The Education of an Artist

The New York Times just posted an editorial titled “The End of the University as We Know It, ” by Mark Taylor.  It is a proposal & reexamination of the University’s relationship to society. It is full of damning criticisms and bold solutions. He criticizes the financial structures, the tenure system, curriculum and specialization. Mark goes on to outline 6 steps to make higher learning “more agile, adaptive and imaginative” … and I would add practical. I don’t want this post to be about agreeing or disagreeing with him, but rather to simply highlight this important conversation.
Additionally, all this talk of education has me thinking more specifically about Graduate Art Education (my personal opinion). I just found an old notebook from Grad School (University of Washington) and felt moved to share a few of my notes here. (I should credit Denzil Hurley as my mentor during this period). The notes are rambling and not “objective” … but they share my own values and clearly reflect a particular point of view about this stage of development:
-    Be self driven
-    Apprentice with another artist
-    Expand choices & give yourself permission
-    Sorting out the parts of one’s activity can become the representation
-    Isolate and Expand
-    What’s NOT there is very important
-    Consciousness leads to differentiation
-    Examine habits of process in relationship to one’s questions (cravings)
-    Develop ability – Challenge ability … and then sort out deployment
-    Mode of presentation/conveyance generates meaning
-    Show how dealing with “influence” … lay it out!
-    Looking for the “truth” exclusively might cause you to construct something else.
-    Look unlabored!
-    Good stuff doesn’t age
-    Reduction is worthless if the result doesn’t “expand” (cause other things)
-    Much of contemporary art is over determined by idea … how can the work be kept open?

also by Chris Jagers

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10 responses to “The Education of an Artist”

  1. Titus, I agree that the art world is jaded and overstimulated — which is one reason why Eliasson’s work is so successful. More on solo shows I have hated (and loved) soon.

  2. What’s great about some art is that it can support so many differing opinions.
    Morandi: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2008/09/22/080922craw_artworld_schjeldahl
    And this guy cracks me up: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7662627.stm

  3. I sometimes question the relationship between fish sticks and humans.

  4. Not me. I think we’re totally alike.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_9yqV-mpGM

    …and as I’ve said before, I like that in a man.

  6. I hope that parka helped,Titus. These past couple of days …I thought about you. Maybe your ears were warm.

  7. but I’m glad I got it cheap on eBay. It was unexpectedly short, and mysteriously, my left arm gets cold at 10 degrees and below (and no, I’m not having a heart attack). Shouldn’t a $300 parka keep both your arms warm? It’s been 20 degrees plus the last couple days – a heat wave!

  8. Did you read some user reviews of that parka before you bought it? Yes, $300 should keep you warm. How much to want for it? I need a parka.

  9. What do you mean by “To look unlabored!”?

  10. I guess I meant getting straight to the fact, where all embellishment falls away.

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