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Lesson Plans


good/bad

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
taylorh (taylorh)
Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:27:00 -0700 (MST)


Rosa Juliusdottir wrote concerning good art-bad art:

>>"First of all it is possible almost impossible for us to decide for sure
what is good art and what bad, it usually gets decided later on by art
historians, art critics etc. "

Maybe the 'good/bad' discussion in any specific or immediate sense is
useful only as entertainment... "brain candy"?

>>"But we must have our opinions and try to teach
our students that they can have their opinions too."

Yes, IF we and our students can go through the moves to show that we have
done more that simply choose a position. Our arguments don't need to be
perfect or even correct so much as they need to be clearly thought out.
(sometimes what's "Correct" or "NOT Correct" changes.) --this is tough to
justify-- you have to respect the random factor... luck some say, I'm sure
we've all seen how circumstance can prevail over logic. In some areas, and
I suspect art/culture is one of them and that diversity is, at times, of
greater significance than quality. I know that this is counter-intuitive
in an Aristotelian world.

Essentially, it is my position that a diversity of ideas and analyses are
of greater value, in ecological and cultural terms, than a canon of
perfectly reasoned ideas and analyses. I'm sure I'm in a minority here.

>>"There is for sure the principle of design and all that but somehow that
does not seem sufficient..."

Principles are useful but never, I think, sufficient.

>>"Nor is there any criteria that will tell us just what is good and what
is bad."

agreed

>>"Yes, there are some unwritten rules we(in the arts seem to know) almost
unconciously go by when judging a work of art, something we have learned
about, something almost impossible to explain. ...
>>" Why? What are these unwritten rules we all know? Art education is such
a broad education, when well taught, that it teaches this.

Architect Christopher Alexander would call it a recogntion of "goodness of
fit".
It's familiarity again, familiarity with a complex gestalt, in this case
that allows us to 'recognize' the patterns that constitute good art in a
given context. In another context we might not be so lucky.

>>"Yes, we must teach our students to use visual language and be
perceptive.
Percepion is in my estimation a very important tool for everyone."

"Visual language" is a notion I find wanting. The emphasis on perception
is, however, CRUCIAL to my way of thinking. A vital skill to develop to
distinguish difference and subtlety. If you can perceive the difference
between a horses front leg and back leg you can begin to represent them.
Until the act of perception, knowledge has a weak foundation. We survive
on perception based knowledge... at least in the Newtonian domain maybe in
the emotional one as well.

Good post Rosa!

-henry