Doing the Unknown

“Doing the unknown”… the idea on the table is Art as Transformational Learning and it’s where my thoughts are this morning.  I want to go on walkabout (locally) and explore the idea in greater detail.

My lazy-day complaint is “I wish it were warmer outside.”  Fortunately, I’m a hearty and resourceful soul; I am well prepared.  I have at Winter Ready layers of cotton and silk, Smart-Wool wool socks, a warm & festive purple velvet hat, gloves, and a coat.  And, of course, a camera.  Today, that’s my mode, my vehicle for exploration.

But what is transformational learning?  It’s a good question and I can sum it up like this:

Transformational learning is: “the process by which we transform our taken-for-granted frames of reference (meaning perspectives, habits of mind, mind-sets) to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, emotionally capable of change, and reflective so that they may generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide actions.”  -Mezirow, 2000

How am I/How could you use photography to explore Doing the Unknown (that’s where our transformational learning occurs) just outside the front door, perhaps?  I walk a little further than that and I also have a theme; I notice what I find related to that theme, and then I photograph what I notice.

As neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux discovered, emotion has a privileged position of influence: “our emotional centers get first crack at incoming information, and have the connections to influence the entire brain, including its centers for thought.”  In other words, what I discover while on walkabout is linked to my existing neural response systems, those taken-for-granted frames of reference already mentioned.  That reference system is like a box.  Opening that box is a simple matter, one of exploration.  So…

Let’s go!