Seeing like a Martian: Ekphrasis with evenly-hovering attention

Wright, Patrick (2018). Seeing like a Martian: Ekphrasis with evenly-hovering attention. In: National Association of Writers in Education Conference, 09-11 Nov 2018, York.


Traditionally, the practice of ekphrasis for both creative writers and educators tends to involve a set of assumptions about where to look and what is to be considered important. Both are usually likely to impose knowledge onto their viewing experience (derived from art history for instance), such as where figure and ground are located/distinguished. This workshop examined looking flatly, inspired by Sigmund Freud’s idea of evenly-hovering attention, as a means of yielding new kinds of ekphrastic writing and a different approach to image analysis. Opportunities for written exercises in response to artworks were included.

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