Recently, I have been thinking about communication, miscommunication and memory.
Today, my fence was torn down. My neighbor hired a fencing company to replace her fence on the other side of her yard, but there was a miscommunication and they tore my fence down as well. I was wondering what that sound was this morning. As you might guess, this was not a happy surprise. Now, I am faced with a project that I do not have the time, interest or energy to tackle…getting my fence back.
Last night I had a wonderful conversation on the telephone with my daughter. She was sharing the amazing things she was learning in her Art History class, which is, of course, a subject near and dear to my heart. She goes to school in New Jersey and although we text daily and talk most days it is rare that we get the time to delve into a good, long conversation, to really talk.
Last night she told me about Lukasa Memory Boards. How amazing! These beautiful beaded boards that contain the history, genealogy and maps of the Luba people through carvings and beads fascinates me. It is like braille, but more descriptive. I believe this language describes more than I can imagine…and it is beautiful and eloquent in its’ historical symbolism. Then, as I look at the images of these boards, for I have not had the pleasure to see one in person yet, I am amazed at how binary they seem. What is this code? What are these symbols that are so complex yet appear so simple, beads and shells arranged on a piece of carved wood that are passed down through generations?
Currently, I am working as a TA in a college core class in which the students were introduced to html in order to create a simple web page to showcase a gif they had created. They were learning a new language and a new way to communicate on the web. However, I have recently been told by my partner, Adam, that html is already an outdated language. Are we losing our history, and consequently our memory, by using these languages that are revamped and replaced at an ever-increasing rate?
Are we really communicating effectively through technology?
some images of Lukasa Memory Boards: