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Dewey and Ellsworth

Liv's picture

Due to my absence in last week's class Jody and I agree to me posting about my thoughts to the readings y'all covered. I am warming up to the idea of serendip for it "accessibility" to the people in our class cluster (and beyond in some cases. @ Sula) but am still struggling with bringing in my full self on serendip for other reasons. Nevertheless, here we go! 

"Such events have provoked a sense of urgency in the search for new mindsets capable of moving away from the strict binary discourses of self/ other, real/virtual, reason/ emotion, mind/body, natural/artificial, inside/ outside, thinking/feeling, irony/humor. " -Ellsworth 3

I wanted to start my discussion with this quote because it relates to so many of my frustrations in artistic representation, museum involvement in such discourse, and our class structuring. I get the sensation of us talking in a circle whenever I feel like we have begun to answer a simple question to start in class discussion and it becomes a testt. who knows the correct answer? Is there one? The urgency Ellsworth is discussing above pushes us to simplify the discussion to alleviate such tensions. The very act of simplifiyng, or rendering ourselves and tthe work we are faced with to such two dimensional discussions is the most frustrating. I openly claim my pessimism, but I try not to let that flatten the world around me that is built on a layering of histories/experiences. 

Our reflections post museum experience or class are so important (to me) because it is a time to self-actualize our feelings on our own terms. We may take the seconds during an experience to acknoweledge how we felt, that is replaced by the next incoming wave of feelings. The posts are a great break from that cycle from what we claim as "natural" to really let us live. However, as Ellsworth mentions we cannot reconnect to these alternate perspectives using the same pedagogical focuses that guide our present. 

"Art is remitted to a separate realm, where it is cut off from that association with the materials and aims of every other form of human effort, undergoing, and achievement." - Dewey

I see art as a form of expression that does the work of connecting the internal thoughts that are unable to be read tclearly with our present conditions and the way of receiving information we have. It is an extention of the artist to the consumer that exists on a plane of accepting difference. This is not expressed in Dewey's quote; instead the reality of how we read art is turned into a formulaic approach that removes the artist from the work to place the work on a pedestal. I am interested to know how people feel about Art and art. Is there a difference? How did you know you had created art, or even seen a work "worth" the label? What were the conditions? What was on display?