Seminar – Bridge 1

Youth

Introduction
I began recalling these memories from my early childhood by looking at old photographs as a way to trigger these memories. I started to think about my kindergarten, my old house and the people surrounding me. What I realized when recalling these memories is that most of them include my nanny Marina. I started to think about how this played a role in my upbringing. Was the reason the first language I learned was Russian because of Marina? I do not think of my American mother as being an absent parent. My father is and always has been preoccupied with work, so his role in my childhood was small. My mother was involved, but for some reason her presence in my memory is way less than with Marina. When recalling these memories, I see small fragments of my childhood and it looks as if I’m watching through a thick foggy glass.

Racing
Running around my old apartment in Moscow with Marina on a toy car on the hardwood floors. I would push her around the living room in this car, making race car sounds while she laughed with her raspy, kind voice. I remember the leopard print shirt she always wore and her curly, short, brown hair and gold tooth. The shiny gold tooth is something that really sticks out in this fragment, as I was extremely jealous of it as a child and desperately wanted one.

Moving to the Country
Moving to the country after the birth of my first brother, Nikita. The house was old and big, it had painted white wood on the outside and always looked very gray to me. I would walk around the forest in our back yard and step on the mushrooms that make smoke. To me that forest was like a jungle, and it was where I would spend all of my time when I wasn’t at kindergarten. After walking through the forest, I would sit in the yellow bathroom while Marina would check my hair for ticks.

Potatoes
The first memory I have from kindergarten is sitting in the dull gray dining hall and eating mashed potatoes off a overused blue plastic plate. When I tried the potatoes I instantly started gagging from the texture. As the tears rolled down my eyes, the teacher rushed over to see if I was fine. The meal was then followed by a piece of bread covered in raw garlic, tea and Russian candy.

Birthday Party
In kindergarten one of my classmates had a birthday party. The teachers gave us lollipops and I was eating mine while running through the big room. I suddenly tripped on something and hit my mouth. I started bleeding and crying, so my mother ran over to take me home. As we were getting ready to leave, the clown who had changed out of his costume into a leather jacket and jeans came over to see how I was. When I saw him I was very confused because I thought clowns always wore their costumes.

Bike Lesson
For my fifth birthday my parents gave me a red bicycle with rainbow butterflies attached to the wires and iridescent streamers coming from the handle bars. My grandmother decided to teach me how to ride it in her dacha. As I started to peddle my grandmother let go of the back and I rode all around the yard as she smiled and clapped.

Moving Day
When we first looked at the house my parents were building, my mother showed me my new room. The brick was still exposed and the entire house smelled of cement and paint. When my parents showed me and Nikita the empty pool we got inside and began to play tag on the bottom of the pool.

Nikita
I was playing tag with Nikita in the playroom when I decided I to go to the bathroom. Nikita was jokingly opening the door every second asking if I’m done yet, I furiously slammed the door and it cut a bit of his pinkie off. While my mother rook him to the hospital, Marina stood over me making me clean the blood. I was crying, trying to explain that it was an accident, but I felt like no one believed me.

Stanley
Visiting my great grandfather Stanley in Dallas, I do not remember anything he said. It was the last time I would ever see him. All I remember is his very modern American home, his collection of canes at the front door, his quiet, raspy voice and the lush garden outside the library window.

Seychelles
Going swimming with my dad in Seychelles, we walked into the water holding hands, and a huge wave came out of nowhere and separated us. I remember opening my eyes underwater and having no control of my body. Suddenly I felt my fathers hand pull my foot and we went back to shore. As we got out of the water, I remember seeing my mother furious at my father. She stood at the top of the stairs that led to the beach in a bathrobe with a towel on her head.

Kasha
Waking up in the morning for school, I noticed it was still dark outside because it was the middle of the winter. I sat at the kitchen table waiting for breakfast. Marina came over with a big bowl of warm kasha and I began shouting about how I wanted waffled. Marina then made me stand in the corner.

Vanya
Flying to London with my grandparents to meet my new brother, Vanya. We got to my mothers apartment, her blond hair had been dyed brown. I did not recognize her and began crying because I thought she had been replaced. Later we went to the hospital after my mother gave birth to meet Vanya. I remember holding him in my arms in a big white chair.

Ski School
I remember my mother dropping me off at ski school. After skiing in the morning, we went back to the school for lunch. As I sat there in my pink thermal underwear I saw a lot of the kids were crying and so I began crying too. My mother came to check on me and I ran to her crying, but the strict French ski instructors would not open the glass door. That was the first and last day of ski school.

Future Husband
The one and only time my father came with my mother to pick me up from kindergarten I made them stand in the doorway because I wanted them to see “my husband”. Kolya did not know we were married, but I insisted on showing my parents the skinny blond boy every girl in my group had a crush on.

Conclusion
Looking back on my childhood on my childhood, most of my memories have positive connotations. Marina, kindergarten and my family were all the center of my childhood and I value all the memories I have with them. These memories are precious to me, as I will never forget my Russian upbringing, traveling and of course Marina. My childhood memories always remind me of how lucky I am to have had and continue to have such a diverse life.

Time Map

For my time map I decided to portray my physical and emotional life journey. I started by making a collage on A4 paper. Once I decided what will be shown on my real map I made a collage on mirror. The map shows me being born in Texas, moving to Russia, London and then New York. It also shows events that have had an emotional effect on me like Russian school, sentimental places in London and my parents divorce. To show this I used objects from each event, magazines and paper on mirror. These objects are receipts, my heart rate from the hospital, money and random objects I’ve collected throughout my life.
I chose to use mostly objects from each event in my life because I wanted this map to be more personal and meaningful. Each object used on this map has a certain memory or sentimental value attached to it which is what makes this such a personal time map.
The intention of the mirror is to show the present time as it shows exactly what is happening now. I chose the mirror as a background because I wanted to create a more conceptual as well as aesthetically please map. The mirror also connects the viewer to my map.

Object Essay

An object that is meaningful to me is a Cartier bracelet my father gave to before I went to boarding school. This bracelet is meaningful to me because of its sentimental value. Before going to boarding school I was very nervous about this new chapter of my life and was afraid to leave home. My father gave this to me as a reminder of his love and so a part of him will always be with me no matter how far away I am. I have always had an emotional connection to my jewelry as all of it has been given to me by friends and family, but this bracelet is the most special one. It is my favorite piece of jewelry not only because of the aesthetic of it, but also because of the story behind it and how it makes me think of home when I look at it. My father gave it to me after he was in Switzerland for an extended time. He came home late at night and woke me up saying he had a surprise. When he gave it to me he told me he thought of me as soon as he saw it and wanted me to have something to remind me of him when I am in school. He also told me that this bracelet was special because it was the last one in Switzerland as this was a limited collection created to raise money for cancer.
The bracelet is a thin silk cord with a gold ring on it that says “Love” on each side. I think this bracelet is well designed because the cord can be changed whenever the wearer is tired of the color or the cord is worn down. Because the cord can be changed to a variety of colors and sizes the wearer will not get tired of it as it becomes an new bracelet each time.
The bracelets purpose is to remind the wearer that love is the most powerful force and this is highlighted by the diamond inside one of the Os. The diamond is a metaphor for strength as a diamond is the strongest naturally occurring material. When I think about the bracelet’s message I remind myself about the power of love.
The Cartier Love collection is iconic and the other pieces carry a similar meaning. The collection was inspired by a chastity belt and it symbolizes that love should be everlasting as these pieces are timeless and manufactured to be durable. The designer of the collection said that “Love has become too commercial, yet life without love is nothing”.

Einstein’s Dreams – Notes

Prologue
1) Theory of time
2) Clerks arriving in two hours knowing exactly where to begin – time as a circle
3) Objects appearing minute by minute
4) “Dreams about time” “he sometimes cannot tell whether he is awake or asleep”
5) Introduces the idea of time as a circle as well as dreams

14 April 1905
1) Idea of time as circle
2) Repetition of moments in life
3) “Time is a circle, bending back on itself. The world repeats itself, precisely, endlessly”
4) “Nothing is temporary, that all will happen again..”
5) Time/life compared to an ant walking around in a circle not knowing he will return to where he began
6) Idea of being born again
7) Religious references as there is the idea of rebirth

16 April 1905
1) Time as a flow of water
2) Idea of time travel and how time travelers are more aware of their actions as they are afraid any move will alter the future —> Butterfly effect
3) If the time traveler gets dust on Klausen the EU will never occur
4) We live life without thinking deeply about the future and how everything we do has an effect on the future

19 April 1905
1) Parallel universes
2) Three chains of events, “each future is real”
3) Infinity of worlds in time

24 April 1905
1) Idea about 2 separate times
2) Mechanical time is just an idea it does not actually exist
3) People who don’t believe in mechanical time enjoy life more
4) People who think their bodies don’t exist live a more mechanical strict life
5) “Each time is true, but the truths are not the same”

26 April 1905
1) Time flows at different speeds in different locations
2) Youth as a status symbol
3) “People at ground level never sit. They run, while carrying their briefcases or groceries” – time moves faster when you are busy
4) People consumed with aging ended up getting old faster

28 April 1905
1) Time is everywhere
2) “In this world, a second is a second is a second”
3) Time as an evidence of God
4) Time is constant

3 May 1905
1) “Future and past are entwined”
2) Moments in time changing the fate of someone forever
3) Action vs reaction
4) “World of impulse”

4 May 1905
1) Repetition of events
2) “Time does not pass, but little happens”

Screening Notes for Time

  1. Power of Ten
    • 10 second step; small picnic —> city —> lake —> satellite view —> galaxy —> million light years (galaxy of stars) —> 100 million light years out —> emptiness —> starting point
    • 1024  (space) —> 10-4 (inside the skin) —> 10-11 inner space
    • Goes through scales, the smallest and largest scale look the same
    • 40 powers of 10

     

  2. Powers of Time
    • Journey through time
    • 1 microsecond —> trobostrophic photography
    • 10-10 —> beam of light traveling through an eye
    • World of quantum probability
    • Human generation —> a billion seconds
    • 1017.6 —> symbol of early universe

     

  3. The Psychology of Time 
    • Temptation (experiment with marshmallows and kids)
    • Religious reference to temptation (Adam and Eve) relates to time
    • Discussing people that are “Future Focused” vs “Present Focused” and how that effects their life and decision making
    • Paradox of time perspective
    • Understanding time perspectives
      • Time as a tool

     

  4. Pas de Deux
    • Present body —> present x past body
    • Time frames mimicking the dancer
    • Bodies mirroring each other
    • 2nd body enters creating a narrative
    • Bodies multiply, disappear, mimic/mirror
    • Light vs Dark
    • High contrast creates a stronger visual experience
    • Use of sound in the video as a way to highlight the narrative, keep viewers attention
    • Sound does not always match the movement
    • A journey through time
    • Movements turned into an abstraction as they are turned into individual time frames
    • Forms objectify time
    • Pas de deux – not two

     

  5. History of Japan 
    • Development of Japan
    • Religion
    • Government
    • Art and Literature
    • Military leaders
    • Samurai
    • Fight for power
    • Increase in population
    • Dutch influence
    • Westernization
    • WW1
    • League of Nations
    • WW2
    • Pearls Harbor
    • Hiroshima — long silence contrasted to the loud noise and fast pace to show the effect of the bomb on Japan and highlight its significance
    • Industrialization
    • Use of sound, pace, graphics

     

  6. Scavengers 
    • Space ship Vesta crashes
    • The two scavengers use what is around them (nature) to try and get back to normal life
    • Woman figures out a system to look into time
    • View of daily life in New York
    • Man vs Nature

Reflection – Traveling

In this article Paley discusses her own experience with segregation and being a stranger in a community. She discusses her journey on the bus where she encountered racial segregation. Palye’s status as a stranger enables her to resist the injustices segregation. Her mother is inspiration to her for resistance when she offers to hold a woman’s baby when she couldn’t give up her seat to an exhausted mother. This act of kindness allows her to cross the invisible boarder of segregation and creates a strong connection between the two communities. Paley’s status and her actions is what enables her to resist injustice.

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