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Lesson Plans


meaning/size

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
marcia m eaton (marciameaton)
Sat, 6 Feb 1999 03:22:50 -0500


Ron's example of art that has to be observed through a microscope made me
think of a problem at the other end---Macro-art or Macro-aesthetics. Here
are a couple of examples of things that are so big we can't see them
without special viewing support:
1. Landscapes. Think of how different our conception of landscapes has
become due to the invention of the airplane! But even with the airplane
most of us (unless we become astronauts) will never see anything except
pictures of the California coast or the whole of the Great Wall of China.
2. In many of our large cities there are buildings that we can never
really experience as the architect intended, because we can't stand far
enough back---we run into other buildings. So it's not just a matter of
size of the object, it's a matter of whether there is enough space around
the object so that you can get a good view. Indeed, as we point out on our
walk, Trajan's Column was originally crowded between two libraries---we
tend to think of it as standing alone in a large space. Think about how
different the Washington Monument would be if it were standing in the
middle of a crowded intersection in NY city.
In Minneapolis there are some lovely views (I think) that are blocked by
buildings where I live downtown.
3. Think about the difference between having a few paintings exhibited on a
wall and have the wall covered with paintings. What would result if one
miniature quilt were displayed on a school wall----that is, how would it
differ from putting up 20 or 50 small quilts?
Hope you're having a good weekend. Best, Marcia