Global Perspective

Last month just outside Hangzhou, I was part of an annual “happening” that brought together over 80 burgeoning and experienced visual practitioners from all over China. I could not keep up with the high volume of social sharing on WeChat, where there were dozens and dozens of amazing videos and photos posted. But here are some of my favorites – representing the spirit of beauty, collaboration, and fun i witnessed.

Here, too, are slides from a brief presentation I gave on scribing. The intent was to set some global and historical context for the gathering and community. I expect a bit of clarification and pushback on my accuracy and interpretation of this practice! Please comment and help flesh out this picture.

Note: As of Dec 12, i have amended the file, based on Matt Taylor’s helpful reminder of prehistoric drawings. I also found an old journal from 1983, when I studied for a few weeks in the Dordogne region of France and saw some of the 15,000 year old cave paintings. Funny, my notes are all text – but it was an art program. (Download a .pdf file here)


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  1. Matt Taylor says:

    I like that you are bringing history into it. From tens of thousands of years ago “wall scribing” took place in stone and clay and paint. I also––as I am sure you know––a big believer in personal Notebooks and the extensive use of graphics therein. I will post some of my work circa 1976 thru today on Facebook where you have been leading this discussion. Ti this day, I work in these pages and send them to co-designer/craft-persones and this is often my major means of communicating/launching/supporting projects. This does two things simultaneously: it is immediate documentation of the project and its ideas as well as contribution to the design and work of the project.

    • Kelvy Bird says:

      Matt – indeed! I added a cave picture to the slide show, along with notes from when i was 17 and fortunate enough to see one of these caves up close. I can’t wait to see your pages live – your journals have always offered such huge inspiration.