A person who is described as a polymath could be considered to be a master of all, or many, trades. Leonardo da Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin, are but two example of such people.
The ability to excel in a number of fields isn’t restricted to a select few though, and just about all of us have polymathic potential, it’s just a matter of drawing it out of ourselves. How to make this so, then? Well, you could try dabbling in the performing arts, as the likes of dancing and acting boost learning capacity:
An intriguing study funded by the Dana foundation and summarised by Dr Michael Gazzaniga of the University of California, Santa Barbara, suggests that studying the performing arts – dance, music and acting – actually improves one’s ability to learn anything else. Collating several studies, the researchers found that performing arts generated much higher levels of motivation than other subjects. These enhanced levels of motivation made students aware of their own ability to focus and concentrate on improvement. Later, even if they gave up the arts, they could apply their new-found talent for concentration to learning anything new.
Captivating viewing, a moving sculpture based on the recorded movements of a dancer.
The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process. The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer, as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective.
Ultra slow footage of the dance moves of Marina Kanno and Giacomo Bevilaqua of Staatsballett Berlin (Berlin State Ballet). Radiohead’s “Everything in its right place” makes for the for perfect accompaniment.
The Parklife electronic/indie music festival, which has been winding its way around Australia reached Sydney yesterday, and was based at its usual venue at Kippax Lake in Moore Park. Anyway for those who missed out, or for those there wishing to relive the experience, here are a few links to some photo collections from the event:
It was mildly amusing to see the Bentley Bar take out the gong for the best wine bar this year, given that it hasn’t always been a wine bar. Back in the day (the mid 1990s), the Bentley was a dimly lit dance music haven, where you could hang out listening to DJ sets all through the night, and shooting pool if you could get near one of its two tables.
Times have changed. I dare say I’d enjoy the Bentley as much today as I did 14 or so years ago.