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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Blog Assignment

Kathleen Burke will be speaking to our class this Wednesday-- please leave your comments/questions about the reading here by noon on that day so she can give thoughtful responses!

11 comments:

  1. What Kathleen is talking about in her essay seems to link directly to our own 1000 Dolls project, as well as the Folklore project. Both highlight a sense of community and shedding light on places and people on which light is not typically shed. Could our doll workshops as well as the stories we have gathered from people in the Limestone community be considered an example of the artist/participant dynamic that is discussed in the essay? Could one technically call our projects examples of dialogical art?

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  2. I like the parallels drawn between science and art. What do you think are the limits of approaching the disciplines the same way? The benefits?

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  3. I enjoyed the article a lot, I see connections between the classes I take at Transy on the daily basis and it was nice to see the similarities between social sciences and arts pointed out. I also appreciated that you acknowledged the differences in the fields. The considerations outlined here are great leaping points for us as class to use to approach our folk lore project.

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  4. My question involves the employment of a Hegelian dialectic to the understanding of truth as it is addressed at the top of page 9.

    Is it possible that artworks such as "Learning to Love You More" could access more organic forms of truth through the use of fictional narratives? I can see the potential for a scientific collection of data based on trends found within the ways people participate in the creation of fictional narratives. Dan Gilbert suggests (in his T.E.D. talk) that it is natural for us to create a form of synthetic happiness whenever we don't get what we want. "Learning To Love You More," then, invites the participant to share the mechanisms they use to create synthetic happiness by creating a place to crowd-source and share fictional realities.

    For this reason, I want to challenge the argument that the use of fictional realities "is a clear departure from the search of knowledge....explored in scientific research." Instead, I would suggest that works like "Learning To Love You More" simply demand a more nuanced evaluation in order to accurately establish the ways it relates to the search for knowledge as utilized in social science.

    Is it possible that the ways an artwork relates to social science practices, then, are just as dependent upon how the artwork is discussed and evaluated as to how it is created?

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  5. Though critical discourse suggests all artworks have power (the power to shock, the power to change a viewer's mind, the power to represent spiritual realities, etc), it seems this power is often metaphorical and unavailable within the experience of the art for most viewers.

    Is it fair to combine the discussion (on top of page 7)of how dialogical work increases the awareness of "how power systems affect our society and the underprivileged" with the acknowledgement that this work benefits both the artist and the collaborators to argue that the power of dialogical work is more accessible and immediate than the power attributed to more traditional gallery work?

    Will this power within dialogical work remain visible once the artworks become a part of art historical conversations? Can dialogical artwork withstand the critical discourse of time as painting and sculpture have?

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  6. What interested me most about the article was the proposed divergence of scientific and artistic work on the grounds of their "generating truthful and accurate data."

    While artistic representations may not be objective or empirical in nature, I don't necessarily believe they are untruthful or inaccurate.

    What about the rest of you guys? When an artist builds a project geared toward cultural critique around a partially or entirely fictional concept, does their decision make their final product any less honest or precise? Can fiction enhance these properties in ways that scientific results cannot? Does it even matter?

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  7. In response to Hanna's question, I would like to say that while I don't think art is untruthful or inaccurate, I do believe that the artist's chosen method of representing the subject of their artwork does influence how the artwork is portrayed and how the viewer analyses the art. I think this because the viewer doesn't have the same relationship with the participant as the artist has with participant. To the artist, how they portrayed their subject is based on the knowledge they gained through relationship with the participant. Kathleen noted the similarities between the relationships between artist/participant and researcher/subject and I think that the transformation in knowledge and the new sense of awareness gained by the artists makes the art truthful.

    In the Learning to Love You More project, on page 9, some of the assignments were “Assignment 56: Make a portrait of your friend's desires; and, Assignment 61: Describe your ideal government." Like Kurt mentioned and Hanna questioned, I do think that these "fictional realities" provide insight to some things that science simply cannot. While this may not be a traditional method of gathering data from a scientific standpoint, I think the data can be gleaned from these assignments based on the artist's relationship with the participant. It may not be objective, unlike social sciences, but I think it can reveal knowledge only found out through the artist/participant's relationship and a different way to analyze the knowledge than the objective, empirical way.

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  8. While reading the article I could not stop comparing the practices of dialogical art and qualitative research with those of quantitive research in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, etc. In these fields, there exist specific laws that protect the subjects of any sort of research conducted. There is a flood of paperwork, and strange legal terms are used, but both participants and researchers can be confident that they are legally secure. Would it benefit the subjects and practitioners of dialogical art if they were protected by similar laws, or would the artists and social scientists be too restrained by these regulations and therefore unable to produce the calibre of work seen in the past?

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  9. First of all, let me say that after reading this paper, I think the idea of dialogical art is very interesting. I assume that if anything, perhaps dialogical art is the subject of the folk lore projects on which we are currently working. I would not have thought of the project as an art, but I think I can begin to appreciate it as so after this reading. My question concerns the dual transformation that you speak of. I think it is very important in a project like this that both the artist and the subject come out with a different outlook, or at least some sort of transformation. What have been your experiences with dual transformation? Have you experienced noticeable transformations in yourself with your work? Or have they been small and gradual? Either way, such transformations are very intriguing in my opinion.

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  10. Katie's comment won't go through, so she has asked me to post it for her:

    I really enjoyed reading this piece and am extremely intrigued with the concept of dialogical art - a term and concept that I had never heard articulated or described before. Even so, I had already considered it to be my favorite form of artistic creation, despite not knowing that it ever had an official kind of title. The concept, however, is one that I love to see incorporated into art projects - which is particularly why I have been so interested in the work we do with CETA. To me, art is best created and enjoyed when it is shared.

    I also agree with Hanna and the rest of you on the point that art is not necessarily inaccurate or untruthful. In my own opinion, science loses a lot in its striving towards objectivity. I simply do not believe that we, the social and human beings that we are, will ever have access to anything that can be regarded as a 'true' and objective reality. Our experiences color our perceptions so much that I don't think it can be possible for science (and especially art) to ever be objective. Thus, I really appreciate when art takes a step back from objective ideals and embraces what is subjective. As far as I'm concerned, our subjective experiences of life and art are all that matter anyway.

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  11. I absolutely loved the parallels between art and science research. I think that science is often regarded as an art, but hardly looked at the other way. Do you think that looking at art in the same way that one would look at science provides many more advantages?

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