Visual Knowing :•”Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

Seth Godin

I am thinking about the role that studio practice plays in the conduct of academic research. Back to the text Art Practice as Research

In Chapter 5 of Art Practice as Research, Graeme Sullivan writes;
Maxine Greene says that art can’t change things, but it can change people, who can change things. She talks of the imagination as the place where the possible can happen, a place of “resisting fixities, seeking the openings,” where “we relish incompleteness, because that signifies that something still lies ahead” (2003, pp.22-23). The promise of change that comes from the imagination takes shape in the things we create, through what we make and experience, or from what we come to see and know through the experience of someone else. Using the visual arts to turn questions into understanding that give rise to more questions not only describes and aesthetic process of self-realization, but it also describes a process of research. If we believe that the outcome of inquiry is the creation of new knowledge, this means that knowing, or the capacity to use our understanding in new ways, will always be incomplete. Although this sense of unknowing propels the imagination there is always and element of completion as our new knowledge helps us understand things we did not know before. (p. 121)

It is also perhaps relevant to be reminded that Albert Einstein once famously said that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” He also said that, “The most beautiful things we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true arts and science.” And Gerhard Richter is quoted as having said, (Art)”presents itself as the Unmanageable, the Illogical, the Meaningless. It demonstrates the endless multiplicity of aspects; it takes away our certainty, because it deprives a thing of its meaning and its name. It shows us the thing in all the manifold significance and infinite variety that preclude the emergence of any single meaning and view”.

Hum, seems difficult imagine how one might intelligently argue that research could exist without visual art. And the last word here goes to, Mae Jemison (astronaut, doctor and dancer);

1 Comment

  1. Love the ‘if you are willing…’ quote, mostly because I first read ‘if you are WILDING…’ and that seemed even better, even closer to the wild drive behind the artist and the art 🙂

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