Land of Silence and Darkness

De Montfort University Open Research Archive

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dc.contributor.author Lucas, Anna en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-07-18T08:38:50Z
dc.date.available 2012-07-18T08:38:50Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Lucas, A. (2009) Land of Silence and Darkness en
dc.identifier.isbn 9780953852574
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2086/6406
dc.description.abstract This research investigates visual perception and the use of a camera as a research tool to observe amateur experts and technicians who have a vernacular knowledge related to the natural world, or to pedagogical institutions. In this case the research took place at the Department of Physiology and Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) and Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University through a Wellcome Trust Fellowship.   Experimenting with the moment of drawing, creating rules and structures to explore the balance between instinct and intellect, I have developed a technique of blind drawing from movies to capture the time, light and formal qualities of a movie.   Working within DPAG generated questions about perception, and how the ‘physiology and anatomy’ of a film might be defined and captured in drawing and through the film. Focussing initially on movies connected to audio-visual perception, primarily Werner Herzog’s documentary Land of Silence and Darkness about a deaf and blind woman communicating through touch the work extended to live drawings and filming in the labs. As a parallel method of observing and recording through drawing, I also negotiated permission to shoot a 16mm film in the highly protected environment of the Anatomy Lab. Demonstration 50.15 follows the repetitive daily activities of the mortuary technician as he embalms and prepares bodies for medical students. The work reveals his quiet dignity and diligence within an environment more often recognised for scientific breakthroughs or ethical controversies. Further dialogue and lab visits with a perceptual neuroscientist, geneticists, anatomists and technicians at DPAG and a wider community of artists, art historians and writers at Oxford University, including an expert on Diderots’ Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those who can See extended my exploration. The challenges and experiences of working alongside scientists made us all question the validity of our research our understanding of the context and language through which art and science are assessed.   Much of this research was shared in Land of Silence and Darkness - four days of talk and action connecting movies, blindness, drawing, perception, and neuroscience in venues across Oxford. The resulting Blind Movies is a book of “blind movie and live carbon drawings’ 2006 -2009 with an essay by film writer Silke Panse. The book and film have shown widely in UK and abroad and are distributed through LUX. en
dc.description.sponsorship Wellcome Trust /Arts Council Of England en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art , Oxford University en
dc.subject Neuroscience en
dc.subject Blind Movies en
dc.subject Visual perception en
dc.subject LUX en
dc.subject Werner Herzog en
dc.subject Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing en
dc.subject Anatomy Lab en
dc.subject Blind Drawing en
dc.title Land of Silence and Darkness en
dc.title.alternative Demonstration 50.15, Blind Movies en
dc.type Book en
dc.type Image en
dc.type Presentation en
dc.type Video en
dc.type Other en


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