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Author Topic: Alientation, Art and Society: Break the Cycle  (Read 2174 times)
nell8090
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« on: March 12, 2008, 07:00:07 PM »

This is an excerpt from art therapist and social influence, Edith Kramer: (this is what happens when you should be studying for your art therapy mid term!)

"our modern age is characterized by a hidden hunger for art. this is linked to the absence of art in the fabric of our daily life. i suggest that such phenomena of the twentieth century as the proliferation of art courses for amateurs, mass visits to museums, indefatigable tourists' pilgrimages to the sites of the arts past ages, and yes, the advent of art therapy are a response to this hunger. but something has gone wrong. the basically sound desire for art in our lives has led too often to deplorable results. mankind has always been capable of endless carnage and destruction. but only in our age have man's constructions-his architecture, vehicles, and objects of daily use- spread ugliness and desolation on the face of the earth. we cannot escape from a vicious cycle where hotels and condos rise to house people who have come to enjoy the beauty of an unspoiled area-an area that, in turn, is degraded by the very presences of these buildings and the hordes of people they attract...
far from confirming man's existence and aspirations, our machine-made world assaults us, bores us, reduces us to ciphers. to some extent we are all, perforce, rendered autistic. assaulted by chaotic, visual, auditor, and olfactory stimuli that yield no useful information, we learn to shut them out...
the appetite for gathering and interpreting information on our surroundings is starved. we see the crudest effects of such starvation on the stereotypic rocking of permanently stabled cattle or autistic children. the more subtle effect on our mind and bodies when artificial sameness replaces continuous change...
habituation to such stimuli further dulls the capacity to respond to ordinary experiences, and a vicious circle ensues.
alienation encompasses us."

Edith Kramer, "The Art Therapist's Third Hand: Reflections on Art, Art Therapy, and Society at Large," 1986.

LET's BREAK THE VICIOUS CIRCLE!
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moneycash
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 08:07:12 PM »

i don't think i'll reply in full right now, i have to think about it, but my gut reaction is that i don't agree with the author.  i'm a progressive - i believe we have to move forward to make the best world possible.  her stance is reactionary - it compels us to revert to a time when 'things were simpler.'  well, the fact is that life has always been ugly and hard in one way or another, and lives were never 'simpler' back in the day.  in fact, we're probably living lives simpler than any other humans before us have.  her stance is so reactionary, in fact, that she seems to suggest we must destroy the destructive forces surrounding us - this is the ivory tower position of a person who wishes for something she isn't willing to go out into the world and get.  the author fantasizes about post-apocolypse without considering the terrible destruction she would inflict upon the rest of humanity.  if she's arguing for 'art', then perhaps she should look toward the artful.
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nauseamfromrum
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 09:14:02 PM »

i personally think it would be miraculous if humans nuked our own planet to shit.
not that that i'd enjoy it--but it would show that humans
have control over something that no god/nature could stop.



btw i had a whole paragraph of on topic response that lead into this,
but i hate walls of text.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 09:15:59 PM by mlapatri » Logged
nell8090
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 10:09:43 AM »

Considering this was published nearly 22 years ago, would you agree that she was only picking at the "sociocultural scab" of the day?
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The Bolshevik Dandy
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 12:47:13 PM »

I would say exactly that
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