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> At the same time I
> don't think that the verbal art of talking about or expressing
> art lessens the art.
I'll agree. First the art never changes is never lessened The
experience of art can be a very different kettle of fish. Even
then words don't NECESSARILY interfere with the experience; but
sometimes they can. In the case of something on the scale of a
Rothko I tend to think that there can be a significant risk. Is
there a difference between an epiphany on FORM and an epiphany of
a more spiritual nature? I think so but I also know that this is
not the same for everyone.
> If it does [lessen the art] then there was nothing there to
Ever had as sore tooth or cavity? Ever notice how big the hole
feels? It's all out of proportion. A focus on form can have the
same effect I think. Everything else about the mouth fades back
and there is just your tongue and the hole again and again. (A
nice Jalapeno could help maybe ;-)
> It is not a war between visual and verbal, right and left side
of the brain.
Maybe it is? Maybe NOT a war exactly but a competition. We are
wired to have a bias towards comprehensible order. We also have
developed a strong bias towards the verbal. The only real problem
I see is if we try to resolve everything in verbal terms THEN
something is bound to be lost part of the experience has to be
lessened if only because one modality has been conveniently
sheared off. It would be like learning NOT to experience Pepper.
To experience all the other taste/smell experiences but one.
> but is it posible that the experiecne of looking and
> appreciating the work from cultures and times not our own
brings us to an
> understanding and a place of recognition of the commonality of
Which "commonality" though? DO we discover that "THEY" have much
in common with "US" or that "WE" have something in common with
"THEM"? And there is a difference. Do we see THEM in jeans and
tee shirts or do we get to experience the jolt akin to
discovering ourselves comfortable naked and wearing a penis
sheath? (Just trying to create a powerful and evokative image ;-)
In any case, the experience of commonality is different in the
two cases and I think that we learn more by experiencing THE
OTHER. To do that however we need the resources and language to
be accessible to us.As well as to not fool ourselves into
believing that our existing and familiar patterns are sufficient.
> Words describe the experience. If I just look at the work
> without words how can I convey that experience to another.
Good question. You may not need to act as conveyance tho. What do
you think? Again, I'm not trying to end the practice of scanning
just trying to challenge it a bit and point out a few
Words come fairly easily to us. We feel awkward trying to
communicate soley through a visual modality. This has become part
of the challenge in making art meaningful to our students as
well. They don't value so much acts of un translated visual
communication. It becomes work to communicate and to understand
somehow without the intercession of words. We begin to believe
that words are absolutely sufficient and necessary. When that is
so then someone has to provide the words for the art. Especially
if we don't feel like making the effort ourselves.
This thing is. The important thing for me---is how much our lives
are being affected at this moment, visually and without the
intercession of words---and WE, for the most part, don't realize
what is happening. Advertisers and marketers, even film makers,
DO! At least to the extent that they can manipulate imagery to
some profit for someone somewhere. An economic if not a social
Now it is possible that there are words to be found but if we
confine ourselves to the familiar litany of scanning we are
unlikely to encounter them. (I wish I felt I had this enough
together for a presentation at National. Sigh)
> I could create
> another work of art but that still doesn't bring the immediate
> two people discussing an idea.
Or the discourse between the person and the "inanimate" and
"non-verbal" work which is even harder to conceive making it
easier to require an anthropomorphized connection. But it might
not be an "idea" YET in any verbalizable form. See the visual
modality allows us, in part, to begin to discuss things BEFORE we
have adequate words and ideas available. That's important to me
and I believe that is an an important part of art's function in
society since the beginning.
> What makes our familiar and favorite principles and
> > appropriate ones? What are we missing by not knowing the
> > alternative values and relationships possible for art.
> That is what we have to bring to the classroom. There is not
just one way to
> discuss or view or experience art. But to dismiss the words and
> that we do have is to do a disservice to the students that are
> and do experience the world through that window.
I really don't want to dismiss words. If you saw my house which
is virtually wallpapered with shelves of books you would
understand how important they are to me. I DO want to challenge
them however if on;ly to keep us form becoming lax and
comfortable with a single form of dealing with and through them.
As a visual artist too I want to find a point of balance betweeen
image and word. At the moment I seem to find a serious imbalance
in the "composition"
> The discussion is an interesting one. Your writing is very
> words help me, the listener , to understand the concepts and
> better. It's not the elements or the principals that are so
important it is
> the sharing of an experience with the words that are available
Thank you so much!! I really worry that I am perceived as more of
a "spoiler" just out to make a lot of noise and attract attention
to myself. I reallly care about what is going on in our society
in regard to art and our visual culture. I believe that it is
only through such dialogue that our futures and realities are
being shaped. I want to put in my part and I honestly believe
that the more DIFFERENT viewpoints we can generate the more
options we will have as we live our lives -- Becoming MORE human
Through Art. (Thank you EBF!)
> Once with 4th graders I was discussing shapes and patterns. I
> a variety of images from Pueblo pottery to Mondrian. At the
> student from the back of the room said, "look, if you go
through the white
> square you can turn and go behind the blue square." That is
> experience in words. Then we all could follow and move in and
out of the
Excellent excellent example Yevette! Thank you for sharing it.
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