It's been a while and it makes me sad, however that is the price you pay when you study and work and want to go out every once in a while. As usual, New Year drags the unfinished work & forgotten dreams from the last year, at the same time bringing the new inspirational tasks and resolutions to the light. Of course, I am not the exception- like always, I have loads of personal and academical plans that I wish to create and/or develop. January is an amazing month not only because it is the very middle of the winter, surrounded by lovely holidays, events, family dinners and parties at friends'. As well as not only because it is my birthday month, and not only because it is the time that even british woman wear tights! It is a great period of the year, because it is only the beginning of it. I am still feeling slightly uplifted and powerful, just because so much is ahead of me and the fact that I actually have some time to continue with your plans until the other year comes uninvited, is really pleasant. I wish myself good luck :)
As weird as it may sound, I could not say that my summer passed "oh, so quickly!". No. To the contrary, it felt like almost a year went by while I was catching sun and waves in my beautiful, most favorite seaside, Curionian Split, Lithuania.
Highlight of my holidays?
Can't accentuate one.
I had an unforgettable time with my friends in a lovely, bohemian and very cosy town Altea in Spain. Surrounded by mountains and mediterranean sea, we tasted and admired culture of nature and beautiful people. Siesta!
Without a doubt I enjoyed moments spent in my home country as well. Festivals, camping and kayaking trips, loads of interesting books and events. How much you can do when you do not have any fixed plans!
However, as much as I would love to be laid back and relaxed aaaall summer, I knew I had to get some things done before I head back to UK. One of them was to get my driving license. That I accomplished and therefore had an remarkable experience driving a fully seated car for four hours, when it was raining cats and dogs, + thunder, + extremely low visibility, + fast cars everywhere and it's only my second time driving without an instructor!
Phew! I would like to note, that everyone got out of the car alive.
Another thing I promised myself I would do over the summer, was to improve my russian language skills. What is the better way to learn a language, than to go to the country where everyone speaks it? So I decided to visit Ukraine, the land, which name has been on every newspaper for a past year. Language, obviously, was not the only reason I went there. I was dying to know how Kiev looks after attacks and upheaval.
I must say the view was not as tragic as I hoped, however after talking with native ukrainians, I got extremely sad. Are we now, at this state of mind, when we perceive such things as war, disruption and lawlessness, as norm? I visited quite a few parts of the Ukraine (considering it's size) and I can honestly say , that it is a beautiful, very ethnical country, rich with traditions and individuality. It is Ukraine, and it is not Russia.
All in all, my summer was great and full of positivity, however after a few months of relaxation I could not feel the urge to feed my mind with creativity and heal my body with the energy of fast pace. I needed to get back to London and start my projects!
Amy was a phenomenal singer and songwriter, whose songs, style and even lifestyle was influenced by 60's and (!) gothic movement. Even though her songs were touching, I couldn't say I was a fan. To the contrary, I was kind of repulsed by her looks, the dark and scary image and the lifestyle. I could tell that she is unhappy, because I believe in the meanings of colors. Black never was and never will be a color of fulfillment and happiness, and even though she didn't aways wear black clothes, her whole image and aura was dark. It may be funny, but these things can be sensed, therefore it was hard to enjoy her music, when you could feel some kind of poignancy and melancholy from her.
Was she a Gothic Heroine?
It is practically impossible to impartially assess the person, whose actions completely contradicts your philosophy and perception to life. However, I believe she is not the woman I would call a Gothic Heroine. I respect her for being who she really is, for not acting. Her emotions and vibes, that she shared with the audience were strong, truthful and non-superficial. She changed the pop-music scene not only with her attitude, but also with a quality production she presented to the world: meaningful lyrics and exquisite music. From my point of view, she was a vigorous, capable personality. And the fact that she tried to fight her demons, made her step a little closer to the Gothic Heroine's ranks. However, she lost her battle, and then finally, she lost her war. The thing is, that we all are struggling. We all have to move the stone, like Sisyphus, up and down, all our life. It is our assignment, our privilege and at the same time the curse, to find the joy in it!
Irony and sarcasm are my favorite kinds of humor. I call them "smart lies", due to the fact that behind every ironical joke hides the truth, however the addresser may not realize it from the beginning, and think it is just a form of joke.
Even more exciting, when the irony appears not only in verbal similitude, but also in a visual form. The art movement, known as POP ART, uses it to gibe the cliche phenomena, as well as attract attention to a bit monotonous or characterless objects, certain events, products.
POP ART developed differently in America and Britain, as well as in other European countries. However, for the beginning of this movement we have to be thankful mostly for british and american artists. In USA pop art signalized the return of hard-edged composition and representational art, as a response by artists using impersonal, boring reality, parody and irony to defuse personal symbolism and the spontaneous and subconscious creation of Abstract Expressionism. By contrast, while employing irony and parody, pop art was more academic with a focus on the paradoxical figurativeness of American popular culture as powerful and, most importantly, manipulative symbolic devices.
The main feature of Pop Art is that it challenges fine art ( which until then was considered kind of sacred and unequivocal), therefore induced a significant interest and popularity between modern artiest and critics. Due to the concept of it's peculiarities, Pop Art was mostly used in mass culture, such as advertising, graphic novels/ comic books and mundane cultural objects.
Pop Art to me is something pop, trendy, witty, sexy, fast, fun, easy, entertaining, interesting, shocking, ironic, clear & at the same time not fully understood and reasoned. It's like there is some kind of secret in the pop art production, that is known only by the author. And that fascinates!
The ads, which looked like an application with various funny stickers on it, were something that was never seen before! Irony, extravagancy and a certain sense of fun and entertainment is what I like the most from Pop Art production. It is like today in Tate Modern: you see the art piece and think: I could do that! And suddenly someone whispers in your ear: But you didn't!
The Age of Enlightenment was a cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in late 17th-century Europe emphasizing reason and individualism, rather than tradition. It's the phenomenal age of change, not only physical, but also inner change in people's lives. After a long period of darkness and uncertainty, Enlightenment reminded and exalted the need of thinking! I think, therefore I am, said René Descartes, and he could't be more true. Individuals were encouraged to analyze and criticize everything and everywhere. They were no longer religion fanatics, believing in superior power and waiting for salvation. The age of reason granted them a potentiality to see and feel deeper, to escape from a massive suffering of not knowing, or should I say, of not wanting to know. Bewilderment developed into a rudiment of light.
Enlightenment's purpose was to reform society using reason, to challenge ideas grounded in tradition and faith, and to advance knowledge through the scientific module. It promoted scientific thought, skepticism, and intellectual interchange. The Enlightenment was a revolution in human thought.
The bright movement of the age touched variety of aspects and fields of society: economy, social life, art, to name but a few. However, what surprises me the most is the phenomenal change on people's perception to religion. For many years, generation after generation, believed in God, faith, punishment for sins, salvation after death, and lived accordingly. And suddenly, they began to doubt the veracity and sanctity of their religion. Even though the world of Christianity was enormously concussed by Reformation, it is still chocking for me how long time believers have abandoned their faith with the rise of Enlightenment. I could only imagine how strong and influential were the ideas of the age of reason and what impact it had made on people at that time.
Even though I consider myself more of an Romanticism sympathizer, I am truly inspired by philosophers of the Enlightenment era. Especially, with their impact on the politics and conception of human's rights. It effectively touched not only America, but also my country- Lithuania. The Enlightenment influenced a very essential and revolutionary Lithuanian- Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791.
There are always some exceptions, however I believe that majority of people like to get some information about the author of the book they're about to read. If we read a book purely for entertainment purposes, we may take a quick look at author's previous works, maybe reviews and critic's notes. However, if we need to deeply analyze certain individual's works to support our own opinion on a certain phenomenon, we run straight to the author's biography and check its background. Is it because we were always taught to do so, or is there actually a valuable source of information, hidden in the author's life. I am wondering, whether the piece of art, let it be a book, a sculpture or a painting, is a reflection of an author and what is the bonding connection between the creature and the creation...
A french literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes argues the prevailing opinion, and states that, for instance, writing and creator are unrelated. In his well known essay, named "Death of the Author" (1967), Barthes contradicts the method of reading and criticism that relies on aspects of the author's identity — their political views, historical context, religion, ethnicity, psychology, or other biographical or personal attributes — to distill meaning from the author's work.
According to Barthes, this type of reading and analysis may be convenient and reasonable, however it is incorrect and even inappropriate. Readers must separate a literary work from its creator in order to liberate the text from the interpretative bias.
To be honest, this has never crossed my mind, since all my previous academic research on essays contained of analyzation of aspects of the author's identity, interpreting its life peripeteia and thus supporting my arguments.
All my life I have been taught to understand certain works only one way and not the other. I remember asking why, however tutors just smiled and used to say that it is just the way it is, that all the times, earlier and now, written pieces were explained and interpreted this way and we (students) are not competitive enough to argue this "ancient, sacred and inviolable" truth. Yet now I feel like I have been living the lie, since I completely agree with Barthes. He thinks, that the scriptor exists to produce but not to explain the work and "is born simultaneously with the text, is in no way equipped with a being preceding or exceeding the writing, [and] is not the subject with the book as predicate." Every work is "eternally written here and now," with each re-reading, because the "origin" of meaning lies exclusively in "language itself" and its impressions on the reader.
From now, my perception of interpretation and analysis has been changed forever.
Or, how many ways can you skin a dead cat?
Or... how many ways can an alien analyze an animated robot?
HOW MANY WAYS CAN YOU ANALYSE LIFE?
Or also known as- ART. We create our lives, don’t we? We create Art as well. We create memories, colors, things and emotions. We create ourselves.
Unfortunately, as we get older, we start losing our confidence and the ability to trust our instincts. This results in tendency of overthinking and analysis of certain phenomena, actions and usually- other individuals. We could talk about the negativity of this and the damage that we make to ourselves, however I would like to discuss the action of analysis itself. I can tell from my own experience how phenomenal the results of deep analysis could be, regardless who or what you are analyzing. But the question is: do we do it right? How many methods of analysis are there?
Some people counted, so I will tell you the methods. However, naming them is one thing but using them as a source and method is completely different.
Political Frankfurt School
Psychological Critical Theory
Feminism Postcolonial Criticism
Visual Rhetoric/Visual Literacy
Technological, Apparatus Theory
Philosophical Ethics., Affect/Effect
Formalist film theory, Genre Studies
Data Collection and Analysis
Structuralism, Post- structuralism
Sometimes we do it deliberately, sometimes- without even realizing, however we always do it- analyzing. No matter how smart are human beings, we simply can’t understand everything by the first sight, therefore our brains requires more information to be able to find an explanation/reason/origin of certain things or actions.
In my opinion, it’s easier to live for some people. For those, who often don’t care about many things, who don’t think twice, who are kind of shallow. To be honest, I feel a bit jealous of them. They do not feel the need of analyzing everything, which makes their existence much lighter. However, these people lose the chance to experience one of the most extraordinary feelings in life- the excitement of finding and exploring! How much more you can find out when you dig into the grounds of information! How many different points of view you can discover! You expand your knowledge, broad you horizons, step over stereotypes and, most importantly, you begin to feel competent enough to share your findings with others.
Of course, it’s kind of sad that nowadays the process of RESEARCH contains surfing the net, scrolling down various websites instead of going to libraries, archive centers or etc. It’s much easier this way, and we should appreciate it, however I feel that easy finding and fast information deprives a bit of excitement from us. Sitting with your laptop in a café is not the same as walking in gloaming corridors of the library and flipping through the dusty pages of some amazingly wise philosopher’s book!
And the research it self gets more simple, less complex and more superficial. In order to get everything done faster, we tend to detect one reliable source or method and use it throughout the whole project/work we have to do and we add other sources as secondary and less important. In my opinion, whatever you are analyzing, you have to rely on a variety different sources, methods, opinions in order to fully understand the subject of your analysis and successfully present it in your work. It goes without saying that it is extremely hard to maintain your attention and focus on several different methods and combine them while giving your own critical overview. But I believe this is the only way to make your examination professional and deep.
I was aware of the fact that there are many methods to analyze certain things. However, it never crossed my mind that there is one particular method, which could help me take a brand new/ different look at the phenomenon of my interest. A lecturer in my university suggested an interesting and helpful way: to try imagine that you see 'this' thing for the very first time. You have no primary attitude, no assumptions, nothing. Just pretend you don't have a thought in the world and just see what is in front of you. Get raw with your instincts, imagination and thinking. What do YOU see?