“all flesh is grass/ things I want to know/ these things are less about me and more about you/ extensions/ introduce seditious acts/ pranks in the context of chaos, 2” a performative sculpture with ritual quasi-objects* (the objects inside that you hold outside yourself), that represent the things I want to know (BUT IT’S LESS ABOUT ME AND MORE ABOUT YOU)
P.S. There are no rules. There is no wrong way.
“all flesh is grass/ things I want to know/ these things are less about me and more about you/ extensions/ introduce seditious acts/ pranks in the context of chaos, 2” a performative sculpture with ritual quasi-objects* (the objects inside that you hold outside yourself), that represent the things I want to know (BUT IT’S LESS ABOUT ME AND MORE ABOUT YOU) –Theresa Anderson
*Bruno Latour posits that quasi-objects are things that have an ability to mediate. This performative project is designed as serious play to investigate the relationship between art, constructivist learning theory [ACTIVE CONSTRUCTIVE COLLABORATIVE CONVERSATIONAL REFLECTIVE CONTEXTUALIZED COMPLEX INTENTIONAL], the actor-network theory, quasi-objects and an untested idea that “the universe is just objects interacting at different scale” –a quote from my son David who is learning about scaling + ecology +++ environmental biology. While we are not yet able to perceive how objects mediate their surroundings in real time this collaborative experience is a platform for a new art-related phenomenon.
CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING THEORY
Constructivism is an epistemological belief about what “knowing” is and how one “come to know.” Constructivists believe in individual interpretations of the reality, i.e. the knower and the known are interactive and inseparable.
Constructivism rejects the notions that
- Knowledge is an identifiable entity with absolute truth value
- Meaning can be passed on to learners via symbols or transmission
- Learners can incorporate exact copies of teacher’s understanding for their own use
- The whole concepts can be broken into discrete sub-skills, and that concepts can be taught out of context.
Constructivism, with focus on social nature of cognition, suggests an approach that
- Gives learners the opportunity for concrete, contextually meaningful experience through which they can search for patterns, raise their own questions, and construct their own models.
- Facilitates a community of learners to engage in activity, discourse, and reflection
- Encourages students to take on more ownership of the ideas, and to pursue autonomy, mutual reciprocity of social relations, and empowerment to be the goals
- Who are primary contributors?
Perkins (1992) pointed out the origins of the constructivism:
“Constructivism has multiple roots in psychology and philosophy of this century: the developmental perspective of Jean Piaget, the emergence of cognitive psychology under the guidance of such figures as Jerome Bruner and Ulric Neisser, the constructivist perspective of philosophers such as Nelson Goodman.”
Piaget’s theory is fundamental to constructivism. His central idea is that “knowledge proceeds neither solely from the experience of objects nor from an innate programming performed in the subject but from successive constructions.”
Vygotsky’s sociohistorical development psychology focuses on the dialectic between the individual and society, and the effect of social interaction, language, and culture on learning. To Vygosky (1978), learning is a continual movement from the current intellectual level to a higher level that more closely approximates the learner’s potential.
This movement occurs in the so-called “zone of proximal development” as a result of social interaction. Thus, an understanding of human thinking depends in turn on an understanding of the mechanism of social experience; the force of the cognitive process deriving from the social interaction is emphasized. Also, the role of the adult and the learners’ peers as they conversed, questioned, explained, and negotiated meaning is emphasized.
CONSTRUCTIVIST ART: ART WITH A PURPOSE THAT CAN BE USED EVERYDAY AND IN SOCIAL SETTINGS
Left – sports clothing designs by Varvara Stepanova, right – workwear design by Alexander Rodchenko
An excerpt from The Russian Fashion Blog- “Born as an artistic movement around 1919, Russian Constructivism proposed the ideology of “production art”, that is, art with a social meaning and practical purpose.
Russian constructivists saw the human body as a mobile vessel, which required practical, simple, hygienic clothing. Constructivists favored simple geometric shapes and complementing, albeit bright, colors in their avant-garde designs.
The enormous influence of Russian constructivism on fashion is evident in collections of later decades. In fact, it was the work of Russian constructivists that introduced the ideas of ready-to-wear fashion and mass production and defined the earlier concept of modern sportswear. Space age paper dresses, designed by Pierre Cardin in 1960s, were advocated by some in the early 1920s and were seen as revolutionary clothing for a utopian society of the future. Traces of constructivist thinking have since appeared in numerous collections of influential brands, including Dries Van Noten, Chanel and Miu Miu.”
Reassembling the Social – An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory by Bruno Latour “Reassembling the Social, An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory” chapter on Third Source of Uncertainty: Objects too Have Agency
Publisher: Oxford University Press
“Everyone seems to know with what sort of forces and in which sort of materials the social world is made. I have always been struck, on the contrary, by the huge gap between the vast variety of attachments with which people elaborate their different worlds and the limited repertoire we possess in social science to account for them. I found this gap widening even more when I began, thirty years ago, to provide a social explanation of scientific practice. While most people said such an enterprise was clearly non sense; while some of my close colleagues claimed it was, if not easy, at least feasible within the normal limits of the humans sciences, a few friends and I decided to take the enormous difficulties of this task as the occasion to rethink the notions of society and of social explanation. Starting from the new insights of science studies, we have since explored many other domains from technology to health, from market organizations to art, from religion to law, from management to politics. This alternative way of practicing sociology has been called Actor-Network-Theory or ANT. Although it has been widely used, it has also been largely misunderstood — in part because of the ambiguity of the word ‘social’. To clarify those misunderstandings, I thought useful to write an introduction to this small school of thought — or rather to propose my own version of it. In this book I show why sociology may be construed as the science of associations and not only as the science of the social.”
An excerpt- P67
On Actor-Network Theory
Why then use the word network since it is opened to such misunderstandings?
The use of the word comes from Diderot. The word “réseau” was used from the beginning by Diderot to describe matter and bodies in order to avoid the Cartesian divide between matter and spirit. etc Finally, the origin of the word (“réseau” in French) comes from Diderot’s work and has from the begining a strong ontological component. (see Waddington).
Put too simply AT is a change of metaphors to describe essences: instead of surfaces one gets filaments (or rhyzomes in Deleuze’s parlance).
More precisely it is a change of topology. Instead of thinking in terms of surfaces
one is asked to think in terms of nodes that have
as many dimensions as they have connections. As a first approximation, the AT claims that modern societies cannot be described without recognizing them as having a fibrous, thread
-like, wiry, stringy, ropy, capillary character that is never captured by the notions of levels, layers, territories, spheres, categories, structure, systems. It aims at explaining the effects
accounted for by those traditional words without having to buy the ontology, topology and politics that goes with them. AT has been developed by
students of science and technology and their claim is that it is utterly impossible to understand
what holds the society together without reinjecting in its fabric the facts manufactured by natural and social sciences and the artifacts designed by engineers. As a second approximation, AT is thus the claim that the only way to achieve this reinjection of the things into our understanding of the social fabrics is through a network-
like ontology and social theory.
Universality or order are not the rule but the exceptions that have to be accounted for. Loci, contingencies or clusters are more like archipelagos on a sea than like lakes dotting a solid land. Less metaphorically, whereas universalists have to fill in the whole surface either with order or with contingencies, AT do not attempt to fill in what is
in between local pocket of orders or in between
the filaments relating these contingencies. This is the most counter-intuitive aspect of AT. Literally there is nothing but networks, there is nothing in between them, or, to use a metaphor from the history of physics, there is no aether in which the networks should be immersed. In this sense AT is a reductionist and relativist theory, but as I shall demonstrate this is the first necessary step towards an irreductionist and relationist ontology. **
**all the material here is given in the spirit of engaging educational entertainment and should be advised to be taken in small doses, with careful research towards broader understanding