RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The necessity of the arts resides in their unique capacity to encourage recognition of collective identity by disclosing shared human values through renewed acts of communication. As such they enable us to represent community, over and over; they embody it and keep our sense of it alive.
Unlike mathematical and empirical forms of knowledge that engage with explicit number and explicit fact, respectively, the arts employ metaphorical thinking. Metaphor addresses what human experience 'is like', in order to share that revelation with others. We fashion these likeness in the stuff of the world, material, matter, and gather around the artifacts we make as communities. We learn human values by the combination of action and representation, doing the right thing and telling others about it.
Metaphorical thinking (art) is a vital component in sustaining any sense of the common good. The notion that art would not be a central dimension of the education of kids, alongside the other forms of learning (not instead of), does damage to these kids' potential to contribute meaningfully to collective identity, leading, inevitably, to alienation.
Art is not a luxury. It offers nourishment unobtainable from the presumed staples of math and science. I applaud Buckman and da Vinci for their perseverance and for insisting on the arts in a context of academic achievement.
Thanks for hosting the discussion of this important issue.
Clive Knights, Professor of Architecture, PSU
posted 3 years ago
view in context