Thursday, March 22, 2012

Where the hand goes...


Lately I've had the pleasure of putting Blackwing pencil to Rhodia paper and been rewarded with a vivd reminder of just how much fun this combo is! Neither of these two, as a duet or playing solo, is in any way new to me, but they're worth celebrating all the same...indeed, even more so!

As a bit of background, these last couple of weeks I've been using a Clairefontaine Grid Book, Delfonics Rollbahn, Blackwing 602, Blackwing, Koh-I-Noor 5.6mm lead holder and a Kaweco Ice Sport Rollerball. So it's a stellar line up!


But this week a larger format was required for some broader thinking and the Rhodia Pad 38 was enlisted for some help. And boy did it deliver! Give a Blackwing that much space and your brain will start to run places you didn't think it could ever find!


Humans are vulnerable to plenty of crazy phenomena all to do with imitation and metaphor. Seeing someone smile will make you smile, your brain will follow what it sees. V.S. Ramachandran has documented plenty of amazing cases of synesthesia which kind of run along these lines - you experience one stimulus and 'confuse' it with another. The brain receives some input and ends up doing something unexpected as a consequence.


Most people would call this a preposterous leap but I see an analogy here with using the Double Dynamite Blackwing and Rhodia pad. That much space, that much speed, it's so encouraging! You want to keep using it, to keep thinking, to push into new parts of the paper...you're not bound by a screen or an abstraction like a keyboard...the extension of the self is in full effect


The confusion that happens is entirely serendipitous. After a good couple of hours of sheet after sheet, my first thought was 'Where the Hand goes, the Mind follows'. I think my brain was getting all this info: 'Hey, there's more space, and look, you're going so fast!' and so it imitated the hand and started thinking free...and fast!


Clearly I'm not too sure what was happening...only that it was really, really fun! Open that large notebook and your mind will follow. Indeed, if you really pressed me to sit down and try to nut out what i think tripped those synapses into life, I'll ask for three things: A couple of hours, a blackwing and a rhodia pad!

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