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Chaos & Complex Systems Seminar
What is art? Arts Immersion five-year report
Date: Tuesday, November 26th
Time: 12:05 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Russell Gardner, Jr., Medical College of Wisconsin
Abstract: For five years, a group called Arts Immersion (AIm) met monthly in a variety of venues to discuss questions involving art: What is art broadly speaking, in all its form? How does it relate to other forms of creative activity? How do various forms interact, intertwine, transmute? Why do people do art? Who are participants under what personal and social circumstances? What about art careers? How do people begin and continue? What is good art? How does audience come into play? What are non-art works and non-artists? How does art relate to spirituality and religion?<br>
The coordinator had a career involving facets of academia, psychiatry and think tank problem exploration, and left a salaried position to move to Madison and do art full-time, at first mostly visual art and now mostly writing. Along the way he also found himself pondering the issues raised by this prevalent human activity, issues not addressed in other available forums in an exploratory open-minded fashion. Eventually spin-off smaller groups selectively explore more focused areas, such as religion, spirituality and art by concentratedly reviewing relevant books, or a writing support group.<br>
The following represent his conclusions that were not arrived at via group problem solving, but rather represent my individual thinking and conclusions.<br>
1. Art stems from a person's creativity that may take a myriad of forms from cooking to crafts to high end visual art featured in museums to music to architecture, landscape design to evanescent re-arrangement of natural settings and going to extremes of composing by oneself, participating in jam sessions, performing, listening. Calling it art versus creative expression depends on cultural endorsement and group definition.<br>
2. Audience-involvement counts as even listening, watching, reading, or hearing fragments of productions on the radio or television.<br>
3. &quot;Significance experiences&quot; that characterize the lives of saints or religious figures also pervade the histories of artists and creative scientists. Knowing about the behavior of patients or historical figures with temporal lobe seizures informs this discussion. This also relates to the &quot;pleasure&quot;; of doing art, and other reinforcing features.<br>
4. Ancillary features of art also shape, guide and motivate the artist(s) such as scholarly explorations, personal therapy, spiritual realizations, and missions such as amplifying nationalism in war-fever, religious fervor, quests for peace.
Host: Clint Sprott
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