10 Rules for Students, Teachers, and Life by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent by Maria Popova “Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.” Buried in various corners of the web is a beautiful and poignant list titled Some Rules for Students and Teachers, attributed to John Cage, who passed away twenty years ago this week. The list, however, originates from celebrated artist and educator Sister Corita Kent and was created as part of a project for a class she taught in 1967-1968. It was subsequently appropriated as the official art department rules at the college of LA’s Immaculate Heart Convent, her alma mater, but was commonly popularized by Cage, whom the tenth rule cites directly. RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students. Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month.
A Community That Values Its Own Commitment to the Local Arts! Susan Appe, PhD What would make where I live a better place? I want Broome Country, upstate New York to value its own commitment to the local arts. The evidence is out there. I first started noticing this with my students. While certainly not a representative, scientific sample, it surprised me. And the students in my class are not the only ones attending and supporting local arts. Case in point—on March 13, 2013 the Broome County Arts Council’s (BCAC) United Cultural Fund (UCF) awarded $228,000 to organizations and individuals working in the arts in Broome County. We know that at the local level, local arts agencies are a primary channel of arts funding (Toepler & Wyszomirski, 2012), therefore, the BCAC’s model is a familiar one for those of us engaged in local arts. However, still, the UCF is one of only seven such programs in all of New York state, one of only two in upstate, and the only one in south central New York. References Toepler, S. & Wyszomirski, M.
Generative art Joseph NechvatalOrgiastic abattOir,2004 computer-robotic assisted acrylic on canvas created by viral-based C++ software Installation view of Irrationnal Geometrics 2008 by Pascal Dombis Generative art refers to art that in whole or in part has been created with the use of an autonomous system. "Generative Art" is often used to refer to computer generated artwork that is algorithmically determined. Examples of generative art Music Johann Philipp Kirnberger's "Musikalisches Würfelspiel" (Musical Dice Game) 1757 is considered an early example of a generative system based on randomness. Visual art Software art Architecture In 1987 Celestino Soddu created the artificial DNA of Italian Medieval towns able to generate endless 3D models of cities identifiable as belonging to the idea. Literature Writers such as Tristan Tzara, Brion Gysin, and William Burroughs used the cut-up technique to introduce randomization to literature as a generative system.
Consciousness is Not a Computation In the previous article in this series, Is The Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges I wrote about some new evidence that appears to suggest that the universe may be like a computer, or least that it contains computer codes of a sort. But while this evidence is fascinating, I don’t believe that ultimately the universe is in fact a computer. In this article, I explain why. My primary argument for this is that consciousness is not computable. Consciousness is More Fundamental Than Computation If the universe is a computer, it would have to be a very different kind of computer than what we think of as a computer today. However, it’s not that simple. The problem is that conscious is notoriously elusive, and may not even be something a computer could ever generate. In fact, I don’t think consciousness is an information process, or a material thing, at all. There are numerous arguments for why consciousness may be fundamental. Physics and Cosmology. Beyond Computation
A City, and an Artist, Finding Their Authentic Creative Voice Christy Bors It was during my third year as an undergraduate art student (Go Slugs!) that I met Frank, my abstract painting professor. I’d never been more frustrated with a syllabus or a teacher in my whole life as I’d been with Frank. The careful, thoughtful, planner inside me cringed every day in that studio. The bi-product: A six-foot tall canvas spread wildly with a cake frosting texture of Alizarin Crimson and Flake White oils. I hated it. “Don’t touch it anymore—it’s finished.” And so, I let it be praised. It took me months of scowling at its presence before I realized that I hated that painting (which forever remained titled “Untitled”) so much because it didn’t resonate with me. That hollowed sense of accomplishment is an emotion that can strike creative people of all genres. Working now out of my hometown as an arts administrator, I recognize this fight in my own creative community. I see Napa’s arts district as a burgeoning embryo.
Bruno Munari on Design as a Bridge Between Art and Life by Maria Popova “The designer of today re-establishes the long-lost contact between art and the public, between living people and art as a living thing.” In the preface to his 1966 classic Design as Art (public library) — one of the most important and influential design books ever published — legendary Italian graphic designer Bruno Munari, once described by Picasso as “the new Leonardo,” makes a passionate case for democratizing art and making design the lubricant between romanticism and pragmatism. Revisiting Munari’s iconic words is at once a reminder of how much has changed, and how little — but mostly a timeless vision for design’s highest, purest aspiration. Munari begins: Today it has become necessary to demolish the myth of the ‘star’ artist who only produces masterpieces for a small group of ultra-intelligent people. In the introduction, he cites Maxim Gorky: Munari cautions against holding on too stringently to conceptions of what art is and isn’t: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr
Wisdom from a MacArthur Genius: Psychologist Angela Duckworth on Why Grit, Not IQ, Predicts Success by Maria Popova “Character is at least as important as intellect.” Creative history brims with embodied examples of why the secret of genius is doggedness rather than “god”-given talent, from the case of young Mozart’s upbringing to E. In this short video from the MacArthur Foundation, Duckworth traces her journey and explores the essence of her work: We need more than the intuitions of educators to work on this problem. In the exceedingly excellent How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (public library) — a necessary addition to these fantastic reads on education — Paul Tough writes of Duckworth’s work: Duckworth had come to Penn in 2002, at the age of thirty-two, later in life than a typical graduate student. The problem, I think, is not only the schools but also the students themselves. Duckworth began her graduate work by studying self-discipline. This is where grit comes in — the X-factor that helps us attain more long-term, abstract goals.
Bringing Backstage Onstage with Social Media Kelly Page Imagine, if we saw social media more like an artist’s studio or cafe and less like a marketing channel? While walking through the exhibit, Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects at the Arts Institute Chicago last November, I felt like I was seeing into the private design space of the architect. The exhibit was an installation of an architect’s studio with concept drawings, full-scale project mockups, material samples, and photographs of completed work that now form part of the Chicago city skyline. The work of the artist backstage, however, many don’t experience. Imagine for a moment, however, if we did? Social media use in arts management I spend a lot of my time exploring how arts organizations use social media and what I often read is content dominated by the voice of the marketer, marketing at me—a mix of call-to-action posts such and social media promotions focused on driving traffic and ticket sales. My advice is simple—Do not use social media for marketing.
Marginalia and the Yin-Yang of Reading and Writing by Maria Popova The bibliophile’s property rights, or why the osmosis of agreement and disagreement belongs in a book’s margins. The acts of reading and writing have always been intertwined, a kind of fundamental yin-yang of how ideas travel and permeate minds. Marginalia — those fragments of thought and seeds of insight we scribble in the margins of a book — have a social life all their own. But what is the future of marginalia in the age of the ebook? Yet, digital platforms aside, hardly anything captures both the utilitarian necessity and cultural mesmerism of marginalia better than this excerpt from the classic How to Read a Book, originally written by Mortimer Adler in 1940 and revised with Charles van Doren in 1972: When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture when you buy and pay for them. HT reddit books Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. Share on Tumblr
New to the Community: A Love Story Set to Beethoven Jenifer Thomas I am a fairly recent transplant to a city with a vibrant arts scene chock-full of healthy arts organizations, beautiful parks and architecture, wonderful public art, a squadron of young professionals getting involved, and our very own culinary smorgasbord: a signature chili (you either love it or you hate it), mouthwatering ice cream, and questionable breakfast meat. Where is this cultural mecca, you might ask? Cincinnati’s varied offerings come with an equally diverse community of people. The Cincinnati ethos is evolving, and many organizations are doing great things to get engagement that is more reflective of our community and encourages we locals to put our personal stamp on the Queen City. Recently, after two years of living in Cincinnati, I fell in love. It happened in the most unlikely of places: the concert hall. Think it sounds cool? Not only did the community come out in droves to the events surrounding One City, One Symphony, but live performances sold out.
How the Invention of the Alphabet Usurped Female Power in Society and Sparked the Rise of Patriarchy in Human Culture by Maria Popova A brief history of gender dynamics from page to screen. The Rosetta Stone may be one of the 100 diagrams that changed the world and language may have propelled our evolution, but the invention of the written word was not without its costs. As Sophocles wisely observed, “nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.” “By profession, I am a surgeon… I am by nature a storyteller,” Shlain tells us, and it is through this dual lens of critical thinking and enchantment that he examines his iconoclastic subject — a subject whose kernel was born while Shlain was touring Mediterranean archeological sites in the early 1990s and realized that the majority of shrines had been originally consecrated to female deities, only to be converted to male-deity worship later, for unknown reasons. Illustration by Giselle Potter for Gertrude Stein's posthumously published 'To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays.' Shlain frames the premise: Donating = Loving Share on Tumblr
The Space Race Chase Maggiano There are a few things I have come to believe are true: Justin Bieber’s monkey is more famous than I will ever be; there are more self-proclaimed artists in the world than at any time in history; and the arts are the next big export—both here in Washington, D.C., and abroad. All three of these truths lead to a problem we have in our cultural communities. We need more space. With YouTube, an iPad, and Kickstarter, anyone can create and distribute art while sitting in front of the computer in their underwear (no…not THAT kind of art). Some artists can even launch careers from the keyboard. I have learned that many people in my community feel the same way. While finding performance space is often the key stumbling block, locating adequate rehearsal (or studio) space is an equally important challenge. One way to overcome this problem is to throw money at it. For those of us who don’t have $100 million lying around, there are other great ideas.