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RE: Didaction


From: henry taylor (tortolitascom_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 17 2002 - 13:30:24 PDT

According to Francois Victor Tochon of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison "Didaction is an expressive action in
search of internal consistency; ongoing appraisal of it
develops and establishes indexical connections and
relations with the socially useful aspects of creative
and evolutionary production."

Recently we have had what appears to be excellent
interactive demonstration of Didaction right here.
Let me see if I have this aright.

First we had an example of "Expressive Actionaction in
search of internal consistency": Jane's recent post on

This was immediately followed by an "ongoing appraisal of
it [which] developed and established indexical
(i.e. references to other examples) connections and
relations with the socially useful aspects of creative and
evolutionary production (in this case: art education)."

Maybe it didn't seem that way but I think thats what was

Is it what Tochon intended? Possibly not. Like many other
postmodern writers of his generation Tochon's prose is
elusive, difficult, and fraught with graduate school jargon
of the Franco-American social theory variety.

Grad students often get trapped in such linguistic code-
speak which doesn't readily translate into the everyday
(they'd say 'quotidian') world. Probably a shame, because
it is, as we can see a huge turn-off. Fun to play with
and parody I will both admit and plead guilty to; but
pretty incomprehensible. Useful maybe even important
information gets ignored as a result.

At the same time the jargon or encoding is problematic
in other ways. It often hides a great deal of unclarified
assumptions. This characterization seems (at first reading
at least) to characterize Tochon's writing.

Many important issues are touched upon but treated rather

Basically Tochon seems to want to link Visual Art and
Poetry which is probably quite useful. Much can be
learned about art through the attempt understand the
processes of poetry and vice versa.

Postmodernism is of two minds about MEANING. Meaning is
significant and meaning is arbitrary and uncertain.
Together it suggests that meaning is highly limited
and very contextual. Meaning making is much like
visual art--personal verging more on opinion than
deep or eternal truth.

Tochon writes: "1 Didaction proceeds from the natural
flow of a personal initiative.." A "personal
initiiative" is like the political initiative process
we engage in. The initiative through personal
expression is readily accessible to all and is not
necessarily an intellectual initiative or exercise.

While Tochon's process is intellectual, rational,
and cognitive not everyone's process is. It may be
important to the aspiring professional artist and
cultural activist to know clearly what she is about.
Most folk practice their art at a folk level and such
cognitive approaches are probably less meaningful in
such contexts.

Tochon retains a Fine Art mentality throughout I think...

Well this is more than enough for now, right? Let me
see... Ouch! Way too much for one sitting. I'm
outta here. Shorter next time