upload a video, but I don't seem to be able to capture the files the way I'd like to. Instead I get a still, but not the file. Any advice would be welcome.

This animation of a ball floating on a wave is pretty cool. Right after I was playing around with it, I was part of a showcase of performing artists who are preparing summer ocean/water programs for Connecticut libraries, and this wonderful mime, Robert Rivest, was there.

Here, he's body-surfing. But at the session, he did a mime where he WAS an ocean wave. The action of his shoulders was exactly like the ball going over the wave in the animation, which made me realize that in order to BE a wave, Robert had to study waves. How should he lift, how should he fall, what kind of buoyancy should he demonstrate, how fast should he sink. Same with the body-surfing, right?

You could have students use animations of scientific principles involving the ocean to research mime or dance movements they could use to demonstrate and describe the principles to others.

OKAY, that's enough from me for now. Plenty more where that came from (I've got pages full of ideas -- but want to know whether I'm headed in the right direction.) These may become the slides (and commentary) for some of the Powerpoint, yes? -- KRY

Wave at Lynda Barry

Here's another take on Hokusai, from artist/author Lynda Barry. Barry learned to use Japanese ink through an old exercise taught by the masters: drawing 100 demons. In the resulting book One Hundred Demons, she frequently draws herself as a monkey. There are several different images of the monkey at sea, rowing away from a giant wave or a giant sea monster or some other "demon" form. You can compare her work to Hokusai's, in which the huge perspective on the wave and the tiny oarsmen evoke fear of being overcome by a strong force. Barry is pretty literal about this fear, turning the wave into an actual demon.

With students it would be interesting to talk about other life forces that are stand-ins for deep, common fears and other emotions. . . to invite poems or stories or drawings about these "demons" . . . and to discuss the role of the ocean in people's emotional lives, as well as their physical lives.

Imitating Hokusai - -and reacting to it!

This is me clowning around in Washington, D.C., where I found this Hokusai copy painted on a wall. Some graffiti, huh? It let me jump into the painting and create my own silly performance WITH the art, for my son's camera. --KRY

I think I have to limit it to one image per post, because I don't know how to move the images where I want them.

So here is a famous piece of artwork, Hokusai's wave from his Views of Mount Fuji series. Is there really a wave that looks like this? Is the wave out of proportion? Is the sea near Mount Fuji really this wild? What are those guys doing out in those boats during this kind of surf? Moreover, how does an artist use perspective and proportion? What's the difference between an artist's view of a wave and a scientist's view? This would be an interesting discussion to have in class. Hokosai's wave evokes emotional response to being at sea and having a wave come crashing down. Posts that follow show a variation on this theme...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hi Amy and Perrin,

So I was thinking about a way to say "Hey! You can teach ocean science through art!" really quickly, and I came up with the idea of telling a little story and showing different representations of waves.

First, here's a diagram. Obviously, in order to accurately diagram a wave, you will have to have accurate information: at least the formula for the wave, if not the actual data from which the formula was -- er -- formulated.