FAH102H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Birdstone, Edward Burtynsky, Grey Day

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5 Jan 2018
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FAH102
Lecture 1
Art & Ideas?
- Sometimes we look at something but we’re unsure of what we’re even looking at
- We need to say what we see but we need to really see what we see
- Look at things with critical eye and analytic skill
- Learn history for visual skills
Vision itself has its history. Heinrich Wolfflin
- The way we see has a history. Visual experiences structured by cultural context.
- To view & understand art requires visual strata of art.
- Strata? Layers of soil and rock.
- Train our eyes & articulation
THEME: The City Seen
Why cities?
- Instrumental in development of art
- Centres of culture & production of art, development of artistic technique, centers of
artistic individuals
- Occupy increasing significance in presence in human society.
- World population & urban population are proportionate to each other. Both are
increasing together.
To study a city
- Need visual documents (maps, blueprints, etc.)
- Cities are meant to be experienced visually
- A city is a work of art.
How we shape our ideas of art may be governed by the cities we’re in.
Object 1: Birdstone
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- Could be a hunting tool, accessory, religious artefact? Since it was found in graves
- But the lack of record, writing does not let us know for sure.
- Disappearance of birdstones are correlated to the change in lifestyles
- People w BS were usually hunters but then they began to grow corn.
- To plant corn, you have to be in one place for a while. Transition from hunting
culture to agricultural society created a settlement rather than a nomadic lifestyle.
So villages and such.
- 90% of native americans died after the arrival of Europeans mostly due to diseases
- Hence, another reason for disappearance of BS.
Fun fact: Toronto is an Iroquoian word meaning Trees standing in the water.
Object 2: Alexander Aitken, Plan of York Harbour (1793)
- A map expresses a person’s point of view on a location
- Priorities on what is important are shown on maps
- 1793 was the year when York was founded by the British
- They created a map because they wanted to send the map back to London to let
them know why they think it’s a good place for a town.
- Also they wanted to analyze the good places for people to live
- Intellectual movement in Europe around 1800s led by philosophers and thinkers to
embrace rational ways of thinking & working
- Gastaldi when he was drawing the map of Canada relied on explorers’ diaries. He
had
never been to Canada. Very imaginative map. (1548)
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