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> I do think that there is a "common" popular culture that
> endangers the unique qualities of differing cultures. This
> popular culture, spread primarily through television, movies,
> popular music, and fast food restaurants, seems to provide
> the lowest common denominator. I don't often find this addressed
> in discussions on culture. What do you think?
> Nancy, I wonder if we are seeing, in this "common" popular culture, a
> new culture emerging. Are cultures seen as stagnant, never changing? I
> see our culture as a massive kalaidoscope, constantly changing from the
> movement and emotion of the people that make it up. And if a new
> culture is emerging, it is probably logical that it would start from the
> lowest common denominator, whenever you build you start from the bottom.
> I do not think of popular culture as being the lowest common denominator.
> I think of it as being very revealing about what we value as a nation and
> people. For this purpose, I find it very interesting and rich.
> One way to build may be not comparing art work to other art work, per se,
> but valuing each work of art for its own merit and what it provides us as
> humans. In this sense we build from our rich common yet human experience.
> Perhaps the role of art education is not to make judgements about one work
> being better than another, but to play a role in helping others understand
> the context of the work of art and to understand the purposes and reasons
> it exists in the form that it exists.
In comparing works of art (no matter what culture they are
from), we do not make judgments about whether or not one work of
art is better than another. Comparing works of art helps promote higher
level thinking skills while encouraging students to closely
investigate works of art.
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 5098, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
817/565-3986 FAX 817/565-4867