"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the meaning and value of culture in the twenty-first century. In a programme recorded in front of an audience at Newcastle's Literary and Philosophical Society, Melvyn and the panel consider whether Matthew Arnold's assessment of culture as 'the great help out of our present difficulties' still has any relevance, almost 150 years after it was written."
(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)
"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 5 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Friday 04 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.
Photo credit: J. Russell, Strobel Lab, Yale University 2009
"Lukasa, or memory boards, are hand-held wooden objects that present a conceptual map of fundamental aspects of Luba culture. They are at once illustrations of the Luba political system, historical chronicles of the Luba state, and territorial diagrams of local chiefdoms. Each board's design is unique and represents the divine revelations of a spirit medium expressed in sculptural form. While many lukasa utilize a system of denotation based on masses of shells and beads affixed to their wooden surfaces, this example communicates its content through incised designs and images carved in relief."
(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Fig.1 "Memory Board (Lukasa) [Democratic Republic of Congo; Luba] (1977.467.3)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1977.467.3 (October 2006).
"This studio course investigates the database as cultural form (Manovich, 2001), in the context of data visualization, digital fabrication, and computational aesthetics. Traditionally viewed as a tool for scientific reasoning and data exploration, information visualization has emerged as an artistic practice, propelled by the democratization of data sources and the advancement of computer graphics. The massive amount of data collected and disseminated online constitutes the basis for this course. Participants will be introduced to the basic skills for developing creative projects in two-, three-, and four dimensions, such as indexes, graphs, prints, digitally fabricated objects and maps. Students will also become familiar with the a basic vocabulary to co-create and collaborate with professionals in future contexts.
The course focuses on current standards for web development and mobile applications, including HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, PHP, MySQL, and Processing(.js). Fundamentals in XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets, and programming are beneficial, but not required. Throughout the course, students are asked to utilize the class blog to collect and share resources, collaboratively collecting interesting data sources towards a final project. A series of presentations, screenings, readings, and discussions will expose students to creative projects and artworks in the context of information visualization. Each student selects a research topic followed by an in-class research presentation (see schedule). Participants will also present their work during class critiques and interdisciplinary workshops to receive qualitative feedback from the instructor(s) and the class."
(Daniel Sauter, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Art and Design, Fall 2011)
Fig.1 Matt Wizinsky (2011). "Chicago unDensity", University of Illinois at Chicago.
"A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing 'Mickey Mouse' degrees - and called for the money to be spent on science instead.
Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management - all of which exist - should be 'kicked into touch'.
Funds for the courses should be channelled into science degrees and research. ...
Pike said degree courses should reflect the challenges the country will face in the future, rather than an 'ephemeral demand that in 10 years' time will be viewed as a curiosity'. ...
'Funding for the sciences should be ringfenced so that, in effect, it becomes a more dominant component. This is not a question of pleading a special case. Such a move is essential if we are all to enjoy the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and ensure that we are prepared for the changes that will affect us all in the future.
'We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, and how to function and continue to learn in a complex society.'"
(Jessica Shepherd, 10 February 2010, guardian.co.uk)
[While Dr Richard Pike is making a noble effort -it is a vain one. His plea is a naive attempt to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses (Bernstein 2000, p.52) as they continue to undermine the authority of the strong classification principles (Bernstein 2000, p.99) of the traditional European Enlightenment university disciplinary model (Nussbaum 1997; Weeks and Glyer 1998). His comments fail to recognise dramatic global technological and sociological changes (Beck, Giddens et al. 1994) which have accelerated the pace of change and whose needs steadily diminish the relevance and potency of traditional scholarly insight.
Beck, U., A. Giddens, et al. (1994). Reflexive Modernization Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford California, Stanford University Press.
Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 15-16.
Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.
Weeks, D. L. and D. Glyer (1998). The Liberal Arts in Higher Education. Challenging Assumptions Exploring Possibilities. Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.]
"An inspiring new website for digital culture and creative practices has been created by School of Art & Design academic Simon Perkins. The Folksonomy - www.folksonomy.co - is a knowledge commons and social bookmarking tool for digital culture and creative practice. The brainchild of Simon Perkins, as part of his research, the Folksonomy simplifies the process of clipping references and features photographs, videos and published documents. The Folksonomy is simultaneously a device for engaging with and a product of digital culture. It acts as a teaching tool for supporting the generation of ideas and digital culture creative practice. The research project is of a broader practice that extends from creative technology and design teaching and is focused on the nature of knowledge construction within digital culture environments. One of the unique aspects of the site is the way content is categorised, as it simultaneously belongs to multiple and sometimes contradictory categories, encouraging the viewer to make new discoveries. This sits in stark contrast to the more traditional logic conventionally employed by libraries and computer operating systems where books and files are organised according to a linear, centralised and hierarchical form. Simon says: 'The process of conceptualisation can be seen as an emergent process that involves the constant re-projection of prior understanding onto new and changing circumstances. The Folksonomy tool aims to support this type of tactical interaction through its use of linking and association.'"
(NTU, 2010, p.140-141)
Fig.1 Simon Perkins (2010) 'Stellarscope Constellations'.
2). NTU (2010). 'OPEN: 50 RESEARCH PROJECTS exploring the boundaries of creativity', College of Art & Design and Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University.