Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Unit 1: Bootcamp

The introduction got off to a slow start for me but as I planned my time more wisely I got right away. Neil Gaiman's motivational talk at the beginning of the module was perhaps the best way to start off any course in my eyes, he really opened my mind to what I already knew, but re-jogged my mind to remember to actually enjoy my life, ask questions and think about what I want to do more.

Opening the social networks accounts was not too much hassle for me as I am already a member of all of them apart from Flikr, which I chose not to join because it is not something I will use other than with this course if it tells me to, and I do not like to have an online presence on a site that I will not use.

In the President of Bard College Leon Botstein's video 'What is Art' he defines it as being human, something that "requires human intervention" as humans invented the term art and are also the only ones who actually use it in this way. Art is "something that goes beyond the thoughtless", he specifies that in art we use things that are completely nowmal in our world and then transform them using unrelism so we wil add things that can only happen in our imagination to the perfectly noemal thing creating something that is not normal and in some of the best cases is not even possible. When something is done in this way it makes people want to stop and ponder on it, this is art.
According to Botstein the idea of art being human comes is from an ancient Greek understanding that just like love, art can only be experienced and enjoyed by mortals who otherwise have limitations due to what is 'possible' in the real world and what is only allowed to happen in our imaginations; the mind is somehow rather limitless in comparison to our world despite it being totally influenced by things we have seen and experienced before. A perfect example of this being that we often add a human character to things in our imagination and if we sat and tried to imagine an alien creature that we have never seen before it would be made up of things we have seen on other creatures and object in our lifetime. Our mind has a very limited ability to invent things from scratch, which is another reason why the Greeks believed that the gods did not create art while we created art about them, the possibilities to create in their world was not limited like in the human world. Our minds are restricted by our knowledge at the time.
Leon Botstein also takes note that in music we create a grammar that we like to follow, our minds totally follow these artificial limitations that we as humans set upon music and so it seems quite natural to follow these rythms, anbd it is the same in modern media, inluding TV as there are now ways we are taught to do things, and it is therefore natiural not tho think outside the box.