Tuesday, January 24, 2017


I really liked the line "the poet has to imagine visually both what his actor sees and what he thinks he sees, what he dreams, what he remembers, what he sees represented, or what is told to him, just as he has to imagine the visual content of the metaphors he uses to facilitate this process of visual evocation." According to the author, Dante is trying to define the role of imagination. This really struck me because while I've often appreciated the value of imagination and the importance of using imagination, I've never considered the specific role/ purpose of imagination. One thing I am sure of is that children use their imagination much more than do adults, but it is entirely false to say that imagination is less vital to adults. I think that one of the ways adults lose their dreams, passions, goals, personalities and happiness is if they lose their imagination. When we say that someone is a child at heart we mean that he or she is whimsical and full of life and love. Whimsy and imagination go hand in hand. It is easy to love the world and love life if you still believe that you can shape the world. Artists are by definition creative because they are imaginative, much in the same way as writers and engineers. Both types of adults still believe that they can shape the world. It is because they believe they can shape the world, that they do. They use imagination and they contribute to the world. I believe that this is the role of imagination, to love life and thus build upon it. The writer the artist and the engineer are examples of the two types of imaginative process. The theory that science and art are related and that the greatest in each field will share characteristics with the other is supported on page 88 where it states that imagination can be a phase that scientists need in order to form hypotheses. It then says that there are contradicting ideas and opposing thoughts about this concept. However, I believe that hypotheses are the perfect example of imagination and creativity being used in a concrete way to bring about change and encourage learning.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jerry Saltz writes, "Art is an energy source that helps make change possible; it sees things in clusters and constellations rather than rigid systems." Art is a way of interpreting the world and making sense of your surroundings. Art is "a medium or matrix through which one sees the world." Like Psychology and Philosophy, Art explains how the world works according to the artist. Sometimes an artist gets lucky and stumbles upon a great idea, just like a scientist or a philosopher. Art is appreciated when the way that the artist explains or depicts something about the natural world resonates with others. In this way art is more than just a hobby or a quirky talent. Additionally, we all have the ability to be artists, just like we can be philosophers. You don't need to have a steady hand to be an artist, you can be an artist even if you are blind. To be an artist is just to express an emotion or depict a phenomenon in an honest way. For this reason, "Art is not optional; it is necessary." For centuries people have tried to make sense of the natural world and find meaning in it. As humans, we look for explanations. Science, or what was once considered science, has shaped society and evolved throughout the decades. Art is no different. Art has been a part of life for as long as science. Art is expression of what we now as our personal truths and what we observe firsthand about the world and people. As Saltz writes, "Art is about experience; it's "I experience, therefore I am'." Saltz quotes Oscar Wilde's remark, "The moment you think you understand a work of art it's dead for you." In this way Saltz conveys that art is not necessarily a puzzle or a math problem to be solved. There is no "correct" answer. Art is about finding meaning and making meaning. To observe art is to find your own meaning in it or completely disagree with the meaning the artist found because you have your own ideas and interpretations. However, by disagreeing you may just be misinterpreting. The point is that you cannot assume that you have taken everything there is to absorb from a piece of art. Saltz summarizes this writing, "Art is a region where protocols are invented or suspended and things one doesn't understand change one's life."