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Re: computers...and aesthetics


From: LarrySeiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Feb 18 2005 - 04:48:51 PST

>We have a lot of new issues in aesthetics to attend to.
>Yesterday one of my photo students made a very interesting piece in
>almost a matter of minutes. (edit- paste) I think my job is to teach how
>to be honest in the manipulation and abrogation .

- - -

I'm working on a syllabus to teach a grad credit week long course for
teachers first week of August at a small college in northern Wisconsin, it
will be called, "Connecting Aesthetically with Our Natural Resources"

In that I will be providing opportunities for teachers to paint plein air,
providing them with their own portable easel set up. We will have
sketchbooks for observations in our field times outdoors, also for creative
journaling, and I will be encouraging them in their various departments to
consider creatively how to incorporate aesthetics to broaden the level and
interest students might gain for their subjects.

In this area of aesthetics, one thing we do have to becareful of I'm afraid
where computers are concerned is how students naturally play into the
PlayStation2 instant effect behavior of this generation, the instant result
and there you have it manner. Many games come with a story line, a building
up but if you've watched kids play a new game...they want to bypass the
intro and never bother reading the small manual that accompanies the game.
The whole aspect for considering the creative story is ignored, the plot and
the why of it all. Its only when they get stuck somewhere two weeks into it
that they might bother to pick up the manual...that is, unless they can talk
to some other kid that has already figured it out.

While something cool can be created with software quickly, its intrigue is
just as quickly dismissed, moving on to the next project or simply handing
the assignment in and forgetting about it. Young people have an incredible
level of impatience...and one of the very purposes of aesthetics is to get
people to stop, experience, contemplate and muse, take in, reflect where
synthesis broadens creative thinking and problem solving divergently.

It may be all that more important to print a work out...have it on display,
take time out from everyone sitting in front of their monitors and talk
about the work.

When I am standing knee deep in snow at about 7 degrees temperature painting
a scene that is aesthetically moving, I am always reminded how disconnected
our modern society is with particular aspects of artistic endeavors.
Especially when artists themselves even proclaim amazement. Few consider
what one might gain in the activity as an artist in lieu of the greater
concerns of the cold, the hassles of dragging out equipment and so forth.
The idea of aesthetics having worth thus making the bother inviting seems to
miss even many artist's attention. I did an article awhile back for artists
in preparations for painting in cold weather, and a demo...if you have time,

Larry S.