Day 1 : Symmetry and the construction of seeing

Today I introduced myself to the kids. Even had them laughing at one point. What a lovely bunch.

Introduction: As a way of introducing myself and explaining what interactive art is, I brought in some of my work-in-progress, introducing them to the concept of sensors (photo resistive, aka movement sensors) and how these ‘sense changes in the environment’ which, in turn, changes the art work.  I showed them one of my mirror/light boxes: the mirror box becomes a lighted vignette when the sensor senses movement.

This work enabled me to discuss how perception is a constructive process. It set the tone for the following day’s excursion.

Symmetry: We also looked at some Quandong and Bohenia (“Camel’s foot”) leaves, discussing native and exotic flora as well as symmetry in their forms. This was followed by a drawing exercise where they were asked to complete some line drawings. In these drawings only one side of a leaf or seed was drawn. They were asked to complete each image, i.e. to draw the mirror image of the form that is there, its reflection around its axis of symmetry. The results were lovely. Very rich. I encouraged them to develop these symmetry line drawings further by looking at the real leaves and seeds I’d brought in; to find what was not symmetrical, to add details like sun burnt spots or insect trails…This exercise teaches them to pay attention to what they actually see and not simply what they think they see… A random selection of their drawings are shown below.

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