Using a red hat and a camera, Heather Zinger is encouraging empathy and union.
The Fargo artist started her “Red Hat Project” in October and plans to have a photograph taken of her and at least one other person swapping hats and maybe even coats every day for a year.
The project is a series of photo performances. Its purpose is to empathize and unite with others by sharing concerns and clothes. Zinger hopes to display the photos in a travel-ing exhibit at the end of the year.
For me, one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to make people more visible to one another, to find ways for people to engage, empathize, and learn of each other’s deepest values and concerns. We need to lay the foundations for a new global human identity, one that transcends differences and is predicated on mutual understanding and respect, celebrating the beauty of difference. In short my art is all about Empathy.
My curiosity about the interactions between—and mutual perceptions of—people from different cultures has defined my work as an artist. I focus on the fascinating interplay between cross-cultural, kinesthetic, and ecological empathy. I invite the viewer to contemplate the relationships—and surprising similarities—between diverse cultures. These juxtapositions are part of an ongoing project entitled “Profiles in Empathy” whose aim is to use the medium of art to invite people to view life from an alternative perspective.
Empathy Coordinator and 1st Grade Teacher Eleanor Palm explains how to cultivate empathy through reading...
Despite the huge size of the school, Palm masterfully creates a small and caring community of students in her class. One of the main ways that she creates this empathic community is through storytelling. From sharing the stories of how they got their names, to telling stories of day-to-day life, students in Palm’s class are constantly communicating, giving and building empathy. However, this sharing and storytelling does not stop in class – students also bring home nightly readings to discuss and enjoy with their parents. An expert at empathy and literature, Palm was excited to share a few tips for encouraging empathy in your children while you read together:
The BodyCartography Project is a Twin Cities based company whose work explores empathy and the intersections of wild and urban landscapes through dance, performance, video, and installation. The inspiration for Super Nature came from a previous performance, where Bieringa observed the kinesthetic response of audience members to her eye contact and movement. That response is something that Ramstad and Bieringa encounter regularly through their somatic studies and their practice of Body-Mind Centering.
The emotionally charged story recounted at the beginning Dr. Paul Zak’s film—of a terminally ill two-year-old named Ben and his father—offers a simple yet remarkable case study in how the human brain responds to effective storytelling. As part of his study, Dr. Zak, a founding pioneer in the emerging field of neuroeconomics, closely monitored the neural activity of hundreds of people who viewed Ben’s story. What he discovered is that even the simplest narrative, if it is highly engaging and follows the classic dramatic arc outlined by the German playwright Gustav Freytag, can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with specific neurochemicals, namely cortisol and oxytocin. Those brain responses, in turn, can translate readily into concrete action—in the case of Dr. Zak’s study subjects, generous donations to charity and even monetary gifts to fellow participants.
Perhaps more than any other trait, empathy defines what it is to be human. This installment of the Guggenheim Forum investigates the evolution of our basic ability to connect, its ability to cross boundaries ranging from those of culture to those of species, its relationship to morality, and how it is affected by the contemporary mediascape and the shattering and reconfiguration of social relations.
Panelists will include Meghan Falvey, a sociologist whose practice involves affective labor and inequality; G. Anthony Gorry, Friedkin Chair of Management and Professor of Computer Science at Rice University; University of Chicago neuroscientist Peggy Mason; and Lynne Soraya, journalist and author of the Asperger’s Diary blog for Psychology Today.
What is empathy and how does it impact our daily lives? Beginning 9/24, and lasting the entire week, The Guggenheim museum will be sponsoring an online forum, “The Greater Good” which will cover this complex and nuanced topic. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective — the forum will look at empathy from many different perspectives. Perspectives will include:
What is empathy? How is it represented across the boundaries of species? What is its influence on how we relate to one another? In what ways does technology impact empathy, in this complex and changing world?
Why do or should you/we care about Compassion and Empathy, as artists? Because that is what we do! We are touchy-feely group – so to speak. Compassion and Empathy are our hallmarks and that is how we identify and communicate with our fellow man. It’s how we make our “point!”
And the world – at least the United States in 2012 – is STARVING for compassion and seeking a little empathy and someone to show them how to feel and act compassionate to their fellow man without giving up their own personal sovereignty. That is where we the artist comes into play! We need to SHOW them how to be compassionate again.
Dee Reynolds is professor of French at the University of Manchester. She is editor/author of, among other books, Kinesthetic Empathy in Creative and Cultural Practices. A key interdisciplinary concept in our understanding of social interaction across creative and cultural practices, kinesthetic empathy describes the ability to experience empathy merely by observing the movements of another human being.
Dee is a founder of the 'Watching Dance: Kinesthetic Empathy' project that uses audience research and neuroscience to explore how dance spectators respond to and identify with dance. It is a multidisciplinary project, involving collaboration across organizations and four institutions. The project has a website, Ning group and held a conference.
Diana Castle’s THE IMAGINED LIFE™ – Acting As The Art of The Empathetic Imagination- is a creative philosophy and practical application of your natural empathetic imagination to the art of acting.
Diana works with actors, singers, writers and directors of diverse backgrounds from all over the world in an effort to illuminate an experience of alternative perspectives, facilitate catharsis and create community through her creative philosophy and the empathetic imagined life experience.
Natalie Portman shared this short but sweet observation on TV recently: “An actor’s job is empathy.” Actors and would-be actors would do well to mull that succinct statement over, and evaluate themselves or how well they vivify it in their own work.
So, many local actors of the “looker” sort have a hard time empathizing with the characters they play, enough for them to believably vivify them.
What do they need to do to make up for lost empathy? Natalie Portman is more beautiful than most, so how come she doesn’t have a problem in this regard?
Dynamics of Creativity and Empathy in Role Reversal: Contributions From Neuroscience...
The challenge of understanding another person and what it takes to truly feel understood by another is at the hub of human social existence. Psychodramatic role reversal is a related method, rooted in classical role theory, in which two individuals each take the role of the other in an interpersonal situation and actually behave as if one is the other, before returning to their primary selves. In this exercise, every member of the dyad has to overcome both physical constraints and the natural tendency to adhere to one’s own viewpoint.
This requires empathic abilities as well as creative imagination. Simultaneous holding of two mental representations, one’s own and another’s, may be a mechanism by which this task could be achieved. Psychological and neurobiological research is presented in favor of this assumption and the concept of creative empathy is introduced as a target for future quantitative and qualitative studies
The Western Connecticut State University department of art will present a faculty exhibition, “Creativity & Compassion,” to celebrate the historic visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the WCSU campus in October.
Friday, September 21 @ 4:00 pm In conjunction with Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective, leading scholars discuss the role that empathy plays in the interactions among photographer, subject, and viewer. Organized by Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, and moderated by George Baker, University of California, Los Angeles.
Moderator introduction, George Baker, Associate Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles
“The Age of Empathy” and Rineke Dijkstra’s Photographic Portraits, Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator, Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
ABSTRACTION AND EMPATHY August 15–October 16, 2009
Drawn from Deutsche Bank’s extensive collection of works on paper, this exhibition takes its inspiration, and its title, from Wilhelm Worringer’s seminal 1908 book Abstraction and Empathy. In this text, Worringer identifies two opposing tendencies pervading the history of art from ancient times through the Enlightenment.
He claims that in societies experiencing periods of anxiety and intense spirituality, such as those of ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages, artistic production tends toward a flat, crystalline “abstraction,” while cultures that are oriented toward science and the physical world, like ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy, are dominated by more naturalistic, embodied styles, which he grouped under the term “empathy.”
In order to be in empathic dialogue, I must be able to imagine being the other person. It’s a deep discipline for me. It requires me to overcome the righteous pleasure of writing off the other person; of making myself ever so slightly superior, more human, more caring; of keeping my world safe and protected by eschewing others. I come face to face with the undeniable reality that this person who did this act is human just as much as me.
I plunge into that other world, that other and different experience that gave rise to that which is mysterious to me. Through that, I find them, I find their heart, even if they have lost it. I find their care, however deeply buried it is, even if they actively protest and deny it.
A GLOBAL film project is setting out to explore empathy in the world today, and the community is called to be part of it.
Bilgola Plateau filmmaker Vivienne Somers is part of a team working on Stand in My Shoes , directed by Kurt Engfehr who co-produced Michael Moore's films Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine.The film is set to be built around studies suggesting empathy has declined within humanity, and real-life examples of where this decline is evident.
Virtual avatars are one thing. But what about real bodies? Would identifying with another person's body make you behave more like that person? ..
These reports have gotten scientists interested in using the Mirrorbox as a tool to study and perhaps enhance empathy. Humans, after all, are prone to exclusion: Me, not you. Our group, not those others.
But humans also have a powerful capacity for empathy. Great men and women throughout the ages and around the world have been able to identify with the suffering of others and work tirelessly to alleviate it.