Friday, September 21, 2007

And so it begins.

We have class final project lift-off. And this blog will be where I post documentation of the work in progress and related ephemera.

I emailed my prof the following.

*****

Good morning, Susan!

I’m prepping for a week out in California on business, but I wanted to share another final project idea with you for Liberal Arts Perspectives.

Before I do, though, I’d like to suggest a movie that may be a fit for the course content. It’s called La Jetée, and some Wikipedia background is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Jet%C3%A9e

Now, on to the final project.

I’ve solicited others’ input on a variety of final project ideas, and this was the one that grabbed most folks.

And, unlike my “photographic enablement/seeing though others’ eyes” project idea, I believe I can get this done within one semester.

Project title: Creative Work: A prototype for a New Book of Hours

Project summary: The Catholic tradition of a “book of hours,” or a book that helped lay practitioners pray the correct prayer at the correct time of day or night, has connections to earlier Jewish tradition (specifically in the daily use of “siddurim.”) In addition, many other faiths have worship and meditative practice keyed to particular times of the day. The need for a guide to timely practice make these books a cultural commons containing approaches to art reflective of their time. For example, during the middle ages, wealthy worshippers commissioned lavish Book of Hours illuminations, but even the less well-off had Books of Hours featuring hand-made art.

What might a contemporary, non-liturgical reflection on the Book of Hours idea look like?

Using the conceptual platform of a Book of Hours, I’d like to:
* Interview 2-3 practitioners of different faiths about the beginnings of their faith (“Dawn”,) how they balance their practice with daily life (“Noon”,) how their practice has changed over time (“Dusk”,) and what has been most unexpected or most surprised them about their practice (“Night.”)
* Using a camera, document the interviewees enough for illustrative reference.
* Develop a production-friendly book design that connects this project to its illuminated manuscript ancestry.
* Sketch/illustrate in loose style the interviewees, hand-write highlights from the interview, and hand-write/illuminate a list of their daily practice.
* Compose 2-3 sample book spreads using the aforementioned material, one spread for each interviewee.

If this seems like a suitable idea, I’ll start identifying potential interviewees.

*****

She kindly emailed back.

*****

Lori,
This Book of Hours project has a lot of potential!! I say go for it!
Have been playing catch-up since returning from Seattle, but will take a look at that movie site soon.
See you in class next week.
SCG

*****

So, my dear invisible friends and blog-quaintances, I'll be doing outreach to some people in the Austin area who might be interviewees, and I welcome your input for Austin-area people who'd fit the project.

In addition, if you know people outside the Austin area who might be a fit, and I can figure out how to approach this using face-to-virtual-face approaches, send 'em on!

And a special P.S. to Gawain -- there is and will be a place for non-practitioners and those who worship beauty, but for my limited time and scope, I'll have to fold that into a later phase of the project...

6 comments:

Gawain said...

I await with expectation the latter part of your project...

dinahmow said...

I look forward to following this project with you, Lori.Good luck to you!

Rethabile said...

Go for it, and good luck. Sounds positively like something to see.

am said...

Good to see how you are making progress with this project. It's coming to life and taking on a life of its own. Thanks for inviting us to witness the process and make comments.

PMBC said...

Make a good work. I am anxious to read it!

Dave said...

I have been seriously considering using a warped Book of Hours template for a P.O.D. collection of posts from Via Negativa. i'll be very interested to see where you go with this.