Posts by Glenna Batson

Who’s in Charge?

Who’s in Charge? Since the mapping of the human genome, discussion around genetic determinism has intensified within the bio-politique. What impact do genes and gene technologies have on human biological destiny? The fate of reproduction, life expectancy, health and disease are subject to multiple moral and ethical debates  (Muskavitch 2014; Fox Keller 1994; Resnick & Vorhaus 2006).   But the debate around genetic control of human movement seems less tenacious. Genes play a vital role in organizing the plan, or template, of the human body.  But movement is shaped by interaction. From the get-go, movement is a co-creation of body, mind
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The Fold: Control is in the Process

  I admit it!…I love to get things done. My brain – and my ego – derive enormous satisfaction from finishing tasks and projects, and completing the simple minutiae of daily living. I often find myself tidying up – sometimes obsessively — making sure I cross all t’s and dot all i’s. I’m unduly frustrated by the feeling of incompleteness. Things left unfinished fragment my sense of  purpose, leaving me with an itch that never gets scratched to my satisfaction. On a deeper behavioral level, the unfinished leaves me with an incessant yearning, a neurological undercurrent that drives my productivity.
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Giant Origami – How scale shapes perception

The previous blog touched on the beauty of micro-scale origami, commonly seen in nature. Yet, diminutive patterning is often lost in the grand landscape before us. Gazing into the fractal folding of birch bark or a leaf’s lacey veins, opens our eyes to movement — a sense of infinite lines and endless depth. The micro-folds tempt and train the eye to see into the essence of things.   On the opposite end of the spectrum of microcosmic scale is origami writ large. Artists across multiple genres have drawn upon origami processes to create large (macro) scale sculptures in everything from
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Origami in Nature – the beauty of scale

Folding is nature’s most common way of making patterns. The action of folding is simple enough, but the dynamics within the action are infinitely varied.  They turn a mechanical concept into a process. A simple fold displays a range of dynamics and depth. If we take a moment to pause and gaze at any fold, a perceptual duet emerges. We begin to entrain to the energetic vitality of design before us. Within moments, a static line yields, comes alive in the interplay of light and shadow. Creases lengthen and deepen, shimmer and flow.   Our perceptions can magically shift from habitual
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CONVERGENCE – where material science meets biological folding

CONVERGENCE – where material science meets biological folding When two diverse sciences converse, they either widen their divide or unearth some gems of syncretism. Physicists at the University of Syracuse have discovered correlations between the material forces of glass making and embryonic morphogenesis. In an interview in Quanta magazine, associate professor of physics, Lisa Manning discusses this phenomenon. Manning and her colleagues were intrigued by the phase transitions of glass formation, those moments when the fluid (molten) state of glass shifts to a solid state. The team noted the possible relationship between the actions of physical forces during this fluid-to-solid phase transitionand
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Coral Reefs, Memory and the Human Brain

Coral Reefs, Memory and the Human Brain   Folds confound in the many ways they can create infinite shapes. But folding provides much more than aesthetic and interesting patterns within nature. Folds ‘enfold’ biological history. They provide unique ways of storing experience. They are a biological archive of life stories that reflect the interaction of body and environment, of nature and nurture.   Recent discoveries of coral ‘skeletons’ show that these layered beauties store vast amounts of environmental information that date back thousands of years. These datastore annual records of ocean water temperatures, imprints of industrial pollutants and water conditions,
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Origami. Inspiring new anatomical paradigms

Origami paper making began in the 6th century by Japanese Buddhist monks. At that time paper was a precious commodity, so origami was reserved mainly for ritual ceremonies. By the 19th century, origami spread to the west.  Friedrich Fröbel, the founder of the kindergartens, recognized the importance of origami in developing children’s minds. In the 1920’s artist Josef Albers (father of color theory and minimalism in art) taught origami and other forms of paper folding at the Bauhaus. His work subsequently influenced other modern artists, including Japanese origami artist Kunihiko Kasahara, known for his paper creations on the cube, variations
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On Mindfulness

On Mindfulness   The play of paper origami has been called a mindful practice. Why? What is mindful about folding paper? And, why is cultivating mindfulness important?   In daily life, human beings largely operate on autopilot. The word autopilot derives from aviation. Here, technology allows for control of an aircraft without constant hands-on attention and effort. When applied to beings, however, autopilot suggests automatic -and therefore, mindless – carrying out of activity. Daily operations happen against a background of mental distraction, rumination and oblivion. The holism of body and mind is fragmented.   Mindfulness puts a full stop to
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Out of one, many

…And, out of many, one. I have fallen in love with Origami, more as an improvisational movement practice, then as the traditional paper play it is known for. And yet, I now see everyday paper trash in a new way. Tossing the newspaper into the recycle bin, I question silently, ‘is this paper now a no-thing? Is a new expression possible?  Check out this newspaper dress  – a charmingl example of how folding can transform the mundane into magic. Origami has captured the ingenuity of countless artists, engineers, and other visionaries.  Between the Folds, a PBS documentary produced in 2008, shows
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Origami. Inspiring new anatomical paradigms

Origami paper making began in the 6th century by Japanese Buddhist monks. At that time paper was a precious commodity, so origami was reserved mainly for ritual ceremonies. By the 19th century, origami spread to the west.  Friedrich Fröbel, the founder of the kindergartens, recognized the importance of origami in developing children’s minds. In the 1920’s artist Josef Albers (father of color theory and minimalism in art) taught origami paper folding at the Bauhaus. His work subsequently influenced other modern artists, including Japanese origami artist Kunihiko Kasahara, known for his simple paper cubes that conceal hidden complexity. Today, origami continues
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