Monday, November 9, 2009

[Yasmin_discussions] about orality during the real life /second life workshop between Algeria(Myriam) and Tunisia(Wafa) this april 2009

It is very interesting to read your posts Roger reminding us of Piaget 's studies on child cognitive developpement and the research of Allison Gornik which I will have to read up upon. But it is true that sound and visual is interconnected and maybe working in the same places of the brain although there is no proof to know for sure.
However I do beleive that when we create visual associations in our mind with oral information being received versus receiving visual and oral information spontaneaously at the same time, i beleive a different type of cognitive process is happening in a different part of the brain for case 1 and case 2.
It seems that looking and watching things is a passive activity and needs not much conscious attention nor conscious memory. Yet imagining visual scenarios in our mind's eye,day dreaming, requires active thinking, creation and memory to continue thethread of the visual 'story'. It is much more personal, intimate and memory conscious.
I will have to read up on Piaget's cognitive research with child hearing developpement and see what Allison Gornik has
written on the topic. If anybody knows any specific cognitive developpement research based on hearing please let me know.
I would like to add a comment about the real life / second life workshops i did with Wafa Bourkhis in April 2009 in Algeria...because it was an experience of visual creation and learning and oral communication through second life with Wafa who was located in Second life/Tunisia while we were located in Algeria at the art school and in second life.

This was a very interesting experiment, because it was the first time that the art students of ecole des beaux arts learned to
communicate on second life and navigated inside of it.
My role was to introduce the project from real life and guide them to make a textural video and digital images around the idea
of dolphins being chased away from their habitat on the edge of the italian coast and tunisian coast.
Once they had created their visions with video and digital collages, they came onto second life platform to meet up with
Wafa who guided them through the virtual world of second life to have their own avatar, their own clothing , navigate through
theater platforms and free hair clothing platforms as well as places where you can buy things with virtual money and put up their art works in the platform space of 'the isle des marquis'.
It was very interesting because at first I had to be an inbetween person, in the real world until they got completely in the virtual space where Wafa was with her avatar 'Aichi sunflower'. And they communicated much better with oral speech with Wafa then
with typing on second life. When Wafa talked about the different platforms second life offers, she spoke through her avatar Aichi Sunflower and we had a big stereo amplifying her voice and a classroom projection of the second life platform where she was teaching.
It seemed like a magical window opening up to another place, between Algeria and Tunisia.
However, the technical problems of delay and noise made it a more distant communication.
Another interesting experience was that the students became comfortable with the medium and soon were making 'friends ' with other avatars of other places , for example Dina made friends with avatars from America who were 'sunbathing' and 'tanning' in
a second life location. I beleive that Dina had no trouble because she was well trained with oral communication more so then
maybe somebody from Norway, Germany or France who comes from a less oraly operating society.
She also noticed that it was a world which was very controlled by money and time.
It is true that an avatar is judged alot on how well dressed one is or if one has snazzy complex avatar moves.
Sometimes there are avatar people who will be open to teach and guide such as Wafa does.
However , there are many avatar/people I noticed who will ignore you and type to each other, and no longer talk openly so that the 'introders cannot join in or hear'.
Orality on second life is interesting. Because it is very controlled, and you are judged according to your belongings or group who you belong to.
So I do not know if second life is a free platform for true expression because there is the digital divide which keeps many
oralities from perpetuating on this modern platform.
I remember also, wanting to sing with other musicians...but it was very difficult to find them...and when i met a lady called
'Roxelo' avatar she did not want to communicate in another language then italian.
Of course these are problems which happen in real life also.
But the problem with second life, is that the algerian artists of our workshops were not able to freely create their own platform, they could not just make 'street art'...they had to limit themselves to showing 2 art pieces per person and the video could not be big, so we limited it to 2 minutes.although we had an hour of footage and 15 minute montage.
These are the limitations of technology and computer storage memory.
Even today, many artists from the digital divide do not have their art work up on the internet.
And also, the internet is still mostly an english dominated language communication tool.
Although second life has oral options. Many avatars prefer to communicate through typing because they reveal less their
Many people on second life want to have another identity so they do not want you to recognize anything personal of
their true color tone.
A man who wants to disguise himself as woman.A French who wants to be latino indian.
A Mexican who wants to be seen as an American business man. An elderly who wants to be a youthful /sexy avatar.
These are all types of people who block orallity from shining through in Second life.
Those are my 2 cents worth on the subject....What do you think?

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