What I learned in class this week…
Perhaps the sign of a good class is the level of challenge provided by the teacher. Not time management challenges, reflective challenges.
This week the teacher had us do a short reflective paper to answer “Why am I here?”. As in why did I choose to take her class. She was cleverly guiding the answers by giving her examples: it’s part of my degree requirements, the time of the class worked, referral, etc… I concluded, after carefully reading the course syllabus, that I was excited to further develop my art vocabulary in order to better sell my art. Then she challenged us some more with a journalling prompt…
How would I answer: “What do you do?”, before and after the suggested readings…
If you can find it, look up: Adrian Piper, “To Art (Reg. Intrans. V.),” The Fox, vol. 1, no. 1(1975), 60-64
The article walked me through the logical failings of my typical answers: I’m an artist. I make art. I’m into art. Etc… It almost had me convinced that I could answer “I do art”, as to do art can mean I an interested in and make art, but it stopped there, when I understood a great limitation of this answer. It still focuses on the product, not the process. Art may or may not be an object, but what categorizes it as art is entirely and uniquely subjective to the viewers opinion. Therefore, if art cannot be an object defined by consensus, then it must be viewed differently. It should be viewed as a process.
A process indicates action, therefore let’s make “art” a verb. To art!
Now, look at the original question: “What do you do?”
It’s not who are you and what do you make. taken literally, it asks what actions/process/thoughts/dreams fill your time.
The act of arting lets others understand that I am interested and involved in artistic processes with an intension of producing art… whatever that may be defined as.
ps: Arting is a process and so is clearly defining the answer to the question. Thank the universe that this is only the first class and we have a whole year to develop a more coherent answer. Until next time… what do you do?