Keep On Keeping On

Ok, heads been spinning a bit thinking about Dr. Lazer’s presentation, and the role of judgment, expertise, and the new in the arts. I’ll send another post out trying to summarize the bits and pieces of what has come your way from Daniel Pink, Ken Robinson, Crispin Sartwell, and Lazer. . .

But onwards:

1. Your blog should be cooking along. . . You should be taking some risks and trying to describe arts and artworks you’re less familiar with. . . There are no prizes here for caution. No rewards to timidity. And — to be clear — no risk involved in pushing the envelope and working hard to describe fully your experience of particular events, objects, places, experiences.

2. Good things continue to simmer out there: check out Moody Music concerts, photo exhibit in Gorgas Library, incredible show of prints at Moody Gallery, and wonderful play opening up next week.

Some of you have indicated difficulty in getting the blog writing done. It’s because its hard work. Even when you’ve been freed up to experience arts on your own, to go about your business separate from the taste of teachers, its still plain hard to get on paper (or digital media) your own aesthetic experience in any kind of thick and compelling way. Check out this blog entry from distinguished classical music critic, Greg Sandow. He’s working with experienced music critics. . . and trying to get them to push beyond cliche response. They find it hard to do…. and risky. He writes, “They all had more personal reactions to music than those they wrote about. But they didn’t think it was their job to use them. They thought it was their job to be generic, to say what everyone else said.” So sometimes the trick is to push beyond your own good instinct of what constitutes the boring . . .

Going to send out a bunch of links to get you to begin thinking about your role as citizen consumers (and maybe producers) of the arts. A few issues jump out at us as citizens/taxpayers/parents/participants in a vital democracy: censorship and the arts critical edge, funding for the arts, and the role of arts in education. Look for good opportunities to meditate on all these things over the next few days.

And — look for a rock. Not a metaphoric rock. A real rock. On Thursday bring along a rock. . . flat, maybe 2-3 inches at widest point. . . just enough to right a sentence on. For real. A rock. Bring one.

More soon. JH


About jchall1960

I'm the instructor for FA 200, Introduction to the Arts at the University of Alabama
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