Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Studying for tonight's test

Freud’s psychosexual stages of development, including the “developmental tasks”

Oral Stage
Tasks - get basic nuturing.

Anal Stage
Tasks - learning independence, accepting personal power, and learning to express negative feelings such as rage and aggression.

Phallic Stage
Tasks - gaining love and approval of the opposite gender parent.

Latency Stage
Tasks - socialization and making friendships.

Genital Stage
Tasks - investing sexual energy into more acceptable outlets, such as forming friendships, engaging in art or sports or preparing for a career. Later, the move to adulthood and caring for others.

For the record, I agree with the author of my textbook. Freud's stages do have some value, but Erikson's psychosocial stages give a more complete picture. Together, they work well.

Defense mechanisms

Repression - the involuntary removal of something from consciousness.
Denial - closing one's eyes to reality.
Reactive formation - defending against an impulse by actively expressing the opposite impulse.
Projection - attributing to others one's own unacceptable desires and impulses.
Displacement - discharging an impulse by shifting it to a "safe" target.
Rationalization - manufacturing a reason to explain away bruises to the ego.
Sublimation - diverting the energies from an impulse into an acceptable outlet.
Regression - reverting to an immature stage when there were fewer demands.
Introjection - "swallowing" the standards of others.
Identification - identifying with a cause or larger group to have feelings of self-worth.
Compensation - focusing on certain strengths to call attention away from weaknesses.

Evidence for postulating the concept of the unconscious
Dreams, slips of the tongue, posthypnotic suggestions, free-association material, projective material and the symbolic content of psychotic symptoms.

Therapeutic techniques
(I'm not posting the answers here because I don't have the time to write them out.)

· Object-relations theory

· Ego psychology

· Brief psychodynamic therapy (BPT)

The “fundamental rule” for the client in psychoanalysis

To say whatever comes to mind without self-censorship.

The basic aim of psychoanalytic therapy

To make the unconscious, conscious, and to strengthen the ego, so that behavior is based more on reality and less on instinctual cravings or irrational guilt.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six Apart is Clueless about its Users

It really is. Even though the adult LiveJournal users have tried to educate them on their LJ user base, they still don't get it.

I have a Live Journal (actually more than one) and a Vox account, in addition to this blog and several other portals for my thoughts online. I like playing around with features to see what things can do.

And there is a reason I use Live Journal more. It is more useful. Don't get me wrong, I am fond of this little blog here, but it's rather limited in features and until recently, getting in to make a simple post required me to go through several pages until I could type in text.

The one thing I absolutely LOVE about LiveJournal is the LJ-Cut feature. This allows you to hide part of your post under a link that readers can click if they actually want to read more. Yes, I know, some of you use RSS feeds with just the first few lines displayed, so hiding large posts under a cut wouldn't make a difference to you, but that is the small view of this feature. You can also use it for punchlines, large images that may crash your low bandwidth visitors, NSFW stuff, or anything you really want people to skip over if they aren't that interested in it - like quizzes and memes.

And I like being able to read my friends journals, along with my rss feeds, on my friend list, without opening another application or going to another site. I'm not always at my computer, so it's nice to have something that is web based.

Now, does Six Apart recognize the niftyness of these features? Apparently not. Because their idea of a more adult version of LiveJournal is Vox. Where do I begin in my disappointment with Vox?

First off, comparably speaking, customizing Vox sucks. Your options are almost all pre-canned stuff. You can make some changes, but apparently as an adult you can't be trusted to add your own widgits without special help and you must abide by limits in posting book recommendations and such per post. It would seem that Six Apart believes that adult internet users are inept. And my neighborhood page is just too cluttery for reading. I am glad that they have something that tells me when there are new posts on it, because I almost never check it. I am even more grateful that my LJ doesn't have this feature because it wouldn't fit in one weekly email.

Don't get me wrong, Vox has done some improvements in the past year, but it's still more of an adult version of MySpace than LiveJournal. And I do wish I could use the autolink feature for books and albums. That is about the only thing about Vox I really am impressed with. But Vox needs something more than this to get adults to leave LiveJournal for it.

Though I still don't understand why Six Apart is so keen on trying to widen the generation gap more. Chase the regular adults away and what you get are the perverts who lie about their age. Keep us regular ones around and we can spot a fake a lot faster than some heart-broken teen. It's isolation that makes these kids vulnerable. Besides, I know families who use LJ to keep in touch with each other.

Why this little rant?

Well, today Six Apart lost power to their data center. Their first priority was their Typepad clients, which after looking at the costs for Typepad services, makes sense. Their second priority appears to be Vox, even though last I knew, there are no paid accounts for it.

I have a paid LiveJournal account. Even those account that aren't paid generate some revenue since they've added ads to them. So, why is Live Journal the last system they are trying to get up?

Because Six Apart in their ignorant snobbery assumes that LiveJournal users aren't as important. Even though many journals show competency in designing their own cascading style sheets, they think that geeks want to pay an arm and a leg for a blog or just have bare bores and adults want limited features. So LiveJournal users aren't worth their effort.

Someone need to get their head out of the sand. This ain't Logan's Run, people. Even not counting the middle-aged people like me on there, the teenagers have to grow up. Are we seriously expecting them to leave enmass to Facebook when they turn 18? And then go on to another product? Why this ageism?

I swear people are so stupid at times...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Video Playlist of the Domestic Tension project

I wanted to set the videos up so one can watch how things progress from beginning to end.

Playlist: Wafaa Bilal's Paintball project

Iraqi born artist Wafaa Bilal has become known for provocative interactive video installations. Many of Bilal's projects over the past few years have addressed the dichotomy of the virtual vs. the real. In Domestic Tension, viewers can log onto the internet to contact, or shoot, Bilal with paintball guns.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Essay for Arts and Human Values

Thomas Moran’s The Lava Flows has always been my favorite piece of the permanent collection at the Oklahoma City Art Museum. This approximately 18 by 24 inch, oil on panel painting was done in 1889, as an illustration of the lava flows on Mount Etna for the Scribner’s children’s magazine St. Nicholas. The white glowing lava flows down the pitch black mountain and around jagged black rocks, unifying the painting in a river of light. It is a visually powerful piece, full of energy, despite its black and white color scheme, due to its high contrast and the motif of irregular, triangular shapes. Its main focal point is at lower left, third by third division point, and consists of a triad of triangular rock formations, creating another triangular unity through their proximity and similarities in form. Combining the triadic groups, with thirds placements and triangular forms gives a firm grounding to the jagged lines and other irregularities back lit by the glowing lava. It is to my great disappointment that prints are not available of this striking painting. While earlier issues of St. Nicholas magazine are available online through Project Gutenberg, the 1889 issues have yet to be added.

Viewing other examples of Moran’s works, it becomes obvious that this is an atypical piece for him for various reasons. First, it is not of an American landscape, but an European location, a slight departure of subject matter for a painter who was hailed as the “dean of American landscape painters” and “father of the National Parks”. Though Moran was well-traveled and did do the occasional painting of old world scenes, the main focus of his works was the New World his father emigrated to from Great Britain when Thomas was still a boy. However, considering that St. Nicholas was a magazine that aspired to bring the best of culture and knowledge to American children, it is quite understandable why Moran would agree to paint for it. Second, it is done in stark black and white, instead of the realistic colors of his other nature pieces. Other artists who show his ability with colors, often have difficulty bringing the same intensity and clarity into a monochromatic format. Third, it is more claustrophobic in its focus, unlike the panoramic views of the American West that Thomas Moran is more famous for.

The piece in its atypical nature is an excellent example of just how talented Moran was as an artist. His use of contrasting values demonstrated a deep understanding of printed works, probably developed from his early years as a wood engraver’s apprentice. The placement of his focal point and use of unifying factors exemplified one who was well-schooled in formal design and composition, which he likely learned from his elder brother, Edward Moran, a well-known marine painter, and other artists such as J. M. W. Turner. While others would probably prefer his masterpieces of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon on display at the U.S. Capitol, I think this little painting is just as worthy of admiration.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Possible research for a psych paperhttp://www.post-gazette.com/ae/20010930artprison0930fnp2.asp

If not art, then what?
Sunday, September 30, 2001
By Tim Menees, Post-Gazette Editorial Cartoonist
Post-Gazette cartoonist Tim Menees spent several days inside penitentiaries in Pennsylvania, California and New York, three states that provide arts programs for their inmates. Today, Menees focuses on prisoners' art and writing. In the Daily Magazine on Tuesday, he brings us music and theater.


Fascination with serial killers is an American pastime, spurring a profitable underground trade. Some people are so obsessed with the subject that they carry on correspondence with men behind bars, design trading cards or board games, or indulge in a more expensive hobby: purchasing art made by killers or depicting their murders. Several collectors have expressed the idea that having something a murderer made protects them in some way.

Effects of art therapy with prison inmates: A follow-up study
David Gussak, Ph.D., ATR-BC

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Artist report for my Arts and Human Values Class

Antony Gormley
Arts and Human Values

British artist and sculptor Antony Gormley was born August 30th, 1950, as the youngest of seven children, to prosperous family in Hampstead, England. Gormley studied at Ampleforth College; Trinity College, Cambridge; and various other colleges in London, before completing his education with a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Art. In the middle of his artistic education, he spent five years in India and Sri Lanka to study Buddhism. In 1994, Gormley won the Turner Prize with Field for the British Isles. He is currently a trustee of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.

Though he has been known to work in several media, (such as terra cotta, wood, and bread and wax) Gormley is mainly known for using metal castings of his own body. According to radio interviews with the BBC, Gormley prefers to actually be a part of his work materials while creating his pieces, to truly feel the experience he is trying to inspire. His casts are done with the help of his wife and a workman. He is first covered in cling wrap (i.e. plastic wrap), which provides a better barrier between him and the plaster than Vaseline does. Then his wife applies the plaster and after it dries, she cuts him out of the mold. Then fibreglass and metal (usually lead) is used to create the figures. Gormley feels the skin-like nature of his sculptures is so important that he will often list "air" as a material used.
Gormley is known for making the setting part of his works. In Total Strangers (1997), his metal figures are placed not only in the museum, but outside as well, with one figure looking at another through a window. In Land, Sea and Air II (1982), he has three figures in various positions on a beach, contemplating the elements. Scuplture for Derry Walls (1987) has three sets of double figures, standing back to back, one always facing towards the Catholic regions of Ireland, while the other faces the Protestant regions. Each figure gives the impression of setting a boundary and blocking the way. A piece I find most intriguing is Learning to Think (1991), which shows five figures hanging from the ceiling as if their heads were above it. Better know works of Gormley include his Field series, Iron: Man (1993), Another Place (1997) and Angel of the North (1998). An apparently lesser known piece is the Oslo Holocaust Memorial (2000), where he forgoes his normal penchant for human forms and has six empty chairs instead.

Antony Gormley firmly believes that art is meant to be a universal experience and not just something for people with disposable income. Art has the potential to connect people to the real world and themselves. The redemptive qualities of art cannot fully be realized in specialized settings such as an art gallery or museum or other refined spaces. Art galleries have an important part in the art world, however they should not be the final goal, but as a means to get art into the real world, where it can work on the souls of everyone.
[side note: you can find the works mentioned if you go to Antony Gormley's main site and click on "walk through".]