William Wegman, In Tirely, 1990.
TOPIC: We look at things differently
William Wegman is an American artist best known for making photographs of his own Weimaraners in a variety of poses and costumes.
Project Talk + Listen is a practice to talk openly and listen empathetically.
It's an experiment and invitation to work with two experiences: talking with genuineness and transparency and listening from the other's point of view without judgment, evaluation, approval, or disapproval of the statements.
It's not a discussion. Rather, this practice is an opportunity to become aware of personal propensities (habits and patterns) around expressing and listening.
Aim for 30 minutes total. Each person gets half the time to talk and listen.
Talk transparently. Listen quietly.
Agree to be curious, flexible, open, and courageous.
Together, quietly look at the image of In Tirely by William Wegman for a few minutes.
Taking turns talking and listening:
1. Describe what you see. (Describing might seem absurdly simple. But it's very hard to do. I pretend that my partner cannot hear or see what I'm describing.)
"Describing is a process of overall observing, particular noticing, and telling what you see or otherwise sense...To describe is to name it and its characteristics and qualities...People seem to believe that if what they are asked to describe is in front of you and them, then they think there is no need to say what they see because they wrongly assume that we all see the same things in the same way. We do not. We look at things differently, we notice different aspects, and we use different words when we tell about what we see." - Terry Barrett, CRITS (in contract, Bloomsbury Publishing, London)
2. ExpandC each of these two sentences into paragraphs.
When I see _____, I think _____ …
When I see _____, I feel _____ ...
3. Later, reflect on your Talk + Listen experience. If you choose, share an insight with your partner.