Citation
The new aesthetics

Material Information

Title:
The new aesthetics politics, processes, and pedagogy of creative expression
Creator:
D'Amico, Sandra Hathaway
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
vii, 57 leaves : ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Humanities)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Humanities

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Art -- Study and teaching ( lcsh )
Art and society -- United States ( lcsh )
Art and society ( fast )
Art -- Study and teaching ( fast )
United States ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 55-57).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Sandra Hathaway D'Amico.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
41461378 ( OCLC )
ocm41461378
Classification:
LD1190.L58 1998m .D36 ( lcc )

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Full Text
THE NEW AESTHETICS: POLITICS, PROCESSES, AND
PEDAGOGY OF CREATIVE EXPRESSION
by
Sandra Hathaway D'Amico
B.F.A., University of Denver, 1977
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Humanities
1998


This thesis for the Master of Humanities
degree by
Sandra Hathaway D'Amico
has been approved
by
Sarah E. Elliott
Date
Mitchell Aboulafia


D'Amico, Sandra Hathaway (M.A., Humanities)
The New Aesthetic: Politics, Processes, and Pedagogy of Creative
Expression
Thesis directed by Dr. Joanne M. Addison
ABSTRACT
Issues in the contemporary artworld reflect a growing frustration
with the insignificant role art plays in our society. One hundred years of
Modernism and Postmodernism have succeeded in severing art from the
general public through elitist and complicated ideologies. There is a
grassroots movement to use art as a means to reconnect all people with
their innate abilities to be creative and expressive. The benefits of doing
so can help reconnect artists and their audiences, but also serve to re-
direct the ways we frame issues and knowledge in our culture. One means
to begin this change is through pedagogy. Through inquiry, dialogue,
and creative production students can be empowered to examine and
interpret aesthetic conflicts as well as broader social issues.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
iii


)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to sincerely thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Joanne Addison,
for her guidance on this thesis. Joanne, your expertise, patience, and
availability has been invaluable to me in articulating my beliefs into
written form. In essence, this thesis is an investigation I began in your
Cultural Studies course three years ago. You challenged me to rethink the
structures that define our culture which led me to closely examine my
own teaching methods. Ultimately, I feel that this work will have a pro-
found effect upon how I work with students. Thank you.
I would also like to express my gratitude to Sally Elliot. Sally agreed
to serve on my committee after several changes in the Art Department
faculty. Sally was willing to remain on my committee afer I changed my
focus from a creative project to this thesis. Sally, know that my art is
always my first love and that I continue to envision the collages that were
to coexist with this thesis.
Joanne and Sally, I want to thank you both for your support and
encouragement during a recent family tragedy. Without your sensitivity
and understanding, I could have easily lost a semester's progress toward
this degree.
To my husband, Chris, and our children, Christine and Andrew,
thanks for your flexibility and cheerleading efforts!
Finally, I want to express my deep appreciation to my mother for
her unwaivering belief in me and for making this degree possible. Mom,
you are a perpetual learner- always reading, investigating, searching out
new ways to understand the world and its people. One of your greatest
gifts to me has been modeling your passion for learning. Thank you for
educating me.
iv


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION.......................................... 1
Art and Society.................................... 3
Art and the Public Schools......................... 7
Conclusion........................................ 10
2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE................................. 13
The Main Issues................................... 13
Modernism......................................... 16
Postmodernism..................................... 19
Shifting Paradigms................................ 22
Pedagogy.......................................... 25
Conclusion........................................ 28
3. A PEDAGOGY FOR VISUAL ART............................ 30
V


Philosophical Tenets of Curriculum Design............... 31
1. The Foundation of art education should be learning
synthesis,analysis, and evaluation as opposed to tech-
nical skills............................................ 33
Application............................................. 34
2. The inherent properties of creativity and authen-
ticity form the purpose of artistic production.......... 35
Application............................................. 36
3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary
to form a comprehensive curriculum design............... 37
Application............................................. 39
4. Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is crucial if stud-
ents are to understand art in complex and challeng-
ing ways................................................ 40
Application......................................... 41
5. Problem centered approaches should be used to
facilitate inquiry and spart student interest........... 42
Application............................................. 43
6. The role or the teacher should be as a coach, insur-
ing that the teachers are the primary performers
Vi


in the classroom
45
Application........................................... 46
7. A safe climate must be established where students
feel open to dialogue about issues and ideas in a
community setting..................................... 46
Application........................................... 47
Conclusion............................................ 47
4. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE........................... 48
WORKS CITED
54


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
As a small child I remember following my mother through the art
rooms at the community college where she took classes. The air was filled
with the smell of oil paints and turpentine. Easels towered over me with
canvases at varying stages of completion perched upon them. The rich-
ness and potential of the objects in these rooms held for me a magical
sense of wanting to explore, to touch and smell the materials and put
down my mark. I have experienced my own creative encounters, gain-
ing understanding that only comes from direct knowing. I was resigned
to patiently master the technical skills that were tools for my visual lan-
guage. Although my art exploration has often been limited to the frag-
ments of my busy life, I have never let it succumb to abandonment. I
have always innately understood its value to my personal growth.
At the same time the larger world of art frequently felt like a
distant realm, foreign from my artistic explorations and daily life. I
empathized with the public perception of the artworid as elitist and
formidable. For example, the notion of "great art" was clearly biased
toward the art of European ancestry and reflected only the subjects and
lives of the ruling classes. Twentieth century artists held the promise of
more diverse and creative work but their work seemed cryptic and
1


esoteric. The work of many contemporary artists often appears super-
ficial and simplified to the point of relinquishing all traditional ties. One
wonders if we as a society or artistic community are now willing to con-
sider anything as art in the name of freedom and autonomy.
Now, in my role as an art educator, these issues intensify as I
work with students. Their questions, as were my own, are persistent and
valid. They wonder why certain artists have achieved public acclaim and
others have not. They question the standards used to produce and judge
art. They ask what art has to do with "real life". These questions can lead
to ambiguous and complicated issues that seem overwhelming to present
to students. Yet signficant topics in the field of art require informed
opinions and sound arguments if art is to regain a meaningful role in
people's lives.
As a means to understand art in society and its relationship to stu-
dent's lives, aesthetics can become a method through which to teach
critical thinking and inquiry. Although students willingly become
"makers of art", when asked to become "viewers of art", their responses
trigger judgments such as good/bad, right/wrong, love/hate. The
polarity of their thinking patterns mirror many of the following social
beliefs that form an abyss between the maker and viewer of art:
- The myth that art is limited to repheating beautiful
things and moments;
- The myth that to produce art one must have artistic
genius and special perceptual qualities;
2


- The myth that to assess art requires refined "taste"
acquired through a formal education;
These myths limit art's audience to a select aristocracy and negate
the fact that art has meaning and significance through its presentation of
thoughts and feelings.
These myths are also part of larger belief systems that have created
hierarchies and conformity which maintain the present society's social,
economic, and cultural ideology. The core and essence of art, its value to
children's educations, and its potential role in society are deeply affected
by these systems of belief. By examining the social circumstances under
which we live and the ways that the art we possess has come into being,
we can better understand why the public no longer accepts art as an
important aspect of the American culture and school curriculum.
Art and Society
To view art as having a particular history and ideology can reveal
much about our own culture. Primitive cultures, for example, understood
the deep connection between art and life. When art ceased to be
celebratory, when attention focused on materialism and away from the
embodiment of ideas, art's connection to traits of being human were
buried (Gablik 1991, 50). Changing political and economic systems now
alter the way in which people identify with the world around them.
Democratic rule changed subjects into citizens having "free will".
Freedom of expression is consistently the central artistic concern.
3


Yet this freedom has been taken to its extreme in contemporary art.
When the lines between what is acceptable and not acceptable in art no
longer existed, art lost its meaning and integrity. The public has recon-
ciled this exodus believing the artistic pursuit to be little more than a
hobby.
The artist is no longer viewed as a thinker, an intellectual, or a
driving force in society. Artists feeling rejected by society, often escape
into an autonomous life, fueled by the modernist notion of individualism.
There is a romantic appeal to working on the fringes of society and
asserting one's "freedom of expression". Isolated and embattled, the artist
seems to escape into a private world free from society rather than
participating freely in society. The artist in this narcissistic model is not
encouraged to productively participate in the world or community in
which he or she lives.
The world in which the artist finds himself is driven on mass con-
sumption and economic interests that have formed a bureacratic, mana-
gerial culture that forms sharp contrasts between standardization and
creativity (Bateson 2). The artist functions as someone whose objects are
consumed and appropriated for their decorative appeal or function as
status symbols. The artist too has become a cultural product, an enter-
tainer subject to the whims of popular demand. The artist's role has
become marginalized and diminished to the point of having little impact
on contemporary culture.
Yet the gap that exists between the artist and the audience is
4


clearly not one way. Many artists aim their work toward social accept-
ance or modify it to meet society's real or imagined reaction. In a world of
specialization, art has become a cultural oasis in which artists, critics,
galleries and museums exist to please and support each other. Many
individuals who see themselves as advocates for artistic freedom are often
stuck in the same hierarchal systems that perpetuate art's isolation and
elitism (hooks 138). Where is the survival of the artist within this
framework?
Much of the political focus on the visual has been related to the
issues surrounding good and bad imagery. While society praises the
importance of innovation and a democratic exchange of ideas, artists are
often attacked for making public what society regards as private (Becker
1994, 57). The public is afraid of art's contradiction, diversity, and sub-
jectivity. Consequently, society makes it difficult for artists to be re-
warded financially for working authentically and creatively. To a public
that craves the familiar, any lack of conformity regarding conventional
notions about art, results in polarization affecting issues of partronage,
censorship, and funding for the arts.
For example, organizations such as the National Endowment for the
Arts are closely monitored in their selection process by Congressmen who
do not value creative imagination. Specific artists seeking NEA grants
have been humilated and exploited for political purposes in recent Senate
tirades. Their work stigmatized the Endowment's use of public funds and,
by implication, the enterprise of American art in general. By fully
5


funding the National Endowment of the Arts, the government could send a
message that all forms of art mattered to society, including art that
pressures society and illuminates the conflicts and longing of an age
(Brenson 72). Instead, funding agencies and institutional systems such as
museums, galleries, and publications define the value of art in our society
by setting up the boundaries of what objects are considered worthy of
appreciation and recognition.
The challenge in the field of art is to find ways to synthesize
creativity and freedom of expression with political involvement without
sacrificing one for the other. The artistic community needs to reunite
with the public in a positive rather than in a negative way:
The price for becoming socially relevant and politically
influential is to take the long and arduous path of respon-
sibility and adjustment. This approach demands the more
difficult route of challenging and educating instead of the
shortcut of shocking and alienating (Sadri 181).
Artistic workers must accept the repercussions brought about from
years of the artworld alienating public audiences. Art will continue to
diminish in impact and relevancy to mainstream society if the artworld
continues to operate as a specialized and elitist domain. Artistic workers
need to assume strong roles as advocates, speaking for reform in their
field. Their involvement can act as a catalyst for change as well as to
protect the integrity and innate properties of artistic creation.
6


Art in the Public Schools
What is needed is a perception of art that is essentially social and
purposeful - art that acknowledges creative will at the same time that it
fosters social responsibility. The notion of the artist as a marginal radical
must be replaced with the perception of the artist as a citizen and catalyst
for change. One place that this view can be enacted is in the public school
system.
A successful pedagogical framework for the field of art would in-
clude both critical inquiry and creative thinking. Artistic production and
the acquisition of technical skills is the traditional focus in art education.
Rather, studio activities can be used as springboards for exploring ideas.
Redesigning assignments around inquiry and innovation and building
artistic production and skill acquisition into these experiences can help
reorient students as thinking and creative artists dealing with issues and
problems in a real sense. Works of art can act as lenses to our culture,
making visible the belief systems of the time in which they were created.
Studying art as pure form, chronologically and stylistically, needs to be
replaced with debates about the meaning of art. This approach would in-
fluence students to understand the relationship between the artist, the
viewer, and the context of art. Students would actively seek relevant
information rather than passively absorb content and accept implied
viewpoints.
Such a pedagological strategy would train students in the method of
critical inquiry as a regular part of instruction. Encouraging critical
7


thinking can create a climate where thinking can change and paradigms
shift. Students can be empowered to clarify their beliefs through
discussions that spark their curiosity and sense of wonder about the world
in which they live. Broad issues of beauty, creation and responses to art,
the role of art in society, standards for judging art, and the signficance
and interpretation of art, fall into the category of aesthetics. The diversity
and pluralism of aesthetic theory can expand student's awareness and
appreciation of multiple viewpoints. The abihty to be thoughtful and
reflective, important components in human development in the arts, can
be drawn upon to help students clarify their own beliefs in relationship
to others.
Questions that have puzzled people for thousands of years, ima-
ginative and compelling questions and responses to life, are often re-
placed with tedious basic skills in school curriculums. Empathy for the
arts is lacking in a system driven by test scores and rigid standards. The
driving priorities of a school are narrowly focused on the content of these
core classes: Science, Math, English, and History. Art falls into the
subservient placement of an "enhanced core class". The imagination is
viewed as a privilege rather than a birthright under this educational
paradigm. The realm of human development gained from personal
involvement is often denied and ignored.
Yet we know that the amount of time designated to a field of study
directly influences the kinds of mental skills children have the oppor-
tunity to acquire. Our utilitarian view of education is based on the
8


acquisition of concrete skills necessary to promote technological and
economic advancement. The need for specialized skills drives an educa-
tional system stressing the flawed dream of predicting and controlling the
world through the weighing of fact and detail over experimental
processes.
The placement of art in the curriculum reflects the views of school
administrators who have the power and authority to determine sche-
duling and priorities within a school. Perhaps through their personal
discouragement in art, or lack of exposure to art experiences, they may
devalue it as a course of study. The task of urging them to review their
ways of thinking about art and to see its potential to awaken creative
urges in our students occurs reguarly as the arts become frequent targets
for budgetary cuts. To cut the arts is to deny students a whole avenue of
learning - one that specifically promotes not only individual develop-
ment but development of the kind the future citizen will require:
qualities of reflection and imagination, self discipline, and personal
vision. If education is about preparing our students to live, then art is
important to education.
The sheer quantity of consumable knowledge in the modem age
necessitates finding different methods of educating students. The drill for
skill approach is an archaic focus in light of technological advance-
ments and easy access to information. By comparison, the need to teach
thinking concepts and how to develop meaning from fragmented infor-
mation is crucial. Critical and creative thinking addresses the reality of
9


our society and the need to focus on problems of interpretation and debate
of information in a broad sense. A narrow educational focus will disable
our students in dealing with the ambiguity and complexity of our world.
Future societies need creative thinkers to go beyond what we have known
before. More emphasis on creative intelligence will move the society
toward increased diversity rather than the standardization of life.
Conclusion
The reality is that few people today are comfortable making art and
are severed from their natural mode of thinking visually. Dissatisfaction
in ones art usually begins around age nine or ten, when children learn
to see the world in terms of adult standards and are unable to draw what
they have learned to see. Most people view art as an activity reserved for
the rare, elite, and highly trained individual, and end their potential
creative development. Myths about good and bad art, high verses low
culture, how to do art, what art is for, reflect consistent thinking patterns
promoted and maintained by established hierarchal aesthetic and cultural
systems.
Seldom do we attribute the widespread creative impotence to the
rise of industrialism, routines, efficiency, and specialization yet these
perceptions contribute to the instability of art in our times. In contem-
porary Western culture the image and reproduction is a powerful in-
fluence over peoples' understanding and appreciation of original works
of art
10


Dissolving the polarity between the artist and the audience is
crucial if art is to reconnect with society and reaffirm its existence in
human development. The rigid boundaries surrounding the field of art
need to be dissolved to be more inclusive of the diversity of society's
interests and inhabitants. In a democratic society, art should be a place
where everyone is seen to possess inherently creative and artistic
abilities. Bell hooks describes this role for art in Art on Mv Mind:
To truly champion artistic freedom we must be committed
to creating and sustaining an aesthetic culture where
diverse artistic practices, standpoints, identities, and
locations are nurtured, find support, affirmation, and re-
gard: where the belief that indivdual artists must have the
right to create as the spirit moves- freely, openly, provoca-
tively- prevails. Fundamentally, artists who work individ-
ually or collectively bear witness to this truth with the art
we make and with the habits of our being. Until this expan-
sive role of the artist in society is embraced as the necessary
aesthetic groundwork for all artistic practices, freedom
of expression will be continually undermined, its meaning
and value lost (139).
Issues of power, privilege and social order shape not only our
institutions but our concepts of ourselves. Students can be encouraged to
view their world with the eyes of an artist by seeking out new ways of
looking and responding to their environment. No student approaches a
work of art in a neutral way. Preconceived ideas are uavoidable yet to
make an informed judgement, students can be given strategies that help
them navigate through the pluralistic philosophy surrounding the field
of art to arrive at their own interpretation (Stewart 28).
11


If we accept the fact that everything is shaped by culture,
we then acknowledge that we create our reality. We there-
fore contribute to it and can change it. This is an overpower-
ing way of living and of seeing ourselves and the world
(Staniszewski 291).
In doing so, students can come to see the world of art as relational-
always existing in relation to other people, histories, ideologies, and
themselves. This kind of perception can serve as a bridge into other
fields of study and further connect students to their personal location in
the society and the world in which they inhabit.
12


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The Main Issues
There was a time when art was inseparable from life. Primitive
forms were not separated from social contexts. Lucy Lippard's book
Overlay is about what we have forgotten about art and the attempt to
recall its function by looking back at times and places where art had
social significance and social obligation. As we have become more
civilized and enlightened, we have further distanced ourselves from our
natural world and superstitions of the tribe and consequently, our core
human experience. There remains a romantic and mysterious element to
wondering about the past. Ancient art seems natural and absent of class
and religious content, and oddly more intimate than the art of our times.
Lippard explains:
When I cross a moor on which no tree, habitation, or person
is visible and come upon a ring of ragged stones, a mound or
a cairn of stones, I know this is human-made . One stops and
asks oneself: "Who made this?" When?" "Why? "What does it
have to do with me? One of art's functions is to recall that
which is absent- whether it is history, or the unconscious, or
form or social justice (Lippard 1983, 4).
Why specific artistic pleasures; creativity, discovery, order, work-
manship, communication should have ever risen in human evolution is
13


worth examining. Ellen Dissanayake in Homo Aestheticus, explores how
primitive societies were successful in channeling art experiences into
lifestyles making it a normal and natural activity. There seems to be a
need for culture and art throughout human history. It can be considered
a biobehavioral adaptation that occurred through evolution as a
reconciliation of culture and nature.
Dissanayake finds that the core of art - play and ritual and
differentiating the ordinary from the extraordinary - is "making
special" (Dissanayake 49). This process, coupled with aesthetic
predispositions of spacial and cognitive thinking, becomes the aesthetic
experience throughout the history of mankind. What artists do is an
intensification and exaggeration of what ordinary people do naturally for
enjoyment.
Dissanayake distinguishes between the natural/biological and
cultural/leamed practices in our society (Dissanayake 34). Our
technological culture has distanced and insulated people from their
natural origins and sensory experiences, devaluing the aesthetic part of
our natural selves. For example, seldom do we allow our bare feet to touch
the earth, our ears to to hear nonmechanical sounds, our eyes to see
nonfabricated images (Dissanayake XII). Our technological control of
nature has ignored our need to revere nature, and engage in rare and
mysterious experiences.
Suzi Gablik concurs that we are losing our sense of the power of the
imagination, myth, dream, and vision. In The Reenchantment of Art
14


Gablik writes that reenchanting the whole culture is a crucial and
collective task of our time. Reenchantment means moving away from
rational modes of perception- believing things are only as they appear.
To move toward recovery in our culture, we must admit to it as a system of
addiction to these modem traditions of rationalism, materialism, scientific
and objective consciousness (Gablik 11). Our loss of ecstatic experiences
in contemporary Western society affects every aspect of our lives and
creates a sense of closure. Our culture is defined by the walls surrounding
it, providing no exit from the addictive systems and the alienation caused
by the loss of connection to the living world (Gablik 85).
Art's marginalized function in society magnifies the polarization
between the artist and the audience. As a result of critics explaining away
what might be art's true message, art became "mystified" to the general
audience (Berger 16). "Mystification" is the process of analyzing what
might appear to be evident to the viewer. Seeing establishes our place in
the surrounding world and then there is an attempt to explain that world
with words. In Wavs of Seeing John Berger explains that the relationship
between what we see and know is never clear. Looking becomes an act of
choice determined by what we know and believe. An artist and photo-
grapher cannot escape creating images based upon his or her personal
and societal beliefs. Consequently, the viewer, through his or her act of
observation, is influenced to share the beliefs of the image's creator.
An example of this process occurs in oil painting in the 16th cen-
tury. In Western art, oil painting allowed for a pictoral likeness of sub-
15


jects reflecting the views of consumerism and property. Images were of
noble people and still lifes depicting objects that could be purchased and
owned. Buying a painting also meant buying what it represented (Berger
83).
Modernism
Modernism was in part a protest against materialism but by
focusing entirely on the artist's intent, it further mystified art to the
viewer. Sally Everett in Art Theory and Criticism, defines three basic
ways of understanding modem art; Formalism, the avant-garde, and
Contextualism. Each of these approaches believes that art is outside of
modem culture.
The Formalist term "Art for Art's Sake" defined their claim that art
was autonomous and self sufficient, having no meaning other than
through its aesthetic form. Formalist artists felt that their work needed to
withdraw from social influences to salvage the purity of arts creative
essence. Everything that diluted this experience was being stripped away.
Contextualism began during World War I. Art was believed to be a
channel of communication, existing within a certain situation or context
including the artist, the object and the recipient. Since the artist creates
the object, the artist determines the primary message that the viewer will
receive. The viewer brings personal associations to the art object and the
message hooks him through his associations. These art objects can make a
16


difference in our culture by causing a change in perception through
exposure to new, unsettling, and contradictory imagery.
There is perhaps no better example of Contextualist art than from
Marcel Duchamp's submission of a urinal to the Independent's Exhibition
in New York in 1917. Chosen for its lack of aesthetic qualities, it demon-
strated Duchamp's view that the artist's intention, not the craft or skill,
was the art (Gablik 1984, 38). He understood that art's value would be
distorted, buried and misappropriated. Predictably, the contradiction of
turning this ordinary object into art shocked and outraged the public.
Duchamp's mockery of his audience was indicative of the avant-garde's
condescending attitude toward the general public.
The avant-garde artist wanted an audience, but demanded an ideal
audience, observes critic Donald Kuspit. The avant-garde artist resisted
the values, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of the general public. If
their aim is to force the audience into a new state of consciousness and
discover its discontent, it offered no resolution in its utopian challenge.
By refusing to relate to the ideology of the audience, avant-garde art is
more of a social curiousity, easily dismissed as boring and irrelevant
(Kuspit 173). Two kinds of audiences existed for the avant-garde artists-
one that is alienated, the other that is over-confident. Reconciling these
perceptions involves examining the meaning and use of art. Kuspit asks
if art should exist to entertain its audience with exalted idealism or reveal
reality to a resistant audience (Kuspit 176).
Although avant-garde artists believed their art represented a re-
17


bellion against social and regional realism, it was seen by audiences as a
"put on" and indicative of class antagonism. The avant-garde artist felt
that he held an elite position apart from mainstream society. Rather than
understanding this ideology, the audience withdrew. In Has Modernism
Failed?. Gablik points out, "To the public at large, modem art implied a
loss of craft, a fall from grace, a fraud, or a hoax" (13). The complexity
and contradictions apparent in modem art were of little interest to the
public at large.
Experimental art had become the exclusive territory of the ruling
and upper classes, everyone else had to find less oppressive outlets such as
kitsch and pop culture. The German term "kitsch" was adopted to describe
cultural products of the industrial revolution which formed an urbanized,
universal literacy developing in Western culture (Greenburg 31). The
widespread ability to read and write no longer distinguished those who
had access to cultural products and refined tastes. "Kitsch" showed no
regard for geographical, national and cultural boundaries, it was simply a
mass product of Western industrialism.
In 1939, the critic Clement Greenburg wrote that just as there is an
avant-garde pushing culture forward, there is a rear guard in kitsch or
popular commercial art. Sent by the same instincts that lead the
cultivated spectator, the general public is capable of understanding art on
a lower scale - sparing them the difficulty of perceiving genuine art.
Greenburg maintained that there has always been the powerful minority
of cultivated people in society and the masses of exploited, poor, and
18


ignorant. Greenburg held the view that formal culture belonged to the
first, while the rest of the public had to satisfy themselves with
rudimentary folk art and kitsch.
Postmodernism
The problem we now face as a society becomes how to reorient
ourselves within the context of the contemporary. Postmodernists
challenge traditional and institutional power. Lines have been blurred
between fields of study, resisting codified methods and traditional systems.
Postmodernism reduces all information to fragments and recognizes no
unity against which these fragments can be measured.
Through the invention of the camera and its abilities to reproduce
images, the public is now bombarded with a daily concentration of visual
images. Berger (Wavs of Seeing), reminds us that we accept these images
as we do elements of climate, with little regard for filtering its effects
upon our beliefs (130). A photographer has a choice of what he sees and
consequently is interpreting the world for us. Feeding upon society's
appetite for materialism and pleasure, homogenized ideals of beauty and
cultural values are carried in our visual environment with little resist-
ance. The media has consequently dissolved the boundaries between the
artist and society. Berger writes that stereotyped standards have created
social patterns in which everyone believes what the majority wants must
be worth pursuing. Few people take the time to find distinctions
in the excessive images we see in our daily lives. Consequently, few of
19


these images hold value or meaning to people.
Jean Baudrillard claims that we are in a universe where there is
more and more information and less and less meaning. This new uni-
verse relies on connection and feedback, in processes that are narcis-
sistic and involve constant surface changes. The only way to cope with
these information-rich images is to resist the power of information to
take over our lives by accepting images as surfaces and reject their
meanings (Sarup 165).
The consumption of art in our society is organized by a complicated
bureaucracy. The security and protection of the art establishment
further negates the old values of individuality and the very nature of
creativity. Survival in this system requires artists to conform to the
requirements of a good gallery. The business of art includes developing
an image for the artist and placing she or he into the right shows and
publications. In the art establishment, the artist becomes chained to his
role as a producer of art and subjected to the demands of the market.
(Gablik 84). This submission to the cultural and economic authority is
rewarded with prestige and money. The art industry protects the status
quo with the interest of protecting art's economic and market value.
Richard Shiff explains that we have come to expect and demand
novelty from art, associating artistic genius and creativity with origin-
ality and invention rather than with excellence and distinction. Works of
art are often evaluated in terms of contrast, breaking of traditions, and
establishing new mediums and techniques defining art. Theorists and
20


critics no longer approach art from the conservative manner in terms of
art as an external object with fixed properties. Rather, they define art in
terms of the experiences of the individual artist or viewer. In this private
and mysterious view of art, artists become unable and unwilling to
explain the meaning of their art verbally and admonish critics to "let the
work speak for itself' (Shiff 158). When artistic style is so closely linked
to the personality of the individual rather than to a means of comparison
with an external standard foreign to the artist, modem critics evaluate
the artist by judging the degree of his sincerety. What generalizations
can be made, other than that the works of art stimulate us and in their
presence we feel rejuvenated (Shiff 162)?
These tendencies toward conformism and artificiality, confirm that
the avant-garde and its mode of social protest has now become mean-
ingless. Negative values based on the superficiality of the media have
created a homogenized dominant culture melting away the multi-racial,
multi-cultural differences that are society's greatest strength and dem-
ocratic ideal. Art in American society seems unable to acknowlege the
diversity at its core. Censorship of the arts reveals this failure. Govern-
ment funding agencies pressure artists to conform to the aims of the state,
leaving them chronically on the defensive trying to secure social support
and funding. The image of the artist as a rebel and non-conformist
negates any role for the artist as citizen (Rich 224).
The legacy of the modem artist is that he stands alone finding no
direction from society. Or as Adrienne Rich describes in "Dissed and
21


Disconnected", "The artist has become a figure out of time, navigating a
postmodern course with nothing more advanced than a century old
compass" (224).
The postmodern era, characterized by its superficiality and
flatness, is due to a shift from the alienation of a subject to the frag-
mentation of a subject. Fredric Jameson believes that by refusing to
engage with the present or to retain the past, the entire contemporary
social system lives in the perpetual present (Sarup 181).
The modernists' interest in time and memory is now dominated by
the category of space. Jameson employs the metaphor of an alienated city
where people are unable to map in their minds where they are in relation
to the world they inhabit. This new hyperspace is featured by changing
categories of "inside/outside; bewilderment and loss of spacial orientation,
the messiness of an environment in which things and people no longer
find their "place"' (Sarup 171).
Shifting Paradigms
Postmodernism has reduced all information to fragments and
recognizes no unity against which these fragments can be measured.
However, by disrupting the old order, this state of transition has the
potential to trigger a cultural awakening.
Collage can be used as a metaphor to describe the process of re-
arranging fragments of meaning left by postmodernism. By juxtaposing
unlike realities, a new and unexpected reality can be formed. Ideas and
22


images from other cultures and times can be woven into new metaphors
of meaning. Lucy Iippard writes in Overlay that she believes in a vision
of art having social significance and function. Effective art opens the
possibility of perceiving and understanding all aspects of life including
social change, metaphors for emotions, interaction and abstract con-
ceptions in visual forms (5). Lippard believes in blurring the boundaries
between art and life and moving toward the reintegration of politics and
culture, personal and public, and personal and natural. Without this
approach, art will remain another manipulatable commodity in a society
which easily absorbs and controls ideas.
Interaction is the key that moves art beyond the current aesthetic
mode. Gablik believes that a shift from objects to relationships is nec-
essary by connecting art to its integrative role in the larger whole and
web of relationships to society (Gablik 1991,7). Rather than distancing,
the artist needs to look for ways to harmonize and interconnect with the
audience. Gablik calls for a vision where everything is perceived as
dynamically inter-connected. Art needs to be a collaboration with the
environment in a way that dissolves the polarity between art and the
audience.
Frustrated with the limited outlets and functions for art in Western
culture, Lucy Lippard in "Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power",
describes activist art as a response to the current conflicts. Rather than
being presented as a new art form, it is a democratic view of culture.
Responding to the homogenized, bureacratic culture, activist art views art
23


as a communicative exchange encouraging access to diverse audiences. It
is process oriented, not only in its creative exchange but also in how it
reaches its context and audience.
Art's ability to see and help others to see is its power. An artist's
capability to produce an image is pointless without connecting it to a
means of communication and distribution. The conventional notion of the
artist observing, embellishing, and reflecting the systems of society is
irrelevant when a work gets out of an artist's hands. The artist sur-
renders the power of the art object to the gallery, museum, or owner.
Most artists find themselves in a subversive power struggle against artists
whose work is commonly seen in museums or perhaps in TIME magazine,
and enjoy all the benefits of the high art establishment. The struggle
may be against a relatively unknown artist who may not have high
exposure but is financially rewarded. The mass media artist, although
anonymous, reaches an audience of millions daily. Militant, social and
feminist art can pose competition for the artist. Possibly the humble folk
or hobby artist in providing the community's artistic needs, outlets, and
boundaries holds the artistic power (Everett, 192).
In contrast, activist art is a dialogue between art and the audience,
rather than a product of specialized lessons in beauty and ideology.
Activist art is a hybrid, often the result of different cultures commun-
icating with each other. It is not confined to a specific context under the
control of the market and ruling class tastes. Iippard explains that
networking and organizing are crucial elements to activist art in pro-
24


viding an atmosphere of access to each other's art and ideas. It is a
grassroots movement, with the goal of restoring art's power and purpose
by integrating it with mainstream society (Everett 203).
Pedagogy
Changing paradigms requires understanding pedagogy as a deli-
berate attempt on the part of artists and cultural workers to take a stand in
influencing the social construction of culture. Henry Giroux in
"Democracy and the Idea of the Artist", uses the notion of "border" as a
referent for the space between schooling and the broader notion of
education. Pedagogy should provide a vision and space, a language of
critique and possibility for the artist, cultural worker, and critic in cross-
national and international terrains (Giroux, 10). He includes three
assumptions in this revitalized pedagogy. This first is that dominant
ideology regarding what knowledge and social objects are worthy of study
must be challenged. Secondly, cultural workers should assume respon-
sibility in translating theory back into constructive practices that
transforms the everyday terrain of cultural power. Third, political and
economic institutions must be structured in ways that permit broad
popular control (Giroux 11-12). Cultural workers need to develop a
collective vision in which the artist, cultural worker and critic construct
a broader idea of political commitment and democratic struggle in the
arts. Redefining the meaning of the artist as a public intellectual and
25


how as educators we view the sites in which we work is part of this
process. Not only should we be educating audiences for art but we should
be participating in building the structures that share the power of
making culture dem-ocratic.
This issue of responsibility is something Carol Becker poses not as a
constraint but as a condition for freedom and a sign of cultural maturity.
There has never been a place for the artist to articulate, take a stand, and
be present in the culture as citizens (Becker 1995, 58). Obsolete attitudes
and strategies in the artworld have affected the artist's sense of respon-
sibility to society. The idea of the autonomous artist was cultivated in part
as preservation against the visual and cultural mediocrity of mainstream
American society. Artists refuse to address larger social issues and often
choose to be rebellious, further isolating themselves in a society in which
art has become so seceeded from everyday life, it has lost its effect-
iveness. The dynamics of capitalism and bureaucracy surrounding
subsidized art programs and artists have created a population of self
serving art specialists.
Becker feels that art schools in general have perpetuated the
problem by prolonging the idea of the alienated, romantic artist on the
edge of society. This image maintains the notion of artistic freedom
existing outside of society (Gablik 1995, 363). Becker avoids these ex-
tremes explaining that art should be appreciated from diverse viewpoints.
She does not limit art to making socially conscious statements and recog-
nizes that individuals derive pleasure and satisfaction from creating per-
26


sonal visions. She wants art to exist in all forms and for students to see a
whole range of possibilities for being an artist. Viewing art apart from
society has marginalized the artist's training, denying them the necessity
of good reading and writing skills and solid historical contexts through
which they can know their culture and become curious about the rest of
the world. Becker suggests that art education should be structured around
ideas rather than physical materials and tools. Training people how to see
are issues teachers need to concern themselves with as being important
for their students. When people work through ideas, they look for the
best medium through which to best actualize their responses (Gablik 1995,
375). Becker also believes that there is a need to encorporate into the
training process a fundamental concern for the particularities of the
audience and their placement of art into larger societal contexts.
The world of education is filled with broken paradoxes, explains
Parker Palmer in The Courage to Teach. Contemporary teaching prac-
tices separate heads from hearts, facts from feelings, theory from
practice, and teaching from learning. The result is a world view that is
complex and disconnected from life experiences. Students are often
dismissed and marginalized as inexperienced youth with no voice, no
future, and no significant role.
Objectivism portrays truth as something we can only achieve by
distancing ourselves physically and emotionally from things we want to
know. Objectivism promotes the idea that knowledge and information is
power. Subjectivism is seen to contaminate knowledge, not only because
27


of its contradictory nature but because it creates relationships between
things and us. The relationship between the knower and known is thus
regarded as dangerous, unreliable, and primitive. The imagination is seen
as chaotic and unruly. Palmer writes,
We are obsessed with manipulating externals because
we believe that they will give us some power over
reality and win some freedom from constraints. Mes-
merized by technology that seems to have done just that,
we dismiss the inward world. We turn every question
we face into an objective problem to be solved- and
we believe for every objective problem there is some
sort of technical fix (19).
This kind of binary logic has given us a fragmented sense of reality
that destroys the wholeness and wonder of life. We can escape this either-
or thinking by not abandoning discriminatory logic where it is well
served but by developing habits of the mind that support connectedness
(Palmer 62).
Conclusion
Artists and cultural workers must be advocates in creating a more
expansive role for the artist in society, one which encompasses diverse
artistic contexts for the public that extend beyond barriers of race, class,
gender, and location. There is a need to reaffirm all forms of artistic
expression and provide comfortable access into the artistic community.
Cultural workers need to unite as peers, functioning as a support system, a
lobbying force, and a group forum from which to discuss issues about art.
A collective vision needs to be defined that honors artistic values
28


I
and tie diversity within the field. A concerted effort must also be made to
bring about an awareness in the general public of art's potential to
enrich individuals and the society in which we live. This goal calls for
widespread educational programs to reform belief systems that have
polarized artists and audiences through years of isolation, elitism, and
complexity.
29


CHAPTER 3
A PEDAGOGY FOR VISUAL ART
Learning how to see and teaching others to see is a goal of artists
and art educators. Author Edward deBono believes that perceptive skills
are more important to success in life than are the rational skills of logical
thinking:
Perception is the basis of wisdom. For twenty four centuries
we have put all our intellectual effort into the logic of reason
rather than the logic of perception. Yet in the conduct of hu-
man affairs, perception is more important. Why have we
made this mistake?
We might have believed that perception did not really
matter and could in the end be controlled by logic and reason.
We did not like the vagueness, subjectivity, and variability of
perception and sought refuge in the solid absolutes of truth
and logic .... We were content to leave perception to the
world of art while reason got on with its own business in
science, mathematics, economics and government
(deBono 42).
Now and in the future, our society requires creative thinkers and
problem solvers. We need to encourage students to perceive through
paradoxes, conflicting philosophies, and implications of their own beliefs
and actions. Postmodernism, in dissolving boundaries and leaving
information fragmented, necessistates bringing knowledge together in
new and unusal structures. This quest for meaning and new ways of
30


perceiving develops from context and connectiveness, learning to see
relationships between things and pulling together responses from a
multitude of sources. Innovation, invention, questioning, arguing, re-
thinking, reimagining - all are ways of thinking through the wealth of
information produced by our present and future society.
The context of interrelating what we know has become more im-
portant that mere content. We are living in a time of rapid readjustment
to every life situation, from technological advances to expanded states of
awareness. We need whole brain understanding: the right to innovate
and envision and the right to test and analyze. Through synthesis,
connections can be brought together into balance (Ferguson 303).
Techniques and skills do give form to meaning. Artists need to be-
come comfortable with them as a means to clarify and express their ideas.
Skills can be acquired and mastered through persistence and practice, as
in any art form. Introspection and inquiry however, can invite creative
and authentic responses fulfilling a basic human quest for personal
meaning and involvement. This creative involvement is not reserved for
professional artists. It exists wherever our natural senses have the space
and structure from which to improvise. Completed artworks are merely
traces of the journey through this process.
Philosophical Tenets for Curriculum Design
The following philosophical tenets honor the diversity within the
art area by suggesting a curriculum design that is varied and open-ended:
31


1. The foundation of art education should be learning synthesis,
analysis, and evaluation as opposed to technical skills;
2. The inherent properties of creativity and authenticity in the
artistic process should be stressed as the purpose of
artistic production;
3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary to form a
comprehensive curriculum design;
4. Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is critical if students are
to understand art in complex and challenging ways;
5. Problem centered approaches should be used to facilitate
inquiry and spark student interest;
6. The role of the teacher should be as a coach, insuring the
students, not the teachers, are the primary performers
in the classroom;
7. A safe climate must be established where students feel open to
dialogue about issues and ideas in a community setting.
32


1. The foundation of art education should be learning synthesis, analysis,
and evaluation as opposed to technical skills.
Within the public education system, art teachers can no longer
limit art courses simply to artistic production and the acquisition of tech-
nical skills. Although these are vital components to refining one's visual
language, used solely as the basis of a curriculum, they limit the
responsiveness of people to the larger world beyond their own exper-
iences.
Synthesis, analysis, and evaluative judgement are the components
of a pedagological approach designed by Grant Wiggins, Director of
Research for the Coalition of Essential Schools. Teachers organize courses
not around answers but around "Essential Questions" which get students to
think seriously about what they are learning. Wiggins explains:
We believe students come to understand ideas the way
that they develop habits: by actively playing with them,
exploring them, and "practicing" them- all of which is im-
possible unless teachers are allowed to cover less. Instead of
covering every aspect of an idea, we hope teachers will
guide students through the factual mire, helping them to
become more thoughtful by seeing the questions that lurk
behind the "answers" (69).
Wiggin's "Essential Questions" meet the following criteria: They go
go to the heart of the discipline, they have no one, obvious "right
answer", they are higher order, and they generate personal interest and
33


provide opportunities for individualized answers. Questions used as entry
points can engage students intrinsically to comprehend the contro-
versial nature of fields of study, such as art. A variety of thinking skills
can be utilitzed to trigger inquiry.
Such approaches are outlined in T. Roger Taylor's Curriculum
Design for Excellence. Taylor emphasizes the following "Higher Order
Thinking Skills":
Breaks down, diagrams, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes,
identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, points out, relates, selects,
separates, subdivides, categorizes, combines, compiles, composes,
creates, devises, assigns, explains, generates, modifies, organizes,
plans, rearranges, revises, rewrites, summarizes, writes,
appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, describes,
discriminates, justifies, interprets, summarizes, and supports.
The criteria of "Higher Order Thinking Skills" are often reserved
for students who have mastered content fact and skill. Yet without an
education that forces inquiry, mastering facts are useless.
Application
Many higher order thinking skills can be associated with the art
making process. Others can be focused on thinking skills involved in
inquiry. Focusing on these skills when developing pedagogy offers a
variety of approaches in achieving intellectual involvement with issues
and topics.
An essential question in aesthetics for example, could be framed
34


around how we judge and perceive cultural products outside of our
society:
Is it possible to construct an interpretation or judge the
significance of, say, a ceremonial mask from another culture?
Should standards be different for different cultures? If so, what
would be the appropriate source for such standards? (Stewart 52)
2. The inherent properties of creativity and authenticity form the
purpose of artistic production.
Authenticity in art is often confused with disabling myths about
art's function. Three negative and killing notions about art persist that
demonstrate this misunderstanding. One is that art is about beauty. The
second is the idea that to be an artist you must train only your eye and
hand to be accurate. And the third is the idea that there are certain rules
or canons about making art that are assumed to result in beautiful things
(London 14). Peter London explains in No More Secondhand Art:
Meaning, not beauty is what we are after. Big, deep, wide,
meaning . What we never get enough of is meaning.
What does this all mean? Why are we here? Where are we
going? Who am I? How do I fit into this unspeakable
universe? . These are the questions that animate artists
to spin and jump and howl until the right way is found to
address the big conundrum that both invites and confounds
our imagination (London 15).
Creativity is often believed to be a special kind of thinking
reserved for a talented few individuals. As a society we tend to block
35


creativity by labeling it unusual and confining it to special fields such as
art. Factors such as intelligence, ability to see connections from
dissimilar parts and the ability to shift mindsets and playfulness, are
creative capabilities that can be used in all fields and in everyday life.
Paradoxically, creativity requires both freedom and limitation.
Limits provide a structure to work with and against. Structure can ignite
changes and ideas, changing the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Knowing the steps of the creative process can help facilitate this
type of thinking:
1. Inception (original question or idea)
2. Incubation (consider possibilities)
3. Experimentation (try possible solutions)
4. Demonstration (create the solution)
5. Evaluation (critique of the work)
Application
A metaphor can be used as a figure of speech or a visual present-
ation in which a word, phrase, or image is used in place of another to
suggest a likeness between them. Metaphors do not analyze or explain the
ideas they convey, rather they formulate a new concept for the imag-
ination. Metaphors in visual art might take the form of projections,
likenesses, or surrogate images (Rourkes 9). For example, a student could
be asked to combine two unlike objects in the same image, such as a map
36


and a portrait, an insect and a building, a reptile and a train. Images and
ideas can be transformed in unusual ways through a variety of creative
techniques.
Methods frequently employed by artists include: magnification,
minification, multiplication, substitution, simplification, reversals,
fragmentation, distortion, disguising, metamorphizing, animation,
(Rourkes 33). Students can look for similar methods in the work of
contemporary and historical artists.
3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary to form
comprehensive curriculum design.
A comprehensive art curriculum requires integration of specific
skills and understanding into the field of visual art. The National
Standards Arts Education in conjunction with the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP), completed a proposal for the 1997 Asses-
sment of Arts Education. Included are two major components of learning
expected from students who study the arts. First, knowledge and un-
derstanding about the arts, including personal, historical, cultural, and
social contexts for artwork. This is termed "responding". Second, students
are expected to learn perceptual, technical, expressive, and intellectual/
reflective skills. Students should apply knowledge and skills simultan-
eously which includes experimental learning, termed "creating. Art
experiences should mix and balance creating and responding in activities
involving studio production, art criticism, history, and aesthetics.
37


Students should reflect and assess their thinking processes for insight
into alternative solutions and viewpoints.
The NAEP document includes the suggestion of building art exper-
iences around three different kinds of relationships:
1. The relationship to self deals with how the individual explores,
understands, and resolves issues through visual art.
2. The relationship to others focuses on ways students study how
people relate in a family, community, and civic responsi-
bilities through art.
3. The relationship to the environment deals with ways students
can explore how we create, transform, honor or neglect the
natural and built environments in which we live.
Each of these themes can be approached from these four diverse
viewpoints:
- based upon an art object
- based upon a problem or issue
- based upon historical or cultural contexts
- based on the creator or artist of the object
Production exercises should require students to construct or
38


produce a response rather than select from alternatives. Open-ended
assignments enable a student to communicate how they individually
respond and articulate to a particular artistic problem through verbal
and nonverbal means.
Tasks can be designed by teachers to evoke key issues and problems
teachers want students to explore. Students need material that is rich and
thought-provoking from diverse historical and cultural resources.
Subjects should also extend to a range of popular subjects that are familiar
to the student. Current events, articles and critical writing can also serve
as springboards for ideas.
Application
An example of this process is to develop a personal sketchbook/
journal across time. An artist's studio is a space where student's can learn
artistic practices and experiment with materials and ideas. A sketchbook/
journal can serve as a movable studio where over a period of time, ideas
and images can be continually processed. Visual skills, images, reflec-
tions, and questions can be recorded in a collected state. It can serve as a
source book for students in arriving at their personal definitions of art
and reflect changing perceptions and understanding. It can be a tool for
students to orient their own art experiences and ideas to the larger frame-
work of the artworld.
39


4. Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is crucial if students are to
understand art in complex and challenging wavs.
Giving students instruction in aesthetic theory can provide them
with a foundation from which to discuss issues in the art field. Students
can recognize that their beliefs may be connected to larger societal
beliefs that have been studied and reflected upon by others. Categories of
aesthetic theories can be easily grasped and are often related to each
other. By studying diverse ideologies, students can begin to comprehend
the philosophical pluralism existing in our social and political systems.
Marilyn Stewart in Thinking Through Aesthetics, has outlined the
following aesthetic theories used by people when judging art. Her method
has outlined complex aesthetic theory into understandable viewpoints for
students to comprehend. I suggest using these viewpoints as springboards
for student discussions:
Expressionist: Artworks are valued, have merit or are significant
because they convey or evoke feelings or moods.
Instrumentalist: Artworks are valued, have merit, or are
significant because of what they do. They perform
something thought to be an important function. An
artwork might be persuasive in getting people to think or
behave in a certain way.
Formalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are significant
40


because of the way they are arranged, or formed. The parts
of a work fit together so that when people see it, they
respond in a positive way. The message of the artwork is
far less significant than the arrangement of parts.
Imitationalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are signi-
ficant because of the way they show objects or situations
in ways that they actually exist in the real world.
Institutionalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are
significant because an artist intends it to be an artwork.
The artist places the work in context in which people who
work with art (curators, critics, art historicans, and so on)
will see it and treat it as art. This perspective does not
indicate what standards should be used to judge a particular
work as good, valuable, or significant (Stewart 122).
Application
It must be understood that art is often judged by differing standards
depending on the circumstances and context through which it is made
and viewed. In a culturally diverse society, uses and standards for art may
be different things to different cultural groups. Sensitivity to beliefs of
different cultural, racial and gender groups should be incorporated into
the discussions.
Students can be encouraged to try out different viewpoints,
clarifying and questioning their own beliefs and ideas in relationship to
41


others. Role playing, stories, interviews, debates, and writing assign-
ments can help clarify students' understanding of the philosophical
pluralism in art.
5. Problem centered approaches should be used to facilitate
inquiry and spark student interest.
In a problem-centered approach, students discover and rediscover
relevant ideas and contexts as opposed to the usual curriculum design
which is linear and sequenced toward a singular goal.
Unusual approaches to problems can spark students' interest to
demonstrate their knowledge and ideas on an issue. A teacher might
utiliize a particular approach to an issue or problem as the focus of a
classroom activity. Students could individually identify an approach that
personally interests them to explore an issue.
Taylor outlined a series of useful investigative approaches that
could apply to aesthetic inquiry:
1. Paradoxes: Common knowledge not necessarily true in fact;
2. Attributes: Inherent properties. Ascribing qualities;
3. Analygies: Situations of likeness. Comparisons;
4. Discrepancies: Gaps in limitations in knowledge;
5. Provacatiye Questions: Incite knowledge exploration;
6. Examples of Change: Provides opportunties for change;
7. Examples of Habit: Building sensitivity against rigid thinking;
42


8. Organized Random Search: Using a familiar structure to build
another structure;
9. Skills for Search: Search for the current status of something.
10. Tolerance for Ambiguity: Pose open-ended situations which do
not force closure;
11. Intuitive Expression: Feeling about things through the senses;
12. Adjustment to Development: Learning from mistakes or failures;
13 Study creative people and processes: Study processes which lead
to problem solving, invention, incubation, and insight;
14. Evaluate Situations: Deciding upon possibilities by their conse-
quences and implications;
15. Creative Reading Skills: Learning the skill of generating ideas
by reading;
16. Creative Listing Skill: Learning the skill of generating ideas
by listing;
17. Creative Writing Skill: Learning the skill of generating ideas
through writing;
18. Visualization Skill: Expressing ideas in visual forms;
(Taylor: Curriculum Design for Excellence)
Application
An extension to the list of investigative focuses could include
asking students to further assess their opinions on an issue by assuming
different viewpoints. This method would be useful to spark student's
43


initial opinions on an issue. It could also be employed to clarify student's
thinking following an investigative focus and discussion.
The following Divergent Questioning Models were designed by
Taylor to initiate student responses. Aesthetic Questions have been added
to the model:
1. Quantity Model: How many ways___________?
What roles might an artist play in a culture?
2. Viewpoint Model: How would you view__________?
How do you view artworks as special? What do you believe
makes some artwork more special than others?
3. Involvement Model: How would you feel if_________?
How would you feel if the government commissioned a
sculpture outside of a building in which you worked that
was the source of much public controversy?
4. Conscious Self-Deceit Model: You have been given the power
to change__________What would you do?
You have been given the opportunity to organize an
exhibition of 8 Denver artists in a prominent public
building. What criteria will you use in determining which
artists' work will be exhibited?
44


5. Forced Association Model: How is_________like__________?
How is an individual artwork like a self portrait?
6. Reorganization Model: Suppose____________?
Suppose that there was a ban on the production and
exhibition of all art in society? How would this impact you?
6. The role of the teacher should be as a coach, insuring the students, not
the teachers are the primary performers in the classroom.
Facilitating inquiry requires backing out of the role of the trad-
itional teacher and authority figure with all the answers. The teacher
should assume the role of a curious inquirer with the students - a col-
laborator observing, listening, and responding to the opinions of others.
The metaphor proposed by Grant Wiggins and the Coalition of
Essential Schools as key to the reform of the classroom is "Student as Per-
former, Teacher as Coach". like atheletes and actors, students have a
performance goal that is known in advance. Knowledge and skill are
learned as a means to an end. The role of the teacher changes from
merely teaching content and testing to designing intellectual problems
that require students to practice critical thinking. Included is helping
students to be good questioners through modeling and feedback and
probing them with incomplete, confusing and controversial ideas that
compel them to investigate further.
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Application
A teacher can lay out a task or problem to the group then back out
of the class allowing students to practice inquiry. The role of the teacher
should be as a resource, facilitating and troubleshooting the discussion.
Eventually the teacher's role could evolve into that of listener. The
teacher could periodically assume the role of defender or a particular
issue to be asked relevant questions by the group, or serve to contradict
the majority opinion of the group.
7. A safe climate must be established where students feel open to
dialogue about issues and ideas in a community setting.
Creating a safe climate for inquiry is an important consideration.
Students need to feel comfortable raising issues and know that their
feelings and ideas will be valued. Classroom dynamics and designing a
learning space extends beyond the classroom arrangement to include a
community forum in which ideas are shared and debated. A classroom
should be an environment where inquiry is encouraged and where
wonder and curiousity are valued. Flexibility, patience and trust are part
of this process (Stewart 35).
Parker Palmer in The Courage to Teach, describes these principles
for creating a successful pedagogical space:
1. The space should be bounded and open;
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2. The space should be hospitable and "charged";
3. The space should invite the voice of the individual and the
group;
4. The space should honor the "little" stories of students and
the "big" stories of the disciplines and tradition;
5. The space should support solitude and surround it with
the resources of the community;
6. The space should welcome both silence and speech (74).
Application
Using the above principles as a basis for discussion, students can
formulate their own rules of conduct to insure that discussions are pro-
ductive and that the rights of all the individuals in the group are res-
pected. A policy should be agreed upon to deal with students who are
unable to abide by the rules. Students could creatively exhibit their rules
around the classroom as visual reminders of the group norms.
Conclusion
The tenets I have proposed as a basis for a curriculum design in the
visual arts is inclusive of the traditional methods of teaching art. One
cannot deny the benefits of a student closely observing and drawing a
subject - responding in ways that attune his or her senses. Sharpening
perceptual skills and refining artistic language through technical
knowledge remain important components in teaching art. I find most
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teachers very proficient at teaching these skills - often at the expense
of limiting students' experiences in creative and critical thinking. My
tenets shift the priority of experiences away from the acquisition of skill
into the realm of exploring and interpreting ideas.
Training a population of students to become a more informed
audience is one positive outcome of this focus. But the benefits of ex-
tending the context of art may have further impact on people. Art has
the potential to awaken students' natural sense of wonder and creativity
about the world and society in which they live. Only an education that
fosters creative and critical thinking will create a climate where
thinking can change and paradigms shift (hooks 142).
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CHAPTER 4
IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
We tend to deal with life's deep questions and puzzles as problems to
be solved rather than mysteries to be probed and explored. Yet through
these explorations we find meaning and fulfillment in who we are as
people.
Art can provide a means to arrest our attention from our daily tasks
and problems, stopping the world momentarily and giving us the time and
space for contemplation (Moore 286). Contemplation is often lost in
contemporary culture. Yet through contemplation we connect, perceive,
and engage in the presence of the world.
There is a meditative, solitary and disciplinary existence in being
an artist. When art is found in individual experience, the world of art
may seem private and mysterious. It provides a deeper reflection through
allowing us to experience more vividly and deeply. Art can raise us from
the functionality of life.
The following words of Audrey Flack define a deep value and belief
in art. Flack, a contemporary American painter and sculptor, wrote this
Credo" for a commencement address delivered at the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts in May of 1984:
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Credo
I believe in art
I do not believe in the "artworld" as
it is today.
I do not believe in art as a commodity.
Great art is in exquisite balance. It is
restorative.
I believe in the energy of art, and through
the use of that energy, the artist's abihty
to transform his or her life and by example
the lives of others.
I believe that through art, and through the
projection of transcendent imagery, we
can mend and heal the planet.
In her book Art and Soul. Flack writes about her experiences as an
artist, and shares the wisdom she has gained through her work and her
associations within the artistic community. She looks toward a new avant-
garde that will be reintegrated and create order and balance (103). This
change will not be a matter of destroying the present system but of
empowering the artists, dealers, writers, collectors so that they find it
within themselves to create a new culture - "to become architects of
50


consciousness and orchestrators of society" (113).
In The Aesthetic Dimension. Herbert Marcuse defines art as a space,
a location where freedom is explored and experienced. This space may be
an event, a painting or artform, or a psychic location where the rules of
daily life are suspended. Art's true value is as a tool to trigger the hidden,
creative, intuitive, and spiritual qualities of being human. This di-
mension can act as a form of resistence against the dominance of
established social structures. Therefore art's strength lies in its other-
ness, in its incapacity to be assimilated into the status quo.
Sustaining human growth and development should be the highest
priority for society. Unfortunately, we often settle for the reverse, de-
humanizing systems based on bureaucratic and economic motives. The
social systems in which we work and live have become unhealthy, short-
sighted and unfulfilling. Emotional symptoms people experience reflect
this situation - emptiness, meaningless, disillusionment, loneliness.
People's excessive demands for entertainment, power, novelty and con-
sumer goods may overlook the possibility that these wants are artificial
and offer temporary relief.
The environment is a further reflection of the problems we face as
a culture. Nature has been dominated and manipulated aggressively
without concern for rejuvenating its limited resources. Our institutions
have betrayed nature for the sake of material consumption. Individually
and collectively, we are losing our personal involvement with nature as
well as our personal involvement with our surroundings. We are seeing
51


evidence that our highly industrial society is proving to be biospherically
unaffordable. How long can we sustain this system of living?
Looking at the forces that shape our lives, we can pinpoint an
over-reliance on scientific objectivism as a mode of knowledge. The
dominance of this thinking portrays truth as something we can only
achieve by distancing ourselves physically and emotionally from what we
want to know. We have come to depend upon reason, fact, logic, data, and
excessive technology as methods to control knowledge. Subjective
thinking is seen as primitive and dangerous. Yet changing our thinking
patterns requires us to be flexible, creative, holistic and intuitive in our
perception. Through a conscious effort to synthesize objective and
subjective thinking, personal and social transformation can take place.
Rather than limiting art to an end product that is put on a wall or
sold for profit, we can see it as a living process. Mary Catherine Bateson
in Composing a Life, prefers to think of life and art as an improvisation,
"crafted from odds and ends, like a patchwork quilt" (4). This metaphoric
relationship extends to the textures and lives of people, who find them-
selves in a continual state of flux and change in contemporary life.
People are frequently uprooted from their accustomed lives through
changing economic and social environments in the home and workplace.
Their energies cannot be narrowly focused toward a singular goal.
Women in particular, are forced to live with multiplicity as they juggle
caretaking, careers, and personal goals. Creating is achieved through
"scraps of rescued space and time, in marginal roles that have to be
52


invented again and again" (Bateson 11).
The theme of improvisation is the key in learning to adapt to the
ambiguity of a changing culture. Discontinuity, interruptions, con-
flicting loyalties, mark twentieth century living. Individual lives, as in
art, are composed of disparent elements. Through creative synthesis,
people can find a personal path to give meaning to the present through
new forms of flexibility.
Everyday practices that ordinary people engage in on a daily basis
help them contend with structures and sources of power within society.
The purity of any field is now destabilized in postmodern society. Dis-
ciplinary boundaries are blurred allowing new connections and multiple
forms of communication and expression to emerge. The possibility for
making art is now something everyone has in their daily existence. For
example, utilitarian arts, the arts of everyday - cooking, gardening,
decorating, carpentry - can be key to surviving in today's society as well
as making the world a more habitable place (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 417).
Extending cultural standards beyond beauty and skill, merit and monetary
worth, give everyone creative and artistic opportunities. Looking at how
ordinary people incorporate daily arts into their lifestyles demonstrates a
positive means to cope and collectively improve the society in which we
live.
By changing our individual habits and thinking, the culture can
change. This includes considering how we frame issues to ourselves and
the way in which we talk and preceive things in our lives. Culture and the
53


arts are tools for survival in modern society, providing us with new
values and techniques to develop meaning from our shifting life
experiences. In looking at the goal of redefining the purpose and
meaning of art in in a new culture, the recovery of the meaning art may
include discovering a more meaningful society.
Art cannot change the world, but it can contribute to
changing the consciousness and drives of men and
women who could change the world (Marcuse 33).
What if we could transform everyday responses to life in a way that
enriched our environment and society? Creativity in any form or field
offers a source for human realization and redirection. It can replace
conformity with new possibilities and enhance and enrich daily life.
What if we could transform education to accomodate and promote creative
responses in all subject areas? Students and citizens would see and com-
prehend the connections between fields of study and learn to integrate
knowledge in new ways.
What if imagination and art are not frosting at all,
but the fountainhead of human experience (May 150)?
We are all capable of the imagination and invention required to
change our attitudes and beliefs that shape our relationships to the people
and environment surrounding us. Through the eyes of an artist, we can
be inspired to view our world and ourselves with fresh insights.
54


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deBono, Edward. I Am Right- You are Wrong: From Rock Logic to Water
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Dissanayake, Ellen. Homo Aestheticus. New York: The Free Press, 1992.
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Ferguson, Marilyn. The Acauarian Conspiracy. Los Angeles: J.P.
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Flack, Audrey. Art and Soul. Notes on Creating- New York: Penguin
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Gablik, Suzi. Has Modernism Failed? New York: Thames and Hudson,
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Gablik, Suzi. The Reenrhantment of Art. London: Thames and Hudson,
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Marcuse, Herbert. The Aesthetic Dimension. Boston: Beacon Press, 1978.
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Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul. New York: Harper Collins Publishers,
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National Art Education Association, 1997.
Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossy-Bass
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348.
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1982.
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Subversive Imagination.: Artists. Society and Social
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182.
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University of Georgia Press. 1988.
Shiff Richard. "Art and Life: A Metaphoric Relationship," Art Theory
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Full Text

PAGE 1

THE NEW AESTHETICS: POLITICS, PROCESSES, AND PEDAGOGY OF EXPRESSION by Sandra Hathaway B.F.A., University of Denver, 1977 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Humanities 1998

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This thesis for the Master of Humanities degree by Sandra Hathaway D'Amico has been approved by Joanne M. AddIson Sarah E. Elliott Date

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D'Amico, Sandra Hathaway (M.A., Humanities) The New Aesthetic: Politics, Processes, and Pedagogy of Creative Expression Thesis directed by Dr. Joanne M. Addison ABSTRACT Issues in the contemporary artworld reflect a growing frustration with the insignificant role art plays in our society. One hundred years of Modernism and Postmodernism have succeeded in severing art from the general public through elitist and complicated ideologies. There is a grassroots movement to use art as a means to reconnect all people with their innate abilities to be creative and expressive. The benefits of doing so can help reconnect artists and their audiences, but also serve redirect the ways we frame issues and knowledge in our culture. One means to begin this change is through pedagogy. Through inquiry, 'dialogue, and creative production students can be empowered to examine and ,interpret aesthetic conflicts as well as broader social issues. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. recommend its publication. iii Signed Joanne M. Addison

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ACKNOWLEDGBvIENTS I wish to sincerely thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Joanne Addison, for her guidance on this thesis. Joanne, your expertise, patience, and availability has been invaluable to me in articulating my beliefs into written form. essence, this thesis is an investigation I began your Cultural Studies course three years ago. You challenged me to rethink the structures that define our culture which led me to closely examine my own teaching methods. Ultimately, I feel that this work will have a profound effect upon how I work with students. Thank you. would also like to express my gratitude to Sally Elliot. Sally agreed to serve on my committee after several changes in the Art Department faculty. Sally was willing to remain on my committee afer I changed my focus from a creative project to this thesis. Sally, know that my art is always my first love and that I continue to envision the collages that were to coexist with this thesis. Joanne and Sally, want to you both for.your support and encouragement during a recent family tragedy. Without your sensitivity and understanding, I could have easily lost a semester's progress toward this degree. To my husband, Chris. and our children, Christine and Andrew, thanks for your flexibility and cheerleading efforts! Finally, I want to express my deep appreciation to my mother for her unwaivering belief in me and for making this degree possible. Mom, you are a perpetual learner-always reading, investigating, searching out new ways to understand the world and its people. One of your greatest gifts to me has been modeling your passion for learning. Thank you for educating me. iv

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CONTENTS CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ...................................... 1 Art and Society .................................. 3 Art and the Public Schools . . . 7 Conclusion ....................................... 10 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE . . . 13 The Main Issues . . . . 13 Modernism ...................................... 16 PostIn.odemism . . . . 19 Shifting Paradigms. . . . 22 Pedagogy. . . . .. .......... 2S Conclusion. . . . . 28 3. A PEDAGOGY FOR VISUAL ART . 30

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Philosophical Tenets of Curriculum Design ......... 31 1. The Foundation of education should be learning synthesis,analysis, and evaluation as opposed to technical skills . . . . 33 Application. . . . . 34 2. The inherent properties of creativity and authen-ticity form the purpose of artistic production. 35 Application. . . . . 36 3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary to form a comprehensive curriculum design. . 37 Application . . . . 39 4. Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is crucial students are to understand in complex and challenging ways. . . . . 40 Application . . . . 41 5. Problem centered approaches should be used to facilitate inquiry and spart student interest. . 42 Application. . . . . 43 6. The role or the teacher should be as a coach, insuring that the teachers are the primary performers vi

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in the classroom. . . . . 45 Application. . . . . 46 7. A safe climate must be established where students feel open to dialogue about issues and ideas in a community setting. . . . 46 Application . . . . .. 47 Conclusion. . . . . 47 4. IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE. . . 48 WORKS CITED . . . . . . 54 vii

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INTRODUCTION As a small child I remember following my mother through the art rooms 'at the conununity college where she took classes. The air was filled with the smell of oil paints and turpentine. Easels towered over me with canvases at varying stages of completion perched upon them. The rich ness and potential of the objects in these rooms held for me a magical sense of wanting to explore, to touch and smell the materials and put down my mark. I have experienced my own creative encounters, gain ing understanding that only comes from direct knowing. I was resigned to patiently master the technical skills that were tools for my visual lan guage. Although my exploration has often been limited to the frag ments of my busy life, I have never let it succumb to abandonment. I have always innately understood its value to my personal growth. At the same time the larger world of art frequently felt like a distant realm, foreign from my artistic explorations and daily life. I empathized with the public perception of the artworld as elitist and fonnidable. For example, the notion of "great was clearly biased toward the art of European ancestry and reflected only the subjects and lives of the ruling classes. Twentieth century artists held the promise of more diverse and creative work but their work seemed cryptic and 1

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esoteric. The work of many contemporary artists often appears super ficial and simplified to the point of relinquishing all traditional ties. One wonders we as a society or artistic community are now willing to consider anything as art in the name of freedom and autonomy. Now, in my role as an art educator, these issues intensify as I work with students. Their questions, as were my own, are persistent and valid. They wonder why certain artists have achieved public acclaim and others have not. They question the standards used to produce and judge art. They ask what has to do with "real life". These questions can lead to ambiguous and complicated issues that seem overwhelming to present to students. Yet signficant topics in the field of art require informed opinions and sound arguments art is to regain a meaningful role in people's lives. As a means to understand art in society and its relationship to student's lives, aesthetics can become a method through which to teach critical thinking and inquiry. Although students willingly become "makers of art", when asked to become "viewers of art", their responses trigger judgments such as good/bad, right/wrong, love/hate. The polarity of their thinking patterns mirror many of the following social beliefs that form an abyss between the maker and viewer of art: -The myth that art is limited to replicating beautiful things and moments; The myth that to produce one must have artistic genius and special perceptual qualities; 2

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The myth that to assess art requires refined "taste" acquired through a formal education; These myths limit art's audience to a select aristocracy and negate the fact that art has meaning and Significance through its presentation of thoughts and feelings. These myths are also part of larger belief systems that have created hierarchies and conformity which maintain the present society's social, economic, and cultural ideology. The core and essence of art, its value to children's educations, and its potential role in society are deeply affected by these systems of belief. By examining the social circumstances under which we live and the ways that the art we possess has come into being, we can better understand why the public no longer accepts art as an important aspect of the American culture and school curriculum. Art and Sodety To view art as having a particular history and ideology can reveal much about our own culture. Primitive cultures, for example, understood the deep connection between art and life. When art ceased to be celebratory, when attention focused on materialism and away from the embodiment of ideas, art's connection to traits of being human were buried (Gablik.l991, SO). Changing political and economic systems now alter the way in-which people identify with the world around them. Democratic rule changed subjects into citizens having "free Freedom of expression is consistently the central artistic concern.

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Yet this freedom has been taken to its extreme in contemporary art. When the lines between what is acceptable and not acceptable in art no longer existed, art lost its meaning and integrity. The public has recon ciled this exodus believing the artistic pursuit to be little more than a hobby. The artist is no longer viewed as a thinker, an intellectual, or a driving force in society. Artists feeling rejected by society, often escape into an autonomous life, fueled by the modernist notion of individualism. There is a romantic appeal to working on the fringes of society and asserting one's "freedom of expression". Isolated and embattled, the artist seems to escape into a private world free from society rather than participating freely in society. The artist in this narcissistic model is not encouraged to productively participate in the world or community which he or she lives. The world in which the artist finds himself is driven on mass consumption and economic interests that have formed a bureacratic, managerial culture that forms sharp contrasts between standardization and creativity (Bateson 2). The artist functions as someone whose objects are consumed and appropriated for their decorative appeal or function as status symbols. The artist too has become a cultural product, an entertainer subject to the whims of popular demand. The artist's role has become marginalized and diminished to the point of having little impact on contemporary culture. Yet the gap that exists between the artist and the audience is 4

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clearly not one way. Many artists their work toward social accept ance or modify it to meet society's real or imagined reaction. a world of specialization, art has become a cultural oasis in which artists, critics, galleries and museums exist to please and support each other. Many individuals who see themselves as advocates for artistic freedom are often stuck the same hierarchal systems that perpetuate art's isolation and elitism (hooks 138). Where is the survival of the artist this framework? Much of the political focus on the visual has been related to the issues surrounding good and bad imagery. While society praises the importance of innovation and a democratic exchange of ideas, artists are often attacked for making public what society regards as private (Becker 1994, 57). The public is afraid of art's contradiction, diverSity, and sub jectivity. Consequently, society makes it difficult for artists to be rewarded finanCially for working authentically and creatively. To a public that craves the familiar, any lack of confonnity regarding conventional notions about art, results in polarization affecting issues of partronage, censorship, and funding for the arts. For example, organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts are closely monitored in their selection process by Congressmen who do not value creative imagination. Specific artists seeking NEA grants have been humilated and exploited for political purposes in recent Senate tirades. Their work stigmatized the Endowment's use of public funds and, by implication, the enterprise of American art in general. By fully 5

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funding the National Endowment of the Arts, the government could send a message that all fonns of mattered to society, including that pressures society and illuminates the conflicts and longing of an age (Brenson 72). Instead, funding agencies and institutional systems such as museums, galleries, and publications derme the value of art in our society by setting up the boundaries of what objects are considered worthy of appreciation and recognition. The challenge in the field of art is to rmd ways to synthesize creativity and freedom of expression with political involvement without sacrificing one for the other. The artistic community needs to reunite with the public in a positive rather than in a negative way: The price for becoming socially relevant and politically influential is to take the long and arduous path of respon sibility and adjustment. This approach demands the more difficult route of challenging and educating instead of the shortcut of shocking and alienating (Sadri 181). Artistic workers must accept the repercussions brought about from years of the artworld alienating public audiences. will continue to diminish in impact and relevancy to mainstream society if the artworld continues to operate as a specialized and elitist domain. Artistic workers need to assume strong roles as advocates, speaking for refonn in their field. Their involyement can act as a catalyst for change as well as to protect the integrity and innate properties of artistic creation. 6

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Art in the Public Schools What is needed is a perception of art that is essentially social and purposeful --art that acknowledges creative will at the same time that it fosters social responsibility. The notion of the artist as a marginal radical must be replaced with the perception of the artist as a citizen and catalyst for change. One place that this view can be enacted is the public school system. A successful pedagogical framework for the field of art would include both critical inquiry and creative thinking. Artistic production and the acquisition of technical skills is the traditional focus in art education. Rather, studio activities can be used as springboards for exploring ideas. Redesigning assignments around inquiry and innovation and building artistic production and skill acquisition into these experiences can help reorient students as thinking and creative artists dealing with issues and problems a real sense. Works of art can act as lenses to our culture, making visible the belief systems of the time in which they were created. Studying art as pure form, chronologically and stylistically, needs to be replaced with debates about the meaning of art. This approach would influence students to understand the relationship between the artist, the viewer, and the context of art. Students would actively seek relevant information rather than passively absorb content and accept implied viewpoints. Such a pedagological strategy would train students the method of critical inquiry as a regular part of instruction. Encouraging critical

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thinking can create a climate where thinking can change and paradigms shift. Students can be empowered to clarify their beliefs through discussions that spark their curiosity and sense of wonder about the world in which they live. Broad issues of beauty, creation and responses to art, the role of art in society, standards for judging art, and the signficance and interpretation of art, fall into the category of aesthetics. The diversity and pluralism of aesthetic theory can expand student's awareness and appreciation of multiple viewpoints. The ability to be thoughtful and reflective, important components in human development in the arts, can be drawn upon to help students clarify their own beliefs in relationship to others. Questions that have puzzled people for thousands of years, ginative and compelling questions and responses to life, are often replaced with tedious basic skills in school curriculums. Empathy for the arts is lacking a system driven by test scores and rigid standards. The driving priorities of a school are narrowly focused on the content of these core classes: Science, Math, English, and History. Art falls into the subservient placement of an "enhanced core class". The imagination is viewed as a privilege rather than a birthright under this educational paradigm. The realm of human development gained from personal involvement is often denied and ignored. Yet we know that the amount of time designated to a field of study directly influences the kinds of mental skills children have the opportunity to acquire. Our utilitarian view of education is based on the 8

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acquisition of concrete skills necessary to promote technological and economic advancement. The need for specialized skills drives an educa tional system stressing the flawed dream of predicting and controlling the world through the weighing of fact and detail over experimental processes. The placement of art in the curriculum reflects the views of school administrators who have the power and authority to determine sche duling and priorities a school. Perhaps through their personal discouragement in art, or lack of exposure to art experiences, they may devalue it as a course of study. The task of urging them to review their ways of thinking about art and to see its potential to awaken creative urges in our students occurs reguarly as the arts become frequent targets for budgetary cuts. To cut the arts is to deny students a whole avenue of learning --one that specifically promotes not only individual development but development of the kind the future citizen will require: qualities of reflection and imagination, self discipline, and personal vision. education is about preparing our students to live, then art is important to education. The sheer quantity of consumable knowledge the modem age necessitates finding different methods of educating students. The drill for skill approach is an archaic focus light of technological advance ments and easy.access to information. By comparison, the need to teach thinking concepts and how to develop meaning from fragmented information is crucial. Critical and creative thinking addresses the reality of 9

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our society and the need to focus on problems of interpretation and debate of information in a broad sense. A narrow educational focus will disable our students in dealing with the ambiguity and complexity of our world. Future sodeties need creative thinkers to go beyond what we have known before. More emphasis on creative intelligence will move the society toward increased diversity rather than the standardization of life. Conclusion The reality is that few people today are comfortable making art and are severed from their natural mode of thinking visually. Dissatisfaction in one's art usually begins around age nine or ten, when children learn to see the world in terms of adult standards and are unable to draw what they have learned to see. Most people view art as an activity reserved for the rare, elite, and highly trained individual, and end their potential creative development. Myths about good and bad art, high verses low culture, how to do art, what art is for, reflect consistent thinking patterns promoted and maintained by established hierarchal aesthetic and cultural systems. Seldom do we attribute the widespread creative impotence to the rise of industrialism, routines, efficiency, and spedalization yet these perceptions contribute to the instability of art in our times. contemporary Western culture the image and reproduction is a powerful in fluence over peoples' understanding and appreciation of original works of art 10

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Dissolving the polarity between the artist and the audience is crucial if art is to reconnect with society and reaffinn its existence in human development. The rigid boundaries surrounding the field of art need to be dissolved to be more inclusive of the diversity of society's interests and inhabitants. a democratic society, art should be a place where everyone is seen to possess inherently creative and artistic abilities. Bell hooks describes this role for art in Art on Mind: To truly champion artistic freedom we must be committed to creating and sustaining an aesthetic culture where diverse artistic practices, standpoints, identities, and locations are nurtured, find support, affirmation, and regard: where the belief that indivdual artists must have the right to create as the spirit movesfreely, openly, provoca tivelyprevails. Fundamentally, artists who work individually or collectively bear witness to this truth with the art we make and with the habits of our being. Until this expan sive role of the artist in society is embraced as the necessary aesthetic groundwork for all artistic practices, freedom of expression be continually undermined, its meaning and value lost (139). Issues of power, privilege and social order shape not only our institutions but our concepts of ourselves. Students can be encouraged to view their world with the eyes of an artist by seeking out new ways of looking and responding to their environment. No student approaches a work of art in a neutral way. Preconceived ideas are uavoidable yet to make an informed judgement, students can be given strategies that help them navigate through the pluralistic philosophy surrounding the field of art to arrive at their own interpretation (Stewart 28). 11

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we accept the fact that everything is shaped by culture, we then acknowledge that we create our reality. We therefore contribute to it and can change it. This is an overpower ing way of living and of seeing ourselves and the world (Staniszewski 291). doing so, students can come to see the world of as relationalalways existing in relation to other people, histories, ideologies, and themselves. This kind of perception can serve as a bridge into other fields of study and further connect students to their personal location in the society and the world in which they inhabit. 12

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE The Main Issues There was a time when art was inseparable from life. Primitive forms were not separated from social contexts. Lucy Lippard's book Overlay is about what we have forgotten about art and the attempt to recall its function by looking back at times and places where had social Significance and social obligation. As we have become more civilized and enlightened, we have further distanced ourselves from our natural world and superstitions of the tribe and consequently, our core human experience. There remains a romantic and mysterious element to wondering about the past. Ancient art seems natural and absent of class and religious content, and oddly more intimate than the art of our times. Lippard explains: When I cross a moor on which no tree, habitation, or person is visible and come upon a ring of ragged stones, a mound or a cairn of stones, I know this is human-made. One stops and asks oneself: "Who made this?" When?" "Why? "What does it have to do with me? One of art's functions is to recall that which is absent-whether it is history, or the unconscious, or form or social justice (Lippard 1983, 4). Why specifiC artistic pleasures; creativity, discovery, order, workmanship, communication should have ever risen in human evolution is 13

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worth examining. Ellen Dissanayake Homo Aestheticus. explores how primitive societies were successful in channeling experiences into lifestyles making it a normal and natural activity. There seems to be a need for culture and throughout human history. It can be considered a biobehavioral adaptation that occurred through evolution as a reconciliation of culture and nature. Dissanayake finds that the core of art --play and ritual and differentiating the ordinary from the extraordinary -is "making special" (Dissanayake 49). This process, coupled with aesthetic predispositions of spacial and cognitive thinking, becomes the aesthetic experience throughout the history of mankind. What artists do is an intensification and exaggeration of what ordinary people do naturally for enjoyment. Dissanayake distinguishes between the natural/biological and cultural/leamed practices in our society (Dissanayake 34). Our technological culture has distanced and insulated people from their natural origins and sensory experiences, devaluing the aesthetic part of our natural selves. For example, seldom do we allow our bare feet to touch the earth, our ears to to hear nonmechanical sounds, our eyes to see nonfabricated images (Dissanayake XII). Our technological control of nature has ignored our need to revere nature, and engage in rare and mysterious experiences. Suzi Gablik concurs that we are losing our sense of the power of the imagination, myth, dream, and vision. The Reenchantment of Art

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Gablik writes that reenchanting the whole culture is a crucial and collective task of our time. Reenchantment means moving away from rational modes of perception-believing things are only as they appear. To move toward recovery in our culture, we must admit to it as a system of addiction to these modern traditions of rationalism, materialism, scientific and objective consciousness (Gablik 11). Our loss of ecstatic experiences in contemporary Western society affects every aspect of our lives and creates a sense of closure. Our culture is defined by the walls surrounding it, providing no exit from the addictive systems and the alienation caused by the loss of connection to the living world (Gablik 85). Art's marginalized function in society magnifies the polarization between the artist and the audience. As a result of critics explaining away what might be art's true message, art became "mystified" to the general audience (Berger 16). "Mystification" is the process of analyzing what might appear to be evident to the viewer. Seeing establishes our place in the surrounding world and then there is an attempt explain that world with words. In Ways of Seeing John Berger explains that the relationship between what we see and know is never clear. Looking becomes an act of choice determined by what we know and believe. artist and photographer cannot escape creating images based upon his or her personal and societal beliefs. Consequently, the viewer, through his or her act of observation, is influenced to share the beliefs of the image's creator. example of this process occurs oil painting in the 16th cen tury. In Western art, oil painting allowed for a pictoral1ikeness of sub-15

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jects reflecting the views of consumerism and property. hnages were of noble people and stilllifes depicting objects that could be purchased and owned. Buying a painting also meant buying what it represented (Berger 83). Modernism Modernism was in part a protest against materialism but by focusing entirely on the artist's intent, it further mystified art to the viewer. Sally Everett in Art Theory and Criticism, defines three basic ways of understanding modem art; Formalism, the avant-garde, and Contextualism. Each of these approaches believes that art is outside of modern culture. The Formalist term "Art for Art's Sake" defined their claim that art was autonomous and self sufficient, having no meaning other than through its aesthetic form. Formalist artists felt that their work needed to withdraw from social influences to salvage the purity of art's creative essence. Everything that diluted this experience was being stripped away. Contextualism began during World War 1. was believed to be a channel of communication, existing within a certain situation or context including the artist, the object and the reCipient. Since the artist creates the object, the artist determines the primary message that the viewer will receive. The viewer brings personal associations to the art object and the message hooks through his associations. These art objects can make a 16

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difference in our culture by causing a change in perception through exposure to new, unsettling, and contradictory imagery. There is perhaps no better example of Contextualist art than from Marcel Duchamp's submission of a urinal to the Independent's Exhibition in New York in 1917. Chosen for its lack of aesthetic qualities, it demon Duchamp's view that the artist's intention, not the craft or skill, was the art (Gablik 1984, 38). He understood that art's value would be distorted, buried and misappropriated. Predictably, the contradiction of turning this ordinary object into art shocked and outraged the public. Duchamp's mockery of his audience was indicative of the avant-garde's condescending attitude toward the general public. The avant-garde artist wanted an audience, but demanded an ideal audience, observes critic Donald Kuspit. The avant-garde artist resisted the values, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors of the general public. their is to force the audience into a new state of consciousness and discover its discontent, it offered no resolution in its utopian challenge. By refusing to relate to the ideology of the audience, avant-garde art is more of a social curiousity, easily dismissed as boring and irrelevant (Kuspit 173). Two kinds of audiences existed for the avant-garde artistsone that is alienated, the other that is over-confident. Reconciling these perceptions involves examining the meaning and use of art. Kuspit asks art should exist to entertain its audience with exalted idealism or reveal reality to a resistant audience (Kuspit 176). Although avant-garde artists believed their art represented a re-17

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bellion against social and regional realism, it was seen by audiences as a "put on" and indicative of class antagonism. The avant-garde artist felt that he held an elite position apart from mainstream society. Rather than understanding this ideology, the audience withdrew. Has Modernism Failed? Gablik points out, "To the public at large, modem art implied a loss of craft, a fall from grace, a fraud, or a hoax" (13). The complexity and contradictions apparent in modem art were of little interest to the public at large. Experimental art had become the exclusive territory of the ruling and upper classes, everyone else had to find less oppressive outlets such as kitsch and pop culture. The Gennan tenn "kitsch" was adopted to describe cultural products of the industrial revolution which fonned an urbanized, universal literacy developing in Western culture (Greenburg 31). The widespread ability to read and write no longer distinguished those who had access to cultural products and refined tastes. "Kitsch" showed no regard for geographical, national and cultural boundaries, it was simply a mass product of Western industrialism. 1939, the critic Clement Greenburg wrote that just as there is an avant-garde pushing culture forward, there is a rear guard in kitsch or popular commercial Sent by the same instincts that lead the cultivated spectator, the general public is capable of understanding art on a lower scale --sparing them the difficulty of perceiving genuine art. Greenburg maintained that there has always been the powerful minority of cultivated people in society and the masses of exploited, poor, and 18

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ignorant. Greenburg held the view that formal culture belonged to the first, while the rest of the public had to satisfy themselves with rudimentary folk art and kitsch. Postmodernism The problem we now face as a society becomes how to reorient ourselves the context of the contemporary. Postmodernists challenge traditional and institutional power. Lines have been blurred between fields of study, resisting codified methods and traditional systems. Postmodernism reduces information to fragments and recognizes no unity against which these fragments can be measured. Through the invention of the camera and its abilities to reproduce images, the public is now bombarded with a daily concentration of visual images. Berger (Ways of Seeing), reminds us that we accept these images as we do elements of climate, with little regard for filtering its effects upon our beliefs (130). A photographer has a choice of what he sees and consequently is interpreting the world for us. Feeding upon society's appetite for materialism and pleasure, homogenized ideals of beauty and cultural values are carried in our visual environment with little resistance. The media has consequently dissolved the boundaries between the artist and society. Berger writes that stereotyped standards have created sodal patterns in which everyone believes what the majority wants must be worth pursuing. Few people take the time to find distinctions in the excessive images we see in our daily lives. Consequently, few of 19

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these images hold value or meaning to people. Jean Baudrillard claims that we are in a universe where there is more and more information and less and less meaning. This new uni verse relies on connection and feedback, in processes that are narcis sistic and involve constant surface changes. The only way to cope with these infonnation-rich images is to resist the power of information to take over our lives by accepting images as surfaces and reject their meanings (Sarup 165). The consumption of in our society is organized by a complicated bureaucracy. The security and protection of the establishment further negates the old values of individuality and the very nature of creativity. Survival in this system requires artists to conform to the requirements of a good gallery. The business of art includes developing an image for the artist and placing she or he into the right shows and publications. the art establishment, the artist becomes chained to his role as a producer of and subjected to the demands of the market. (Gablik 84). This submission to the cultural and economic authority is rewarded with prestige and money. The art industry protects the status quo with the interest of protecting art's economic and market value. Richard Shiff explains that we have come to expect and demand novelty from art, associating artistic genius and creativity origin ality and invention rather than with excellence and distinction. Works of art are often evaluated in terms of contrast, breaking of traditions, and establishing new mediums and techniques defIning art. Theorists and 20

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critics no longer approach art from the conservative manner in terms of art as an external object with llXed properties. Rather, they define art in terms of the experiences of the individual artist or viewer. In this private and mysterious view of art, artists become unable and unwilling to explain the meaning of their art verbally and admonish critics to "let the work speak for itself" (Shiff 158). When artistic style is so closely linked to the personality of the individual rather to a means of comparison with an external standard foreign to the artist, modem critics evaluate the artist by judging the degree of his sincerety. What generalizations can be made, other than that the works of art stimulate us and in their presence we feel rejuvenated (Shiff 162)7 These tendencies toward conformism and artificiality, confirm that the avant-garde and its mode of social protest has now become mean ingless. Negative values based on the superficiality of the media have created a homogenized dominant culture melting away the multi-raCial, multi-cultural differences that are society's greatest strength and dem ocratic ideal. Art in American society seems unable to acknowlege the diversity at its core. Censorship of the arts reveals this failure. Government funding agencies pressure artists to confonn to the aims of the state, leaving them chronically on the defensive trying to secure social support and funding. The image of the artist as a rebel and non-confonnist negates any role for the artist as citizen (Rich 224). The legacy of the modem artist is that he stands alone lmding no direction from society. Or as Adrienne Rich describes in "Dissed and 21

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Disconnected" "The artist has become a figure out of time, navigating a posnnodern course with nothing more advanced than a century old compass" (224). The posnnodern era, characterized by its superficiality and flatness, is due to a shift from the alienation of a subject to the fragmentation of a subject. Fredric Jameson believes that by refusing to engage with the present or to retain the past, the entire contemporary social system lives in the perpetual present (Sarup 181). The modernists' interest in time and memory is now dominated by the category of space. Jameson employs the metaphor of an alienated city where people are unable to map in their minds where they are in relation to the world they inhabit. This new hyperspace is featured by changing categories of "inside/outside; bewilderment and loss of spacial orientation, the messiness of an environment in which things and people no longer fmd their "place'" (Sarup 171). Shifting Paradigms Postmodernism has reduced information to fragments and recognizes no unity against which these fragments can be measured. However, by disrupting the old order, this state of transition has the potential to trigger a cultural awakening. Collage can be used as a metaphor to describe the process of re arranging fragments of meaning left by posnnodernism. By juxtaposing unlike realities, a new and unexpected reality can be formed. Ideas and 22

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images from other cultures and times can be woven into new metaphors of meaning. Lucy Uppard writes in Overlay that she believes in a vision of art having social significance and function. Effective art opens the possibility of perceiving and understanding all aspects of life including social change, metaphors for emotions, interaction and abstract con ceptions visual fonns (5). Lippard believes in blurring the boundaries between art and life and moving toward the reintegration of politics and culture, personal and public, and personal and natural. Without this approach, will remain another manipulatable commodity in a society which easily absorbs and controls ideas. Interaction is the key that moves art beyond the current aesthetic mode. Gablik believes that a shift from objects to relationships is nec essary by connecting art to its integrative role in the larger whole and web of relationships to society (Gablik 1991,7). Rather than distancing, the artist needs to look for ways to harmonize and interconnect with the audience. Gablik calls for a vision where everything is perceived as dynamically inter-connected. Art needs to be a collaboration with the environment in a way that dissolves the polarity between art and the audience. Frustrated with the limited outlets and functions for art in Western culture, Lucy Uppard in "Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power", describes activist as a response to the current conflicts. Rather than being presented as a new art fonn, it is a democratic view of culture. Responding to the homogenized, bureacratic culture, activist art views art 23

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as a communicative exchange encouraging access to diverse audiences. It is process oriented, not only in its creative exchange but also how it reaches its context and audience. Art's ability to see and help others to see is its power. artist's capability to produce an image is pointless without connecting it to a means of communication and distribution. The conventional notion of the artist observing, embellishing, and reflecting the systems of society is irrelevant when a work gets out of an artist's hands. The artist surrenders the power of the art object to the gallery, museum, or owner. Most artists find themselves a subversive power struggle against artists whose work is commonly seen museums or perhaps in TIME magazine, and enjoy the benefits of the high art establishment. The struggle may be against a relatively unknown artist who may not have high exposure but is financially rewarded. The mass media artist, although anonymous, reaches an audience of millions daily. Militant, social and feminist can pose competition for the artist. Possibly the humble folk or hobby artist in providing the community's artistic needs, outlets, and boundaries holds the artistic power (Everett, 192). contrast, activist art is a dialogue between and the audience, rather a product of specialized lessons beauty and ideology. Activist is a hybrid, often the result of different cultures commun icating with each other. It is not confined to a specific context under the control of the market and ruling class tastes. lippard explains that networking and organizing are crucial elements to activist in pro-

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viding an atmosphere of access to each other's and ideas. It is a grassroots movement, with the goal of restoring art's power and purpose by integrating it with mainstream society (Everett 203). Pedagogy Changing paradigms requires understanding pedagogy as a deliberate attempt on the part of artists and cultural workers to take a stand influencing the social construction of culture. Henry Giroux in "Democracy and the Idea of the Artist", uses the notion of "border" as a referent for the space between schooling and the broader notion of education. Pedagogy should provide a vision and space, a language of critique and possibility for the artist, cultural worker, and critic in crossnational and international terrains (Giroux, 10). He includes three assumptions this revitalized pedagogy. This first is that dominant ideology regarding what knowledge and social objects are worthy of study must be challenged. Secondly, cultural workers should assume respon sibility in translating theory back into constructive practices that transforms the everyday terrain of cultural power. Third, political and economic institutions must be structured in ways that permit broad popular control (Giroux 11-12). Cultural workers need to develop a collective vision'in which the artist, cultural worker and critic construct a broader idea of political commitment and democratic struggle in the arts. Redefining the meaning of the artist as a public intellectual and 25

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how as educators we view the sites in which we work is part of this process. Not only should we be educating audiences for art but we should be participating in building the structures that share the power of making culture dem-ocratic. This issue of responsibility is something Carol Becker poses not as a constraint but as a condition for freedom and a sign of cultural maturity. There has never been a place for the artist to articulate, take a stand, and be present the culture as citizens (Becker 1995, 58). Obsolete attitudes and strategies in the artworld have affected the artist's sense of respon sibility to society. The idea of the autonomous artist was cultivated part as preservation against the visual and cultural mediocrity of mainstream American society. Artists refuse to address larger social issues and often choose to be rebellious, further isolating themselves in a society in which art has become so seceeded from everyday life, it has lost its effect iveness. The dYnamics of capitalism and bureaucracy surrounding subsidized art programs and artists have created a population of self serving art specialists. Becker feels that art schools in general have perpetuated the problem by prolonging the idea of the alienated, romantic artist on the edge of society. This image maintains the notion of artistic freedom existing outside of society (Gablik 1995, 363). Beckeravoids these extremes explaining' that art should be appreciated from diverse viewpoints. She does not limit art to making socially conscious statements and recog nizes that individuals derive pleasure and satisfaction from creating per-

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sonal visions. She wants to exist in forms and for students to see a whole range of possibilities for being an artist. Viewing art apart from society has marginalized the artist's training, denying them the necessity of good reading and writing skills and solid historical contexts through which they can know their culture and become curious about the rest of the world. Becker suggests that art education should be structured around ideas rather than physical materials and tools. Training people how to see are issues teachers need to concern themselves with as being important for their students. When people work through ideas, they look for the best medium through which to best actualize their responses (Gablik 1995, 375). Becker also believes that there is a need to encorporate into the training process a fundamental concern for the particularities of the audience and their placement of art into larger societal contexts. The world of education is filled with broken paradoxes, explains Parker Palmer in The Courage to Teach. Contemporary teaching practices separate heads from hearts, facts from feelings, theory from practice, and teaching from learning. The result is a world view that is complex and disconnected from life experiences. Students are often dismissed and marginalized as inexperienced youth with no voice, no future, and no significant role. Objectivism portrays truth as something we can only achieve by distancing ourselves physically and emotionally from things we want to know. Objectivism promotes the idea that knowledge and information is power. Subjectivism is seen to contaminate knowledge, not only because 27

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of its contradictory nature but because it creates relationships between things and us. The relationship between the knower and known is thus regarded as dangerous, unreliable, and primitive. The imagination is seen as chaotic and unruly. Palmer writes, We are obsessed with manipulating externals because we believe that they will give us some power over reality and some freedom from constraints. Mes merized by technology that seems to have done just that, we dismiss the inward world. We turn every question we face into an objective problem to be solved-and we believe for every objective problem there is some sort of technical fix (19). This kind of binary logic has given us a fragmented sense of reality that destroys the wholeness and wonder of life. We can escape this eitheror thinking by not abandoning discriminatory logic where it is well served but by developing habits of the mind that support connectedness (Palmer 62). Conclusion Artists and cultural workers must be advocates in creating a more expansive role for the artist in SOCiety, one which encompasses diverse artistic contexts for the public that extend beyond barriers of race, class, gender, and location. There is a need to reaffirm forms of artistic expression and provide comfortable access into the artistic community. Cultural workers need to unite as peers, functioning as a support system, a lobbying force, and a group forum from which to discuss issues about art. A collective vision needs to be defrned that honors artistic values 28

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and the diversity within the field. A concerted effort must also be made to bring about an awareness the general public of art's potential to enrich individuals and the society which we live. This goal calls for widespread educational programs to reform belief systems that have polarized artists and audiences through years of isolation, elitism, and complexity.

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CHAPTER 3 A PEDAGOGY FOR VISUAL ART Learning how to see and teaching others to see is a goal of artists and art educators. Author Edward deBono believes that perceptive skills are more important to success in life than are the rational skills of logical thinking: Perception is the basis of wisdom. For twenty four centuries we have put our intellectual effort into the logic of reason rather than the logic of perception. Yet in the conduct of human affairs, perception is more important. Why have we made this mistake? We might have believed that perception did not really matter and could in the end be controlled by logic and reason. We did not like the vagueness, subjectivity, and variability of perception and sought refuge the solid absolutes of truth and logic. We were content to leave perception to the world of art while reason got on with its own business science, mathematics, economics and government (deBono 42). Now and in the future, our society requires creative thinkers and problem solvers. We need to encourage students to perceive through paradoxes, conflicting philosophies, and implications of their own beliefs and actions. Postmodemism, in dissolving boundaries and leaving information fragmented, necessistates bringing knowledge together in new and unusal structures. This quest for meaning and new ways of 30

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perceiving develops from context and connectiveness, learning to see relationships between things and pulling together responses from a multitude of sources. Innovation, invention, questioning, arguing, re thinking, reimagining -all are ways of thinking through the wealth of information produced by our present and future society. The context of interrelating what we know has become more important that mere content. We are living in a time of rapid readjusnnent to every life situation, from technological advances to expanded states of awareness. We need whole brain understanding: the right to innovate and envision and the right to test and analyze. Through synthesis, connections can be brought together into balance (Ferguson 303). Techniques and skills do give form to meaning. Artists need to be come comfortable with them as a means to clarify and express their ideas. Skills can be acquired and mastered through persistence and practice, as in any art form. Introspection and inquiry however, can invite creative and authentic responses fulfilling a basic human quest for personal meaning and involvement. This creative involvement is not reserved for professional artists. It exists wherever our natural senses have the space and structure from which to improvise. Completed artworks are merely traces of the journey through this process. Philosophical Tenets for Curriculum Design The follOwing philosophical tenets honor the diversity within the art area by suggesting a curriculum design that is varied and open-ended: 31

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1. The foundation of art education should be learning synthesis, analysis, and evaluation as opposed to technical skills; 2. The inherent properties of creativity and authenticity in the artistic process should be stressed as the purpose of artistic production; 3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary to form a comprehensive curriculum design; 4, Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is critical students are to understand art in complex and challenging ways; S. Problem centered approaches should be used to facilitate inquiry and spark student interest; 6. The role of the teacher should be as a coach, insuring the students, not the teachers, are the primary performers in the classroom; 7. A safe climate must be established where students feel open to dialogue about issues and ideas a community setting.

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1. The foundation of art education should be learning synthesis, analysis, and evaluation as opposed to technical skills. Within the public education system, art teachers can no longer limit art courses simply to artistic production and the acquisition of technical skills. Although these are vital components to refining one's visual language, used solely as the basis of a curriculum, they limit the responsiveness of people to the larger world beyond their own exper-iences. Synthesis, analysis, and evaluative judgement are the components of a pedagological approach designed by Grant Wiggins, Director of Research for the Coalition of Essential Schools. Teachers organize courses not around answers but around "Essential Questions" which get students to think seriously about what they are learning. Wiggins explains: We believe students come to understand ideas the way that they develop habits: by actively playing with them, exploring them, and "practicing" them-all of which is im possible unless teachers are allowed to cover less. Instead of covering every aspect of an idea, we hope teachers will guide students through the factual mire; helping them to become more thoughtful by seeing the questions that lurk behind the "answers" (69). Wiggin's "Essential Questions" meet the following criteria: They go go to the heart of the discipline, they have no one, obvious "right answer", they are higher order, and they generate personal interest and 33

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provide opportunities for individualized answers. Questions used as entry points can engage students intrinsically to comprehend the controversial nature of fields of study, such as art. A variety of thinking skills can be utilitzed to trigger inquiry. Such approaches are outlined in T. Roger Taylor's Curriculum Design for Excellence. Taylor emphasizes the following "Higher Order Thinking Skills": Breaks down, diagrams, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, points out, relates, selects, separates, subdivides, categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, assigns, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, revises, rewrites, summarizes, writes, appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, describes, discriminates, justifies, interprets, summarizes, and supports. The criteria of "Higher Order Thinking Skills" are often reserved for students who have mastered content fact and skill. Yet without an education that forces inquiry, mastering facts are useless. Application Many higher order thinking skills can be associated with the art making process. Others can be focused on thinking skills involved in inquiry. Focusing on these skills when developing pedagogy offers a variety of approaches in achieving intellectual involvement with issues and topics. essential question aesthetics for example, could be framed 34

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around how we judge and perceive cultural. products outside of our society: Is it possible to construct an interpretation or judge the significance of, say, a ceremonial mask from another culture? Should standards be different for different cultures? so, what would be the appropriate source for such standards? (Stewart 52) 2. The inherent properties of creativity and authenticity form the purpose of artistic production. Authenticity in art is often confused with disabling myths about art's function. Three negative and killing notions about art persist that demonstrate this misunderstanding. One is that art is about beauty. The second is the idea that to be an artist you must train only your eye and hand to be accurate. And the third is the idea that there are certain rules or canons about making art that are assumed to result in beautiful things (London 14). Peter London explains in No More Secondhand Meaning, not beauty is what we are after. Big, deep, wide, meaning. What we never get enough of is meaning. What does this all mean? Why are we here? Where are we going? Who am I? How do I fit into this unspeakable universe? ... These are the questions that animate artists to spin and jump and howl until the right way is found to address the big conundrum that both invites and confounds our imagination (London 15). Creativity" is often believed to be a special. kind of thinking reserved for a talented few individuals. As a society we tend to block 35

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creativity by labeling it unusual and confining it to special fields such as art. Factors such as intelligence, ability to see connections from dissimilar parts and the ability to shift mindsets and playfulness, are creative capabilities that can be used all fields and in everyday life. Paradoxically, creativity requires both freedom and limitation. Limits provide a structure to work with and against. Structure can ignite changes and ideas, changing the ordinary into the extraordinary. Knowing the steps of the creative process can help facilitate this type of thinking: 1. Inception (original question or idea) 2. Incubation (consider possibilities) 3. Experimentation possible solutions) 4. Demonstration (create the solution) 5. Evaluation (critique of the work) Application A metaphor can be used as a figure of speech or a visual presentation in which a word, phrase, or image is used in place of another to suggest a likeness between them. Metaphors do not analyze or explain the ideas they convey, rather they formulate a new concept for the imag ination. Metaphors in visual art might take the form of projections, likenesses, or surrogate images (Rourkes 9). For example, a student could be asked to combine two unlike objects the same image, such as a map 36

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and a portrait, an insect and a building, a reptile and a train. Images and ideas can be transformed unusual ways through a variety of creative techniq ues. Methods frequently employed by artists include: magnification, minification, multiplication, substitution, simplification, reversals, fragmentation, distortion, disguising, metamorphizing, animation, (Rourkes 33). Students can look for similar methods in the work of contemporary and historical artists. 3. Integration of knowledge and skills are necessary to form comprehensive curriculum design. A comprehensive art curriculum requires integration of specific skills and understanding into the field of visual art. The National Standards Arts Education in conjunction with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), completed a proposal for the 1997 Assessment of Arts Education. Induded are two major components of learning expected from students who study the arts. First, knowledge and understanding about the arts, including personal, historical, cultural, and social contexts for artwork. This is tenned "responding". Second, students are expected to learn perceptual, technical, expressive, and intellectual/ reflective skills. Students should apply knowledge and skills simultan eously which includes experimental learning, termed "creating". Art experiences should and balance creating and responding activities involving studio production, art criticism, history, and aesthetics. 37

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Students should reflect and assess their thinking processes for insight into alternative solutions and viewpoints. The NAEP document includes the suggestion of building art exper iences around three different kinds of relationships: 1. The relationship to self deals with how the individual explores, understands, and resolves issues through visual art. 2. The relationship to others focuses on ways students study how people relate a family, community, and civic responsi bilities through art. 3. The relationship to the environment deals with ways students can explore how we create, transform, honor or neglect the natural and built environments which we live. Each of these themes can be approached from these four diverse viewpoints: -based upon an art object -based upon a problem or issue -based upon historical or cultural contexts -based on the creator or artist of the object Production exercises should require students to construct or 38

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produce a response rather than select from alternatives. Open-ended assignments enable a student to communicate how they individually respond and articulate to a particular artistic problem through verbal and nonverbal means. Tasks can be designed by teachers to evoke key issues and problems teachers want students to explore. Students need material that is rich and thought-provoking from diverse historical and cultural resources. Subjects should also extend to a range of popular subjects that are familiar to the student. Current events, articles and critical writing can also serve as springboards for ideas. Application An example of this process is to develop a personal sketchbook/ journal across time. An artist's studio is a space where student's can learn artistic practices and experiment with materials and ideas. A sketchbook/ journal can serve as a movable studio where over a period of time, ideas and images can be continually processed. Visual skills, images, reflec tions, and questions can be recorded in a collected state. It can serve as a source book for students arriving at their personal definitions of art and reflect changing perceptions and understanding. It can be a tool for students to orient their own experiences and ideas to the larger frame work of the artworld. 39

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4. Instruction in aesthetic inquiry is crucial students are to understand in complex and challenging ways. Giving students instruction in aesthetic theory can provide them with a foundation from which to discuss issues in the field. Students can recognize that their beliefs may be connected to larger societal beliefs that have been studied and reflected upon by others. Categories of aesthetic theories can be easily grasped and are often related to each other. By studying diverse ideologies, students can begin to comprehend the philosophical pluralism existing in our social and political systems. Stewart in Thinking Through Aesthetics, has outlined the following aesthetic theories used by people when judging art. Her method has outlined complex aesthetic theory into understandable viewpoints for students to comprehend. I suggest using these viewpoints as springboards for student discussions: Expressionist: Artworks are valued, have merit or are significant because they conveyor evoke feelings or moods. Instrumentalist: Artworks are valued, have merit, or are significant because of what they do. They pedorm something thought to be an important function. An artwork might be persuasive in getting people to think or behave in a certain way. Formalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are significant

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because of the way they are arranged, or formed. The parts of a work fit together so that when people see it, they respond a positive way. The message of the artwork is far less significant than the arrangement of parts. lmitationalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are signi ficant because of the way they show objects or situations in ways that they actually exist in the real world. Institutionalist: Artworks are valuable, have merit, or are significant because an artist intends it to be an artwork. The artist places the work in in which people who work with art (curators, critics, art historicans, and so on) see it and treat it as art. This perspective does not indicate what standards should be used to judge a particular work as good, valuable, or Significant (Stewart 122). Application It must be understood that art is often judged by differing standards depending on the circumstances and context through which it is made and viewed. In a culturally diverse society, uses and standards for art may be different things to different cultural groups. Sensitivity to beliefs of different cultural, racial and gender groups should be incorporated into the discussions. Students can be encouraged to try out different viewpoints, clarifying and questioning their own beliefs and ideas in relationship to 41

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others. Role playing, stories, interviews, debates, and writing assignments can help clarify students' understanding of the philosophical pluralism in art. 5. Problem centered approaches should be used to facilitate inquiry and spark student interest. a problem-centered approach, students discover and rediscover relevant ideas and contexts as opposed to the usual curriculum design which is linear and sequenced toward a singular goal. Unusual approaches to problems can spark students' interest to demonstrate their knowledge and ideas on an issue. A teacher might utiliize a particular approach to an issue or problem as the focus of a classroom activity. Students could individually identify an approach that personally interests them to explore an issue. Taylor outlined a series of useful investigative approaches that could apply to aesthetic inquiry: 1. Paradoxes: Common knowledge not necessarily true in fact; 2. Attributes: Inherent properties. Ascribing qualities; 3. Analygies: Situations of likeness. Comparisons; 4. Discrepancies: Gaps in limitations knowledge; 5. Provacative Questions: Incite knowledge exploration; 6. Examples of Change: Provides opportunties for change; 7. Examples of Habit: Building sensitivity against rigid thinking;

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8. Organized Random Search: Using a familiar structure to build another structure; 9. Skills for Search: Search for the current status of something. 10. Tolerance for Ambiguity: Pose open-ended situations which do not force closure; 11. Intuitive Expression: Feeling about things through the senses; 12. Adjustment to Development: Leaming from mistakes or failures; 13. Study creative people and processes: Study processes which lead to problem solving, invention, incubation, and insight; 14. Evaluate Situations: Deciding upon possibilities by their consequences and implications; 15. Creative Reading Skills: Learning the skill of generating ideas by reading; 16. Creative Listing Skill: Leaming the skill of generating ideas by listing; 17. Creative Writing Skill: Leaming the skill of generating ideas through writing; 18. Visualization Skill: Expressing ideas visual forms; (Taylor: Curriculum Design for Excellence) Aoplication extension to the list of investigative focuses could include asking students to further assess their opinions on an issue by assuming different viewpoints. This method would be useful to spark student's 43

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initial opinions on an issue. It could also be employed to student's thinking following an investigative focus and discussion. The following Divergent Questioning Models were designed by Taylor to initiate student responses. Aesthetic Questions have been added to the model: Quantity Model: How many ways What roles might an artist play in a culture? 2. Viewpoint Model: How would you view ,--_? How do you view artworks as special? What do you believe makes some artwork more special than others? 3. Involvement Model: How would you feel ? How would you feel the government commissioned a sculpture outside of a building which you worked that was the source of much public controversy? 4. Conscious Self-Deceit Model: You have been given the power to change What would you do? You have been given the opportunity to organize an exhibition of 8 Denver artists a prominent public building. What criteria will you use in determining which artists' work be exhibited? 44

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s. Forced Association Model: How is ___ like How is an individual artwork like a self portrait? 6. Reorganization Model: Suppose ____ ? Suppose that there was a ban on the production and exhibition of art society? How would this impact you? 6. The role of the teacher should be as a coach, insuring the students, not the teachers are the primary performers the classroom. Facilitating inquiry requires backing out of the role of the trad itional teacher and authority figure with the answers. The teacher should assume the role of a curious inquirer with the students --a collaborator observing, listening, and responding to the opinions of others. The metaphor proposed by Grant Wiggins and the Coalition of Essential Schools as key to the reform of the classroom is "Student as Per former, Teacher as Coach". like athe1etes and actors, students have a performance goal that is known in advance. Knowledge and skill are learned as a means to an end. The role of the teacher changes from merely teaching content and testing to designing intellectual problems that require students to practice critical thinking. Included is helping students to be good questioners through modeling and feedback and probing them with incomplete, confusing and controversial ideas that compel them to investigate further. 45

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Application A teacher can layout a task or problem to the group then back out of the class allowing students to practice inquiry. The role of the teacher should be as a resource, facilitating and troubleshooting the discussion. Eventually the teacher'S role could evolve into that of listener. The teacher could periodically assume the role of defender or a particular issue to be asked relevant questions by the group, or serve to contradict the majority opinion of the group. 7. A safe climate must be established where students feel open to dialogue about issues and ideas in a community setting. Creating a safe climate for inquiry is an important consideration. Students need to feel comfortable raising issues and know that their feelings and ideas be valued. Classroom dynamics and designing a learning space extends beyond the classroom arrangement to include a community forum in which ideas are shared and debated. A classroom should be an environment where inquiry is encouraged and where wonder and curiousity are valued. Flexibility, patience and trust are part of this process (Stewart 35). Parker Palmer in The Courage to Teach. describes these principles for creating a successful pedagogical space: 1. The space should be bounded and open; 46

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2. The space should be hospitable and "charged"; 3. The space should invite the voice of the individual and the group; 4. The space should honor the "little" stories of students and the "big" stories of the disciplines and tradition; S. The space should support solitude and surround it with the resources of the community; 6. The space should welcome both silence and speech (74). Application Using the above principles as a basis for discussion, students can formulate their own rules of conduct to insure that discussions are productive and that the rights of all the individuals in the group are res pected. A policy should be agreed upon to deal with students who are unable to abide by the rules. Students could creatively exhibit their rules around the classroom as visual reminders of the group norms. Conclusion The tenets I have proposed as a basis for a curriculum design in the visual arts is inclusive of the traditional methods of teaching art. One cannot deny the benefits of a student closely observing and drawing a subject --responding in ways that attune his or her senses. Sharpening perceptual skills and re:f'ming artistic language through technical knowledge remain important components in teaching art. I find most 47

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teachers very proficient at teaching these skills --often at the expense of limiting students' experiences in creative and critical thinking. tenets shift the priority of experiences away from the acquisition of skill into the realm of exploring and interpreting ideas. Training a population of students to become a more informed audience is one positive outcome of this focus. But the benefits of ex tending the context of art may have further impact on people. Art has the potential to awaken students' natural sense of wonder and creativity about the world and society in which they live. Only an education that fosters creative and critical thinking create a climate where thinking can change and paradigms shift (hooks 142). 48

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CHAPTER 4 IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE We tend to deal life's deep questions and puzzles as problems to be solved rather than mysteries to be probed and explored. Yet through these explorations we find meaning and fulfillment in who we are as people. Art can provide a means to arrest our attention from our daily tasks and problems, stopping the world momentarily and giving us the time and space for contemplation (Moore 286). Contemplation is often lost in contemporary culture. Yet through contemplation we connect, perceive, and engage in the presence of the world. There is a meditative, solitary and disciplinary existence in being an artist. When art is found in individual experience, the world of may seem private and mysterious. It provides a deeper reflection through allowing us to experience more vividly and deeply. Art can raise us from the functionality of life. The following words of Audrey Flack define a deep value and belief in art. Flack, a ,contemporary American painter and sculptor, wrote this 'Credo" for a commencement address delivered at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in May of 1984:

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do as do art as a art of art, and of to or and of art, and of can her book and Soul, Flack writes about her experiences as an artist, and shares the wisdom she has gained through her work and her associations within the artistic community. She looks toward a new avantgarde that be reintegrated and create order and balance (103). This change will not be a matter of destroying the present system but of empowering the artists, dealers, writers, collectors so that they find it within themselves to create a new culture -"to become architects of 50

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consciousness and orchestrators of society" (113). In The Aesthetic Dimension, Herbert Marcuse defines art as a space, a location where freedom is explored and experienced. This space may be an event, a painting or artform, or a psychic location where the rules of daily life are suspended. Art's true value is as a tool to trigger the hidden, creative, intuitive, and spiritual qualities of being human. This dimension can act as a form of resistence against the dominance of established social structures. Therefore art's strength lies in its other ness, in its incapacity to be assimilated into the status quo. Sustaining human growth and development should be the highest priority for society. Unfortunately, we often settle for the reverse, de humanizing systems based on bureaucratic and economic motives. The social systems in which we work and live have become unhealthy, shortsighted and unfulfilling. Emotional symptoms people experience reflect this situation-emptiness, meaningless, disillusionment, loneliness. People's excessive demands for entertainment, power, novelty and consumer goods may overlook the possibility that these wants are artificial and offer temporary relief. The environment is a further reflection of the problems we face as a culture. Nature has been dominated and manipulated aggressively without concern for rejuvenating its limited resources. Our institutions have betrayed nature for the sake of material consumption. Individually and collectively, we are losing our personal involvement with nature as well as our personal involvement with our surroundings. We are seeing 51

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evidence that our highly industrial society is proving to be biospherically unaffordable. How long can we sustain this system of living? Looking at the forces that shape our lives, we can pinpoint an over-reliance on scientific objectivism as a mode of knowledge. The dominance of this thinking portrays truth as something we can only achieve by distancing ourselves physically and emotionally from what we want to know. We have come to depend upon reason, fact, logic, data, and excessive technology as methods to control knowledge. Subjective thinking is seen as primitive and dangerous. Yet changing our thinking patterns requires us to be flexible, creative, holistic and intuitive in our perception. Through a conscious effort to synthesize objective and subjective thinking, personal and social transformation can take place. Rather than limiting to an end product that is put on a wall or sold for profit, we can see it as a living process. Catherine Bateson in Composing a Life, prefers to think of life and as an imprOVisation, "crafted from odds and ends, like a patchwork quilt" (4). This metaphoric relationship extends to the textures and lives of people, who Imd them selves in a continual state of flux and change in contemporary life. People are frequently uprooted from their accustomed lives through changing economic and social environments in the home and workplace. Their energies cannot be narrowly focused toward a singular goal. Women in particular, are forced to live with multiplicity as they juggle caretaking, careers, and personal goals. Creating is achieved through "scraps of rescued space and time, in marginal roles that have to be 52

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invented again and again" (Bateson 11). The theme of improvisation is the key learning to adapt to the ambiguity of a changing culture. Discontinuity, interruptions, con flicting loyalties, mark twentieth century living. Individual lives, as in art, are composed of disparent elements. Through creative synthesis, people can find a personal path to give meaning to the present through new forms of flexibility. Everyday practices that ordinary people engage in on a daily basis help them contend with structures and sources of power within SOciety. The purity of any field is now destabilized in postmodem society. Dis Ciplinary boundaries are blurred allowing new connections and multiple forms of communication and expression to emerge. The possibility for making art is now something everyone has in their daily existence. For example, utilitarian arts, the arts of everyday -cooking, gardening, decorating, carpentry --can be key to surviving today's society as well as making the world a more habitable place (Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 417). Extending cultural standards beyond beauty and skill, merit and monetary worth, give everyone creative and artistic opportunities. Looking at how ordinary people incorporate daily arts into their lifestyles demonstrates a positive means to cope and collectively improve the society in which we live. By changing our individual habits and thinking, the culture can change. This includes considering how we frame issues to ourselves and the way in which we talk and preceive things in our lives. Culture and the 53

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arts are tools for survival in modern society, providing us with new values and techniques to develop meaning from our shifting life experiences. looking at the goal of redefining the purpose and meaning of art in in a new culture, the recovery of the meaning may include discovering a more meaningful society. Art cannot change the world, but it can contribute to changing the consdousness and drives of men and women who could change the world (Marcuse 33). What we could transfonn everyday responses to life a way that enriched our environment and society? Creativity in any fonn or field offers a source for human realization and redirection. It can replace conformity with new possibilities and enhance and enrich daily life. What we could transfonn education to accomodate and promote creative responses subject areas? Students and citizens would see and com-prehend the connections between fields of study and learn to integrate knowledge in new ways. What imagination and are not frosting at all, but the fountainhead of human experience (May 150)? We are all capable of the imagination and invention required to change our attitudes and beliefs that shape our relationships to the people and environment surrounding us. Through the eyes of an artist, we can be inspired to view our world and ourselves with fresh insights. 54

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WORKS CITED Becker, Carol. "Our Students Need the City." Conversations Before the End of Time. Ed. Suzi Gablik. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1995. 335-380. Becker, Carol. "Survival of the Artist the New Political Climate." The Artist in Society: Rights. Roles. and Responsibilities. Ed. Carol Becker and Wiens. Chicago: New Art Examiner Press, 1995. 56-64. Berger. John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking Press. 1972. Berlin, James. "Introduction." Cultural Studies in the English Classroom. Ed. James Berlin and Michael Vivion. Portsmouth, Boynton Reed Publishers, Inc., 1992. Brenson, Michael. "Where do We Go from Here? Securing a Place for the Artist in Society," The Artist Society: Rights. Roles. and Responsibilities. Ed. Carol Becker and Ann Wiens. Chicago: New Art Examiner Press, 1995. 66-76. deBono, Edward RightYou are Wrong: From Rock Logic to Water Logic. New York: Viking/Penguin, 1991. 42. Dissanayake, Ellen. Homo Aestheticus. New York: The Free Press, 1992. Everett, Sally. "Searching for a Post Modem Avant-Garde," Ed. Sally Everett. Art Theory and Criticism. London: McFarland and Company, Inc., 1991. Ferguson, Marilyn. The Acguarian Conspiracy. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1980. Flack, Audrey. Art and Soul. Notes on Creating. New York: Penguin Books, 1986. Gablik, Suzi. Has Modernism Failed? New York: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1984. 55

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Gablik, Suzi. The Reenchantment of Art. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1991. Gablik, Suzi. Conversations Before the End of Time. Ed. Suzi Gablik. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1995. Giroux, Henry. "Borderline Artists, Cultural Workers, and the Crisis of Democracy." Artist in Society: Rights. Roles. and Responsibilities. Ed. Carol Becker and Ann Wiens. Chicago: New Examiner Press, 1995. 4-14. Greenburg, Clement. "Avant-Garde and Kitsch." Theory and Criticism. Ed. Sally Everett. London: McFarland and Company, Inc. 1991, 26-40. hooks, bell. Art on My Mind. Visual Politics. New York: The New Press, 1995. KirschenblattGimblett, Barbara. "The Aesthetics of Everyday Life," Conversations Before the End of Time. Ed. Suzi Gablik. London: Thames and Hudson, Inc., 1995. 410-433. Kuspit, Donald. "Avant-Garde and Audience". Art Theory and Criticism. Ed. Sally Everett. London: McFarland and Company, Inc., 1991. 170-177. Lippard, Lucy. Overlay. New York: The New Press, 1983. Lippard, Lucy. "Trojan Horses: Activist Art and Power." Art Theory and Criticism. Ed. Sally Everett. London: McFarland and Company, Inc. 1991. 185-203. London, Peter. No More Secondhand Art. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1975. Marcuse, Herbert. The Aesthetic Dimension. Boston: Beacon Press, 1978. May, Rollo. The Courage to Create. New York: W.W. Norton Company, Inc. 1975. Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1992. National Assessment Governing Board. Arts Education Assessment and Exercise Specifications: Excerpts for the Visual Arts. S6

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National Art Education Association, 1997. Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossy-Bass Publishers, 1998. Rich, Ruby "Dissed and Disconnected: Notes on Present ills and Future Dreams." The Subversive Imagination: Artists. Society and Social Responsibility. Ed. Carol Becker. New York: Routledge, 1994. 223348. Rourkes, Nicholas. Art Synectics. Worcester: Davis Publications, Inc., 1982. Sadri, Ahmad. "Adjusting the World According to Salman Rushdie," The Subversive Imagination.: Artists. Society and Social Responsibility. Ed. Carol Becker. New York: Routledge, 1992. 168182. Sarup, Madan. Post-Structuralism and Postmodernism. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. 1988. Shiff Richard. "Art and Life: A Metaphoric Relationship," Art Theory and Criticism. Ed. Sally Everett. London: McFarland and Company, Inc. 1991. 154-169. Stewart, Marilyn. Thinking Through Aesthetics. Worcester: Davis Publishing, Inc., 1997. Staniszewewski, Mary Anne. Creating the Culture of Art. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. Taylor, Dr. T. Roger. "Curriculum Design for Excellence" Building a Quality Program for Gifted Students Resource Handbook. Paso Robles, CA: Bureau of Education and Research, 1982. Wiggins, Grant. "Creating a Thought-Provoking Curriculum," American Educator. Winter, 1988. 57