This is the short wrap up of the WhoWeAm series on looking at education through the lens of culture. Two points—very simple. Blink and you’ll miss it.
As an artist/educator, it seemed relevant to learn about how the human mind and brain process information and respond to stimuli. In the classroom, I shared what I was learning with my students—figuring they might be interested. They were. One thing led to another and pretty soon I was teaching myself to write grant applications to the National Institutes of Health to fund media to teach teenagers about their brains. Needless to say, my Masters of Fine Arts in painting didn’t really prepare me for this so somehow I convinced a team of scientists to help me. My goal was to persuade the NIH to give me a large sum of money to make films that could help young people understand what their brains were capable of, and how they could use them to build the lives they wanted.
Part 4—the final short film in this series about intuitive insight and the cultural impediments to becoming the innovation powerhouse the US has planned for itself. Sure, we’re talking about brains and culture and other pointy-headed stuff here, but I’m trying some other things here—experimental non-fiction. Some nice flowers for ya’ll.
It was a long trip from cultural ground zero in Schenectady, but ultimately, I settled in Baltimore. Despite years spent in New England, London and New York, the seamy-sweet tang of Baltimore’s culture sucked me right in. It felt palpable and compelling. In decline since before the riots and abandonment of the sixties, Baltimore careened like its old streetcars around the curves the late twentieth century threw at it. Successful in the past, it was now a drunken uncle rebelling his way toward retirement.