the child grows enormous but never grows up
vicemag:

“Sometimes he will just come up to my mother and do his best to hold her and he will say thank you or I love you. Then he will go back to knocking his fists against the door’s glass.”
—“I Asked My Dad, Who Has Dementia, to Annotate Jonathan Franzen’s How to Be Alone” by Blake Butler is a thing you should read right now.

vicemag:

Sometimes he will just come up to my mother and do his best to hold her and he will say thank you or I love you. Then he will go back to knocking his fists against the door’s glass.”

“I Asked My Dad, Who Has Dementia, to Annotate Jonathan Franzen’s How to Be Alone by Blake Butler is a thing you should read right now.

mianoti:

Jerry Cooke [source, NSFW]
Psychiatric Asylum - Women’s Ward, Ohio 1946

mianoti:

Jerry Cooke [source, NSFW]

Psychiatric Asylum - Women’s Ward, Ohio 1946

To reflect the ongoing structural changes in the adolescent and twenty-something brain, many journalists and scientists use words and phrases like “unfinished,” “work in progress,” “under construction” and “half-baked.” Such language implies that the brain eventually reaches a kind of ideal state when it is “done.” But there is no final, optimal state. The human brain is not a soufflé that gradually expands over time and finally finishes baking at age 30. Yes, we can identify and label periods of dramatic development—or windows of heightened plasticity—but that should not eclipse the fact that brain changes throughout life.

[…]

Whether we can, at this moment in time, meaningfully link this life stage to neuroscience seems a tenuous proposition at best. By itself, brain biology does not dictate who we are. The members of any one age group are not reducible to a few distinguishing structural changes in the brain. Ultimately, the fact that a twenty-something has weaker bridges between various brain regions than someone in their thirties is not hugely important—it’s just one aspect of a far more complex identity.

The Neuroscience of 20-Somethings by Scientific American’s Ferris Jabr (via explore-blog)
nicokrijno:

Tell me whats on your computer’s mind

nicokrijno:

Tell me whats on your computer’s mind

iheartmyart:

Rowan Tedge, Ink and watercolour on Arches Watercolour smooth 300GSM paper., A5 148x210mm, 2012

iheartmyart:

Rowan Tedge, Ink and watercolour on Arches Watercolour smooth 300GSM paper., A5 148x210mm, 2012

staticeverywhere:


From The Community U.N.
Steve Ditko.

staticeverywhere:

From The Community U.N.

Steve Ditko.

nevver:

Paul Robson

jtotheizzoe:

alchymista:

Self Portraits of a Declining Brain

William Utermohlen is latest artist to be honored at the GV Art Gallery in London, with an event that has an emotional purpose that is near and dear to the hearts of many. Utermohlen spent the last twelve years of his life battling Alzheimer’s, a degenerative neurological disease that slowly took away his ability to do what he was most passionate about: his art.

At the event, his widow spoke to the many supporters, saying “He died in 2007, but really he was dead long before that. Bill died in 2000, when the disease meant he was no longer able to draw.”

This exhibit is known as William Utermohlen: Artistic decline through Alzheimer’sas it explores the relationship between Utermohlen’s artwork and the progression and struggle with the disease.

Looking at his pieces as his disease progressed, a clear change is visible. As he slowly lost control over his movements, his composition and techniques changed as he was forced to abandon oils for easier-to-use watercolours and pencils. One thing that did not change throughout time, however, was the sheer mastery and vision displayed by has passion for the content of his pieces. 

His paintings display a rarely seen insight into a mind effected by Alzheimer’s, as his struggle and frustration are imminent. Also changed by the progression of time and the disease were his subjects. He began to focus on self portraits and looming dark doorways in the backgrounds

His widow commented that, “it was as if he knew he was going to a very dark place and he knew he couldn’t do anything about it. By the end he couldn’t even recognise his own paintings… that was the saddest thing”.

Rarely does one get the opportunity to chronicle their own experience with mental decline. Even more rarely do we get to share and observe that troubled journey.

This art is that tale.

I’ve been having a hard time reading books and finishing movies. I click through websites, vacantly aware that things are going on in the world, accustomed to the placid, oceanic motion of clicking, scanning, and window-resizing. I browse Wikipedia entries, looking through section headers to get an idea of something I know nothing about. I’ve gotten so caught up in the romance of the news cycle, in the ability to have infinite access to infinite information that the cache of my mind dumps out, leaving me empty-headed and forgetful.
The intro to Aaron Lake Smith’s excellent essay on what we all lose by giving ourselves to the digital world. Granted, this is not a new topic, but written with flare and honesty. Keep reading … (via utnereader)
mhsteger:

Betti Alver (born 23 November, 1906; died 19 June, 1989), pictured above in a photograph probably taken circa 1912

Not a Dream
Not the dream of a disordered brainor a victim’s soft tender shell – but a colossally grand hotelthat’s my skeletal frame.Stairways, lifts and doors leading in,passageways, mirrors and halls.I’m an intruder in my own skin,and it all utterly appals.The lights go out, the night revives.Creeping like cats to their capers,out come the guests with forged papers,foreign tongues and razor-sharp knives. Like chalk in my gullet, fearshrivels up every cry of warning.If only I could learn before morningwhere, oh where, do we all go from here?


—translated from the Estonian (translator unknown)

mhsteger:

Betti Alver (born 23 November, 1906; died 19 June, 1989), pictured above in a photograph probably taken circa 1912

Not a Dream

Not the dream of a disordered brain
or a victim’s soft tender shell –
but a colossally grand hotel
that’s my skeletal frame.

Stairways, lifts and doors leading in,
passageways, mirrors and halls.
I’m an intruder in my own skin,
and it all utterly appals.

The lights go out, the night revives.
Creeping like cats to their capers,
out come the guests with forged papers,
foreign tongues and razor-sharp knives.

Like chalk in my gullet, fear
shrivels up every cry of warning.
If only I could learn before morning
where, oh where, do we all go from here?

—translated from the Estonian (translator unknown)

Our brains simply weren’t built to understand the fabric of reality at the very small scales (quantum mechnics) or the very large (the cosmos). As Blaise Pascal put it, ‘Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.’
Who knows what I want to do? Who knows what anyone wants to do? How can you be sure about something like that? Isn’t it all a question of brain chemistry, signals going back and forth, electrical energy in the cortex? How do you know whether something is really what you want to do or just some kind of nerve impulse in the brain? Some minor little activity takes place somewhere in this unimportant place in one of the brain hemispheres and suddenly I want to go to Montana or I don’t want to go to Montana. How do I know I really want to go and it isn’t just some neurons firing or something? Maybe it’s just an accidental flash in the medulla and suddenly there I am in Montana and I find out I really didn’t want to go there in the first place. I can’t control what happens in my brain, so how can I be sure what I want to do ten seconds from now, much less Montana next summer? It’s all this activity in the brain and you don’t know what’s you as a person and what’s some neuron that just happens to fire or just happens to misfire.
Don DeLillo, White Noise (via lettersofcolor)