Making Things Visible At 2010 Northern VoiceTuesday, May 11, 2010
If I drank there is no question that if I were to sit down to watch Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 film The Wild Bunch I would do so with a generously-sized glass of 30 to 60% alcohol aguardiente or firewater, to be sipped neat. Nothing else would be apt, certainly not a Corona (agua de cementerio or cemetery beer, but that’s another story) with the silly slice of lemon in the neck or an overly sweet Kahlúa on the rocks. Nothing but aguardiente would do the job of enhancing the shock (do you need enhancing or deadening here?) of the immolation of the scorpions. And that aguardiente would suit me fine if I were to watch my favourite Argentine film (1968) Martín Fierro by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson. And going back to the Mexican theme if I were to watch the 2002 film Frida again with Salma Hayek it would have to be a Campari and soda. If you never saw her 2007 print and on-line video ads for the sophisticated Campari then you don’t know what 100-proof cleavage is all about.
The above has all to do that today Wednesday (and if I want to blog my Tuesday’s today, that’s my choice) my hard copy NY Times has a beautiful personal essay by Wendell Jamieson (apt surname, what shall we drink while watching John Ford’s Quiet Man?), called The Plot Thickens As The Drinks Clink. It is about setting the mood to watching a film DVD at home by drinking what is appropriate.
As I enjoyed the story it occurred to me that my friend John Lekich would love to read it and might have even written something like it when our city magazines went for sophisticated stuff. It also occurred to me that unless I tell John Lekich about the piece or at the very least send him the link, he would not be likely to notice it on the on-line version of the paper. My point here is that the linear quality of a standard newspaper, where you see the whole paper but choose what to read, is somehow lost in its on-line version. It will be visible only if you know of its existence. Only then will you go in search of it. A lot of good stuff is lost by the and subsequent randomness of the net.
What started me thinking about it was a pleasant and whimsical session I had in the 2010 Northern Voice conference on its second day on Saturday. I attended something called More Drawing on Walls – The Power of Making Things Visible. It was hosted by Nancy White. Upon entering the room we were instructed to pikc up a sheet of blank paper from a box and some colouring pens. Nancy White (she could out-accordion and out-bubble
Lawrence Welk) told us to draw some sort of animal that started off with a W. From there we were told to go outside and draw or photograph something within the 2010 Northern Voice that was hidden that in some way we would make visible.
I was absolutely amazed at how my co-conferencees would draw, take a picture of the drawing with their iPhone and then immediately post it onto Nancy White’s Flickr page. Her project is explained like this in the program to the 2010 Northern Voice:
More Drawing On Walls - The Power of Making Things Visible
At past NV gatherings we've drawn pictures together. We've been drawn together by shared interest and connections. We've even made the practice of graphic facilitation explicit. This year I'd like to again invite anyone to draw and weave a theme into our drawing. Even into our photography, videography, or any other art-touched practice.
The theme is "making things visible." This keeps showing up in my work as an important theme for enabling learning, work, creativity, innovation. Heck, for just plain old fun. By drawing something as it is happening, we make something visible to the group in a new way. By making internal organizational work visible externally, we can gain more insight, validation and triangulate to even better work. By making process just visible enough, we facilitate interaction. By hacking code, we make functionality available and visible.
With paper, pens, chalk, words and actions, I'd like to invite you to explore what it means to make more bits of Northern Voice, of you, of each other, visible. We'll talk a bit, then armed with the media of your choice, we can all experiment with making things visible. We'll share what we do in both our physical and online space. Ready to unleash your inner artist? To make things visible? Let's draw and discover.
Nancy White is a Mom, Grandma, blogger, consultant, artist, learner, chocoholic, gardener, drawer-on-walls, collaborator, introverted-extrovert, over-fifty, female, American of the world. Nancy White
The pictures we drew or photographed are here. While I may have suspected it all along, it was Nancy White’s exercise that confirmed that so much that is valuable is hidden from us and we simply do not know how to look.
Or as I would tell John Lekich, the article that you would have written about what to drink while watching a good film is not in the section of the paper which is about the arts but in the section called Dining. It can be found here.
The pictures you see here are the ones I drew at Nancy White’s session. The second picture is of the English gentleman, Stewart Marshall sitting in front of me (he wore a hat) who showed me some of his intervalometer-driven digital pictures in which elapsed time almost looks like a movie. My guess is that Bolivian chicha would be ideal for viewing more of it.