Expanding Horizons Part 2

Once I figured out that learning doesn’t necessarily require immediate understanding, I got really excited!

This was a whole new way of looking at things for me!

During one of our classes, our teacher showed us this short video:

Even though this dance has no explicit meaning, it leaves you with an aftertaste.  You’re not sure what just happened, but it’s intense, it’s jarring, it’s sad, it’s bittersweet…  I feel appreciation, even though I feel no understanding (in the traditional sense of understanding).

At the end of the second week, we went to the college museum.  We went to see an exhibit by Haim Steinbach.  When I read the description, I almost laughed out loud.  Okay, I was at peace with confusion and not understanding now.  But this?  How could I appreciate this?

It's just seemingly unrelated things…

It’s just seemingly unrelated things…

…place next to each other on shelves.

…placed next to each other on shelves.

Really?  But when I read his explanation for it, I wanted to like it immediately.  He said that when we look at things in everyday life, we define them by their context.  When you see something in a kitchen, then you usually assume it’s used for cooking.  But what he’s doing is experimenting with our perception.  What if you take something out of it’s context?  What is its definition now?  He wants us to ask “Why is the the dog toy next to the woman?  What do they have to do with eachother?”  Because maybe then, we’ll think of those objects differently.  That was my take on it anyway.

So that’s my new perspective on art now.  Thanks to L&T, I am way more open to new things.  Obviously, these two posts aren’t going to convince you––you may be thinking, “I still don’t see what the big deal is,” or “Okay, college has gotten to her, she’s nuts!”

But you really need to immerse yourself in an environment like L&T to free your inhibitions.  Even if that doesn’t change your view on art, it will show you that there are so many new paths for you to explore, and you didn’t see them before because they don’t look like paths; some go up, some go down, and some bend around sideways in a möbius strip to more questions.

Peace,

~Pindari

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Expanding Horizons Part 1

So.  The Deets.

Today, I’d like to tell you about my perspective on art.

The big thing that I learned during my time at L&T was that there are two ways of ‘understanding’ things.  One way is that you read something, and you know what it means.  The second way is that you feel utter confusion.  You read a work and don’t even try to understand it, instead you just let it wash over you.

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The first week of L&T

Now, this may not make a lot of sense (and it didn’t to me at first either) but hear me out.  When L&T began, I thought it was going to be like a literature analysis class.  I had read the assigned readings, and I was expecting to have a class discussion when I came in on the second day.  The reading had been confusing, and I was hoping to ask some questions and get some answers.

Instead, my teacher read a quote from the text and told us to “write to it.”  I was baffled.  How can I write to it, if I don’t know what it means?  What does that even mean?  Doesn’t she mean write about it?

But, hey, I’m willing to try new things.  I began to write to it.  I wrote to it as if it was a stranger, dissecting the sentence physically (e.g. “I notice that you are capitalized strangely–I wonder why the author wrote you that way.  When I read the word meek I cant help thinking of a baby deer…”)  And Lo and behold, meaning began to unfold.

By ‘talking’ to this quote I had teased out my own meaning for it!  And even more amazing, when we took turns reading what we had written, everyone else had done similar things.  It was like an unconscious understanding.

To be Continued…