Brain Dump No.1

— 6 minute read

I've just had my morning coffee and am feeling perky and with high energy. At the moment there are so many things in my head so I decided to do a brain dump, to clear things out a bit.

  • Research ideas - I'm working on two research proposals and one paper idea at the moment, all connected to digital rights from different angles. On top of trying to make them make sense individually, I'm also trying to make them make sense together. Yesterday I downloaded a bunch of new papers to read and I'm excited about reading them and making new connections. Briefly, here are the general areas of the research topics:
    • Digital ethics, from a Southeast Asian point of view
    • Hate speech, in the context of Malaysia
    • Digital rights, from the conceptual framework that I constructed, applied somewhere, maybe in the context of Malaysia, maybe Southeast Asia
  • Anatomy studies, before Saturday's drawing class. I have been super productive with my practice this week. Partly due to procrastination from the above research work, since it's very tempting to run away from all the chaos in my brain by focusing on a pencil scratching on a piece of paper. Also, this week is figure drawing and anatomy, and I love it! Bye bye still life :D For now. Maybe I'll warm up to it at some point in the future. Here is the list of drawing resources that I've been using:
    • Leonardo's anatomy studies - I found an archive of his drawings digitised by Buckingham Palace's Royal Collection Trust, wowww... it's a privilege to have access to his notes. His anatomy drawings are of course stellar, and I've been learning so much just copying his sketches. I just love spending time with him, slowly reproducing his lines and hatches and wondering what his beautiful eyes must have seen. And if there was a dissected cadaver right in front of him when he was doing those drawings. Just mind blowing.
    • Line of action quick gesture drawing - They flash you photos of figures at intervals (30sec, 60 sec, 5mins, etc, depending on what you need. This is quite useful for quick practices that I used to do last year, and I'll be doing more this week.
    • More anatomy studies from books - currently I'm using Art Students' Anatomy by Edmond J. Farris and Constructive Anatomy by George B. Bridgman. Both really good books. I'm focusing on the overall figures, and hands and feet in particular.
    • Bonus: Drawabox exercises, which are general, but would probably be very important to learn about perspective and structure to draw anything at all. At the moment I'm not doing these exercises yet but I would like to do them in the future.
  • Current books that I'm reading - unfortunately I do have a habit of straddling several books at the same time:
    • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer. I am about 35% through (Kindlespeak) and already I'm feeling inspired at the possibilities of expanding my memory and learning capabilities. For instance I can totally see myself applying some of the ideas onto learning Farsi for instance, which is one of my current pursuits. So far for that I've only memorised the Persian alphabet and am losing it rapidly because I just haven't had time and energy for revision. But if I'm able to retain that information better... shiny eyes
    • Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now by Douglas Rushkoff. This I am about 20% through. I'm searching for some answers for some of the chaos that is in my head (yes, the chaos that you are reading through right now). Is it me? Is it our times? Or is it both?
    • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari. Uff this guy is good. He's been able to spark off some truly dystopian (but valid) concerns on where humanity is going, and as much as I'm disturbed reading his work I can't bring myself to stop. I've finished Sapiens and Homo Deus, both by him. I'm about 20% through for 21 Lessons.
  • A blog post that I've been writing about dehumanisation. It's an idea that has come to me in different books (Rushkoff and Harari are responsible for triggering a deluge of thoughts on this matter, and also some other books that I read, such as Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Trial by Franz Kafka) and sources and I am eager to get the thoughts down on paper in order to know what I've been thinking about. So far I'm halfway through, just got distracted by too many things that are on my plate.
  • A paper that I need to read for a reading group that I'm intending to go for tonight, at Malaysia Design Archive. The paper to be discussed is The Modern Cult of Monuments: Its Characters and Its Origins, by Alois Riegl. I've never been to a reading group before (apart from those in university, and my attendance was less than voluntary) and am very excited about it, also of meeting people who like reading. The paper though is quite boring so far haha.
  • Lectures that I found and need to get through. I just discovered Open Culture and I am like a kid in a candy store. I want to learn this! I want to learn that! In any case I've chosen just the below two to start with.
    • Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Artfrom Oxford University - There are 8 lectures and so far I've been through one and a half. Interesting to learn about what Plato and Aristotle thought about art and poetry, during their times. Plato thought that art and poetry were bad for you, because make-believe things would just distract people from the truth and the pursuit of truth. Aristotle thought that art was a good way for people to learn, because people learn from imitation. Maybe when I'm done with the whole lecture series I would be inspired enough to come up with a summary.
    • Death by Shelly Kagan from Yale University - One of the topics that I'm interested about, from a philosophical point of view. How do we live if we don't think about death seriously? How do we live until we die?
  • Writing content for various sections of this website. The projects, my interests... all have to be updated. At the moment it just looks awfully sparse.

I'm going to end this post here since it took me longer than what I thought it would, just to put down some thoughts and links so that I don't forget them! Now, onwards to actually do some of these things on the list :)