Dear Data - inspiration for musical notation

I was planning to create some musical notation for musicians to improvise. The idea being they record their own anxieties/feelings about music and their musical identity, record it using a formulated notation system. 

Every week for a year, designers Giorgia Lupi and Stephanie Posavec sent each other postcards charting something in their lives, for laughter to travel to phone addiction. They use beautiful illustrated infographics that could all become musical notation i would love to try and achive something along these lines and i think i should do it with myself to start!

 

 

Physical Anxiety Box - LadyBeard Mind Launch

The LadyBeard team created a walk in box designed for people to stick up their anxieties inside. It is a very simple idea but having people inside it sparked light hearted conversations about anxiety that wouldn't be had in other contexts. 

I would like to create an anxiety box of a similar description but with two stages. Firstly the collection of anxieties in the normal manner, then a stage after that for people to attempt to imagine solutions for the anxieties or ways for people to feel better. Fantasy ideas anything goes!

I would need to make a movable box to put in a good location. library foyer probably. 

Room For Alternative

http://roomforalternative.co.uk/

A space for people to attempt to design for the complex individuals we are, rather than the easily satisfied consumers that we are supposed to be! A two-day drop-in 'thinking through making' workshop and exhibition that actively explores ways of assisting with personal neuroatypical day to day experiences, rather than simply setting out to solve or cure typecasts of mental health issues. 

 

 

Body As A Band

This is great, a really visual and sonic way of showing how bad health choices can affect the workings of your body. I like the idea of trying something along these lines using  mental health instead of physical health. 

http://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/bodyasaband?cmpid=soc-br032504

Lad bible - You Alright Mate

http://www.theladbible.com/mental-health

initiative from lad bible to raise awareness and tackle mental health. 

An initiative encouraging people to challenge harmful language and ask for support! It uses a circle drawn on peoples hands to represnt being WHOLE, The tage line is Together We Are Whole. 

From Wildhood album 'VERT', 'Whole' is a song about tackling mental health issues and features the #IAMWHOLE anti-stigma campaign launched by Jordan for the NHS and YMCA. To see the #IAMWHOLE video, featuring Jordan, James Corden, Dermot O'Leary, Ed Sheeran and other names from music and TV, click here https://youtu.be/FZ4TlCx3eHA. Join in and support the #IAMWHOLE anti-stigma message online by posting a ‘circle on hand’ selfie on social media. For more information on #IAMWHOLE visit http://bit.ly/NHS_IAMWHOLE and find out more about YMCA’s involvement at http://www.ymca.org.uk/i-am-whole. If you are aged 13-25 and need mental health support or advice, visithttp://www.findgetgive.com/ to find services, helplines and websites that can help. Thank you to Jordan and http://spirit-media.com/ for all the time and creativity you have put into developing and delivering the #IAMWHOLE campaign for the NHS.

I Love Being Mad : Documentary

A documentary looking at people with mental illness and how they like it and are angry at the system. Very old though so the change they are campaigning for may have alredy happened....

Man says 'Schizophrenia is not something I have, its something I am!'

Follows the story of a selection of different people with severe mental health issues. 

'We cannot fit into to your society, in a way we cant get our heads round it' 

Creativity and Mental Illness

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creativity-explorations-in-art-literature-science-and-the-everyday/201503/creativity-and-mental


This is a great article discussing the inconclusive and not reliable research carried out to suggest there is a link between mental health issues and creativity. He discusses using different forms of creative process such as:

Sep-Conn (separated connected)

This process consists of conceiving or constructing connection and separation concomitantly, or making a connection possessing fully individual and functionally intact separate parts. Its operation is illustrated by the accompanying diagrammatic representation of the synapse in the body’s nervous system—the two individually operating and functionally separate neurons or nerve sells are connected by traversing chemicals acting as messengers.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creative-explorations/201507/the-sep-con-articulation-process-in-creativity

Janusian thinking 

Albert Rothenberg, a noted researcher on the creative process, has extensively studied the use of opposites in the creative process. He identified a process he terms “Janusian thinking,” a process named after Janus, a Roman God who has two faces, each looking in the opposite direction. Janusian thinking is the ability to imagine two opposites or contradictory ideas, concepts, or images existing simultaneously. Imagine, if you will, your mother existing as a young baby and old woman simultaneously, or your pet existing and not existing at the same time. http://www.creativitypost.com/create/janusian_thinking

Homospatial thinking

The homospatial process responsible for many types of creative results involves mental representations that defy or go beyond actual physical space. This process consists of actively conceiving two or more discrete entities occupying the same space or spatial location, a conception leading to the articulation of new integrations.  In conscious mental space, creators may superimpose or interpose shapes, patterns, written words, dimensions, distances, and other concrete entities. Subjectively, eyes closed or open, other physical receptors attentive or inattentive, the resulting mental image totally fills the conceptualized perceptual space. Any sensory modality may be involved: visual, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory. The imaginary image location may be considered to be the "mind's eye", "mind's ear," "mind's taste," etc. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/creative-explorations/201507/the-homospatial-process-in-creativity

Happy Salt Rice - Good Hearts Don't Make Good Arts

This is an image made called 'Happy Salt Rice'. The idea is use your sadness to create something good. This isn't always easy but in the subject of creativity maybe you can make some good arts cuz hey everyone knows good hearts don't make good arts.

Below is an image by my friend Will Francis a fellow designer and illustrator, this drawing highlights the idea of sad people making good creative stuff. With a lovely rhyme. Lovely. 

Album Artwork

Album artwork is aiming to visually represent the music and sometimes gives a glimmer of the artist themselves. I think they are very special pieces of design as they can give you some  indication of the mood and feeling of the music inside, possibly predisposing you to how the music is supposed to sound and therefore affecting how you listen to it and interpret it!

Can this idea of 'giving an indication of whats inside' be re purposed and used to give an indication of what is inside someones mind? 

I have tried to choose art that looks as if it could have some kind of connection to mental health...

This image could represent a chaotic mind.

This image could represent a chaotic mind.

This image looks like a glance into the mind and maybe a separation between mind and body.

This image looks like a glance into the mind and maybe a separation between mind and body.

Blurred thoughts

Blurred thoughts

This looks like an explosion of rage from someones mind

This looks like an explosion of rage from someones mind

The beast within your mind.

The beast within your mind.

Musicians with Prominent Mental illness

Many musicians suffer from mental health issues, creativity seems to go hand in hand with mental problems. Usually if people are suffering from mental health issues it is something we like to keep quite and not show to everyone, lets face it who wants to be seen as a downer or out of control and wierd? However in the musical world it can almost be a good thing, a cool thing even to be 'mentally ill'. The classic thing of the troubled musician... it is perhaps easier for a musician or artist to accept the mental illness as part of their identity, as it helps them with their work, it feeds their craft.

This makes me think could people without a creative craft struggling with mental illness reduce the stigma on them by expressing themselves in a musical medium... Not nessercerily in a song but maybe artwork similar to album artwork but Mental Health Artwork..? 

Anyhoo here is a list of musicians with quite extreme mental health issues..

Kurt Cobain ADD and Bipolar - Took his own life at the age of 27

Kurt Cobain is arguably one of the most famous musicians who struggled with mental health. He was ever properly diagnosed however his auntie who was a mental health nurse said he had Bipolar disorder. His condition was expressed explicitly in his music and his personal writing. The combination of Cobain’s mental health problems as well as his drug use caught up with him in 1994 when he took his own life.

Kurt Cobain is arguably one of the most famous musicians who struggled with mental health. He was ever properly diagnosed however his auntie who was a mental health nurse said he had Bipolar disorder. His condition was expressed explicitly in his music and his personal writing. The combination of Cobain’s mental health problems as well as his drug use caught up with him in 1994 when he took his own life.

Nick Drake - Depression - Died of an Anti depression medication over dose at 26

Nick Drake was a brilliant songwriter who wasn’t sufficiently appreciated until he passed away. He suffered from depression and insomnia for much of his life, but he became a casualty of his illness in 1974 when he overdosed on his antidepressants. He was only 26.

Nick Drake was a brilliant songwriter who wasn’t sufficiently appreciated until he passed away. He suffered from depression and insomnia for much of his life, but he became a casualty of his illness in 1974 when he overdosed on his antidepressants. He was only 26.

Sinéad O'Connor - Bipolar - Found the correct medication and is no longer suicidal

Sinéad O’Connor was plagued with thoughts of suicide, and after several therapists and hospital visits. She was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  In a 2007 interview, she described her illness as a gaping hole in the center of her being. But she was finally prescribed the right medication.    

Sinéad O’Connor was plagued with thoughts of suicide, and after several therapists and hospital visits. She was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

In a 2007 interview, she described her illness as a gaping hole in the center of her being. But she was finally prescribed the right medication. 

 

Ian Curtis (joy Division) - Depression - Took his own life at the age of just 23

Ian Curtis, Post-punk pioneer he co-founded Joy Division in 1976. As the band steadily gained notoriety, Curtis sank deeper and deeper into depression. His dissolving marriage and diagnosis of epilepsy only augmented his problems.  As the band prepared for their first North American tour, Curtis committed suicide. He died far too young, but left behind a legacy that is still remembered today.   </p><p>As the band prepared for their first North American tour, Curtis committed suicide. He died far too young, but left behind a legacy that is still remembered today.</p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p></p>

Ian Curtis, Post-punk pioneer he co-founded Joy Division in 1976. As the band steadily gained notoriety, Curtis sank deeper and deeper into depression. His dissolving marriage and diagnosis of epilepsy only augmented his problems.

As the band prepared for their first North American tour, Curtis committed suicide. He died far too young, but left behind a legacy that is still remembered today.