4/26/10

Art World Dogma pt. 1: Education

Dogma is dissatisfaction. This is why institutions uphold such insane ideology, they hate themselves and thus want all of us to suffer with them. An artist should not suffer for their craft, but too often an artist will suffer for doing what they want and not adhering to what is implied for them. More criticism should be put on the art schools and Western education in a broad sense for not providing us with the best possible culture we deserve and can achieve.

Too often the education system fails its students and its faculty by limiting their frame of practice to specific objective examples. There is little range of experimentation within the confines of an undergraduate program in many disciplines. Art and Art History are two of the many subjects that have been marginalized by this form of teaching. Having students memorize slides and formulas is useless in fostering any kind of positive progression. Nothing new can be learned from rehearsing in a robotic fashion, other peoples thoughts or ideologies. This becomes especially problematic when the main point should be progress. How can there be any progress when all we are doing is reciting the past and maintaining the present? Yes we must learn about the past so that we don't make the same mistakes again, but in order to do this the past must be discussed as contemporary language addressing contemporary issues. The education system for the most part doesn't take part in this discussion. I'd like to see a drastic change in many subjective disciplines that incorporates practical experience over academic dogma. I'd like to see artists and art historians being encouraged to solve problems and raise questions that confront the status quo. I'd like to see classes being held outside the classroom and students and professors working with the community to promote the arts as a utilitarian process which focuses on the diversity of the individual. Academics need to become more accessible and burst out of their hierarchic isolated bubble to relate to society. Not everyone can learn the same way, some people can't process useless formula and memorization, nor should they have to. The problems and crisis of the world will not be solved by these factors. The truth that so many people have trouble staying in school is testament to its failures. The argument that a country has its people's best interest is absurd when it fails its people in school. Alternative education needs to be offered. The arts is the perfect area to develop this alternative process because good art focuses on communication and allows for a continuity of discourse amongst a culture. Good education should also focus on expressing all practical theory and experience into its function and studies.

This is why I think the anonymous brainchildren of the Bruce High Quality Foundation are on the right path. They have suggested an alternative to the hierarchy in both the art and the education world. By using satire and practical processes, they turned these structures upside down. Their biennial is a spoof of the overly serious biennial or mega-exhibition that is said to be the defining survey of what is going on in the artworld. The Brucennial presents an alternative view, one that is more encompassing of the hodgepodge of styles and individuals that otherwise would be forgotten. Even more practical is the BHQFU, a place that is the right alternative to a exclusive and formalist art school. There will always be artists who also express the marginalized artworld devoid of passion, so long as such an insane place exists. The ultimate end can be observed now since it has been packaged so nicely by people who are able to warp the mind of the individual. Even art has taken an obsession with Capitalism and Democracy is Education needs to be many things in order to be worthwhile but most ideally it should be free in both a monetary sense and for celebrating the individuals freedom of expression. Tests should be thrown out in many programs and replaced by "field trips" within reality or areas that go beyond the confines of a classroom. Artists should be encouraged and championed for presenting work that continues a personal discourse and expression between the artist, the viewer, and society.

The public and private educational system in America is interested in fostering Capitalists. When Capitalism fails, what will become of all those trained pawns? The real nature of education will emerge when enlightened minds are awoken or simply encouraged and given a chance to think as a valuable individual.


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