Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heart sings

This is the marvelous Violeta Luz. She is an unstoppable teacher of life. I lived with her and her family in São Paulo, and now they are all on the river banks of the great river Ganges awaiting the arrival of her new brother. Tonight my heart sings purely of love for her. Eternal blessings reside in the eyes of the child.

lights out…
the firefly

Haiku by Peggy Lyles.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Population statistics: Persons with refugee background

"Approximately 143 000 persons with a refugee background were living in Norway on 1 January 2009. More than half had Asian backgrounds. The two largest groups were persons from Iraq and Somalia.

Out of the total population with refugee backgrounds almost 73 per cent have come to Norway as principal applicants and 23 per cent as dependents. With a total of 18 700 persons, Iraqis make up the largest group. The second largest group consists of persons with a Somali background (16 700).

Monday, March 15, 2010

My minds eye sees when my vision is inpaired

In the same line as the previous entry this picture was taken at Store Lungegårdsvann. Suddenly we were surprised by a snow storm so dense that we could not see clearly ahead, forget about the other side of the lake. Still images of the place reside deep inside our subconscious always reminding us of the situation. I observed these images of a "normal" day presented on a screen before my minds eye.

What is "real"?

On a very cloudy night some days ago I shot this image from my living room window up in the Sandviken mountains. The view to the sea was completely obscured by the misty air and the surrounding buildings reflected themselves in my windows. However magical the mind still knows what is really "real". It knows, from experience, what the landscape really is like, and does not get afraid by this temporary coat. Still it looked like this for a moment, and the atmosphere got us lighting candles in tune with the outside expression, and feelings matching what we saw emerged in us. Where do I end and what is outside me begin? The borders are blurry. We are one. I am constantly moulded by my surroundings. I imagine forever living in such a landscape - the constant "me" would be quite different. My perception of reality would be something else.

Change reveals beauty

The snow has just melted enough on the shores of Store Lungegårdsvann to reveal beautiful moss. I found this haiku at

Waiting for you -
the moss on the walls
grows steadily

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gypsys also belong here

In the local Bergen newspaper Bergens Tidene there was an article about the US critique of how gypsys are treated in Europe. The Romani prople in Europe have problems with habitat, jobs and schools, and they are risking their lives. This worries the US.

The article tell about a Romano man that was shot and killed outside his house in Hungary, the sole reason being his descendant. In another village fire bombs were thrown into the house of a young family, and the son and the young son were shot down when they ran out of the house. Something similar happened in the Czech Republic where the family of a two year old girl burned inside.

Six people were shot in Hungary before the police managed to arrest four men. A member of the government characterized them as "racist mass murderers". This systematic oppression and abuse happens in calm European villages, and in some areas it is so grave that the UN, Amnesty International and the US are warning European governments.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Perception and understanding the brain

How the brain is developed

I found this one also on the Neurophilosophy blog. Our brains are still influenced and still evolve even when we are adults, just not as rapidly as when we were small babies.

Portfolio: Master Project Autumn 2009

Portfolio: Master Project 2 Spring 2009

Portfolio: Master Project 1 Spring 2009

Portfolio: Master Project Autumn 2008

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Non linear complex processes

This image is Dostoevsky's notes for chapter 5 of The Brothers Karamazov. The non linear composition of ideas depicted here amazes me. Dostoevsky uses drawings complementing the scraps of written ideas for materializing mental images or concepts. It's beautiful to see, because I, not being a writer, often think of written media as a linear activity of story telling.

Of course many authors work with non linear ways of telling their complex stories, after all reality is not linear. If I understood Russian maybe I could have followed Dostoevsky's stream of consciousness! I was told yesterday of an artist friend who often prefers the sketches of paintings rather than the finished work, because it is possible to read the artists intentions in the sketch - later to be camouflaged by timely layering of paint.

It's a question of temperature

A friend passed on this very interesting article from the blog Neurophilosophy. The article points to research showing how temperature affects how we perceive relationships. In the subjects there would awaken warm feelings in warm spaces whilst drinking warm beverages, likewise the test subjects would act more coldly or describe people in the situation as less generous in cold spaces whilst drinking cold beverages.

A test about the relationship between objects in a perceptual focus was also performed. In the image above the triangle of triangles was first shown to the test subjects, also now divided in hot and cold groups. After the subjects were shown the two lower diagrams - a triangle of squares and a square of triangles, and asked to make an opinion on which of the two were more like the first one. The target of the task was similarities in relationships, not that of properties, which makes the square of triangles more similar, and sure enough - test subject from the hot room group were more likely to give that answer.

"In line with earlier work, this study shows that temperature has a direct effect on social relations. It also shows that temperature affects language and the perception of relationships between inanimate objects. The findings support idea that thought processes are grounded in bodily sensations. Specifically, it provides further evidence that interpersonal relationships - which for most of us are critical in everyday life - are strongly grounded in temperature. Furthermore, the interaction between social cognition and temperature is apparently bi-directional: warmer temperatures induce social proximity, while loneliness makes people feel colder. In terms of brain function, there is evidence that a part of the brain called the insula is involved in processing both psychological and physical warmth. "

We think with our entire bodies. What we feel, we think. And if our thermoception has such influence on how we think/feel/relate, just imagine how much the entire cavalry of our sense apparatus picks up from our environment and the spaces we are in. Without us knowing it we are victims to our senses. The brain or what we think with is not a separate entity from our bodies.

Wrapping up I must comment on the stereotype of Skandinavins being cold and people from the Mediterranean are said to be worm. Well, maybe it's actually something in the air. Also I couldn't help but referring to The Balloon Farms hit "A Question of Temperature" in the title of this entry, if anyone remember that one.

Thank you - good morning!

Sam held up his glass of raspberries and currants juice for me a few mornings back for me to snap a shot of it. I love the play of the foam and the colours in the glass.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Space, perception and awareness (social anthropology text)

As a point of departure to my text on social anthropology this is the text I delivered to BAS in January about my diploma project:

“With a critical eye I wish to investigate the way we live, going back to basics - how we sleep, eat, wash ourselves... - and why. How we relate to our surroundings. How we interpret them. Winston Churchill said "We shape our buildings, and then they shape us". The same goes for how the systems/cultures that we create. The established paradigm is constantly changing, whichever form, slowly but surely.

We are in-between yesterday and hyper modernity. We let ourselves be seduced by the offerings of technology, but these objects don't awaken such feelings of recognition as the crocked and worn wooden floor of an old apartment.

Since the Renaissance the Western world has moved more away from the mystical of our nature to the logical and rational. The way we live, how our cities are organized is whether we like that idea or not - form that follows function. And if we don't like that idea, only now is the time to do something about it.

We project ourselves on spaces. In spaces that are new to us we project the image of ourselves and our desires in that situation. New situations trigger our imagination. We tend to travel to be inspired.


"Tathata (Sanskrit, Pali तथाता tathātā; Chinese language 眞如 pr.: zhēnrú /chen-ju; tib. de bzhin nyid; kor. 진여, jinyeo; jap. 真如, shinnyo; viet. chân or chơn như) is variously translated as "thusness" or "suchness". It is a central concept in Buddhism, and is of particular significance in Zen Buddhism.

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