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“Wearing the same combination of light blue shirt and jeans as she did 18 years ago, Swinton was watched by hundreds of people while she slept in a glass box at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Saturday.
Little has changed since the exhibit first appeared in 1995, with the notable exception of a pair of glasses next to Swinton on the mattress
Arms crossed and lying on her side with her eyes closed, Swinton did little to amuse the crowds but is due to appear again on six further occasions this year – but the public will get no warning. A MoMA statement said: “Those who find it chance upon it for themselves, live and in real – shared – time.””

– Sam Masters (The Independent)

A work like the “The Visitors” has all the strengths of the classical Romantic sensibility, and some of its potential weak points too. It offers a glimpse into a more ecstatic world; you really want to be these people, be invited to this party. It dwells in a kind of self-enclosed universe, spellbound by images of otherwordly artists and majestic decay. Like classic Romanticism, which arose as a kind of personalistic reaction to European industrialization, such a neo-Romantic temperament draws its power as an implicit reproach of the kind of dispirited, non-ecstatic lives we normally live. Unalloyed, of course, this sort of thing might also become a kind of cloying, self-involved theater — indeed, you might even say that Kjartansson subtly thematizes the sense of wallowing in fantasy, since being stuck in art is a theme, both in this film with its endless, trance-like choruses, and in his work more generally. It’s this minor-key background note that lets “The Visitors” resonate as both out of time and of its time at once.

Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Visitor’s” (Artinfo Review)

“… Art is perceived through the senses first, and probably also second and third. Small details have profound sensible impacts, no matter how thoroughly an artwork is motivated by concepts or plans. And though we may not always be drawn in by quiet artworks on silent walls, we cannot have lost our human capacity to be moved. If Freud suggested a structure to consciousness, he also offered a model for its depth: much experience remains beneath our immediate awareness. The entire complex of “feeling”—materiality, sensation, affect, sensibility—is inevitably percolating in our experience (as are thoughts), so we needn’t worry, or even wonder, about whether words will win. 

The question is: do we dare to acknowledge that realm beyond thought, to explore that unmoored ocean of the senses? If we focus too strongly on critical angles or sensationalism, we may miss opportunities to dive more deeply into reality.”

Karen Schiff (Brooklyn Rail article)


How does this practice reflect current educational and learning theory research?
Current research and theory supports this use of artistic practice as a framework for learning in its emphasis on giving the learner choice and control, using the learner’s experience and prior knowledge, and seeking ways to motivate learners by offering much more open-ended, task-oriented activities. Here, one of the key benefits of using artistic practice as framework for learning is that as a student collects or documents, for example, the practice itself provides fairly immediate feedback. This quick response to practice is a core characteristic of effective “flow” experiences—optimal learning experiences as noted by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly—and is vital as it leads to learners shifting from being extrinsically to intrinsically motivated to learn. It is also central to developing mastery over performance. This notion of built-in feedback is also primary to constructivist learning theory. For example, Vygotsky’s influential theory of learning as a socially? mediated process of “scaffolding,” where learning is fundamentally constructed and based in interaction, is central to the idea of using artistic practice as a framework for learning. As photographer Diane Arbus noted, “photography was a license to go wherever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do” and in the process use the camera to learn about the world around her and create her own interpretation and vision.

-The warhol (artistic practices as a framework for learning)

But what of the collaboration between science and the arts? Are we really prepared to live with a permanent cultural schism? If we are serious about unifying human knowledge, then we’ll need to create a new movement that coexists with the third culture but that deliberately trespasses on our cultural boundaries and seeks to create relationships between the arts and the sciences. The premise of this movement—perhaps a fourth culture—is that neither culture can exist by itself. Its goal will be to cultivate a positive feedback loop, in which works of art lead to new scientific experiments, which lead to new works of art and so on. Instead of ignoring each other, or competing, or co-opting each other in naïve or superficial ways, science and the arts will truly impact each other. The old intellectual boundaries will disappear. Neuroscience will gain new tools with which to confront the mystery of consciousness and modern physics will improve its metaphors. Art will become a crucial source of scientific ideas…At the same time, the sciences must recognize that their truths are not the only truths. No single area of knowledge has a monopoly on knowledge. As Karl Popper, an eminent defender of science wrote, “It is imperative that we give up the idea of ultimate sources of knowledge, and admit that all knowledge is human; that it is mixed with our errors, our prejudices, our dreams, and our hopes; that all we can do is to grope for truth even though it is beyond our reach.” The struggle for scientific truth is long and hard and never ending. If we want to get an answer to our deepest questions—the questions of who we are and what everything is—we will need to draw from both science and art, so that each completes the other.

-Jonah Lehrer (Seed magazine article)

In August of 2001, just months after earning a B.F.A. in painting from RISD, Adam Marnie moved from Providence to Brooklyn. He had grown up in a small town outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was 23 years old. For the next several years, like many young artists, he supported himself with a string of odd jobs: carpentry, art handling, artist’s assistant. Often he didn’t have a studio. His practice suffered and his debts mounted. As he moved from one cheap living situation to the next, he felt increasingly isolated. “Many friends didn’t even know I was an artist,” he told me last winter. Toward the end of 2008, forced to vacate yet another studio, Marnie photographed the work he had on hand and decided to apply to M.F.A. programs. Now 30, he’d been toying with the idea for a while, weighing its cost and his reluctance to become a student again against the frustrations of more of the same. The painter Amy Sillman was instrumental in his decision to focus on Bard, in Annandale-on-Hudson, a few hours north of the city. The two had met by chance at a café in Williamsburg. “Adam was with a friend of mine,” remembers Sillman, who has co-chaired Bard’s M.F.A. painting department since 2002. “He had his hood up and seemed kind of remote. I couldn’t tell whether he was a hoodlum or one of those haunted hipsters you see with skateboards on Bedford Avenue. But my instinct was that he was a good guy.” Sillman wrote Marnie a recommendation for Bard, and he was accepted.

-Bard MFA Program (Brooklyn Rail article)