Good Job Today!

Posted: February 28, 2019 in Uncategorized

Here are some thoughts I shared with one class member after today’s session. I hope these remarks will be helpful to that person and everyone else. I will admit that this assignment is indeed challenging. But I hope to offer you all a positive challenge, one ultimately leading to discovery and a new sense of self-confidence. Please feel free to consult with me as we continue working together toward that goal.

Good to see you today. I sensed you were a bit frustrated and worried during our conversation. Let me reassure you that your group in now in a good place. Here’s a simple statement of your thesis, one I think will make sense to you.

Art provides technological development with a necessary check or control, reminding us that innovation is not an intrinsic good or end until itself, but that it should always respond to human nature and genuine human needs.

Your claims would then outline either three different reasons this might be necessary, or three different ways art could perform this necessary function. That should be a very manageable task if shared equally amongst your group members.

Further, this thesis quickly brings to mind a sensible counter-argument. Recall that Greenberg argues that the whole point of the avant-garde is not necessarily to produce anything of permanent value so much as it is simply to ‘keep culture moving’. He seems to suggest that if we just avoid stagnation everything will work out in the end. You’d want to respond to this objection by arguing that innovation, left to its own devices, may well lead to an even bigger mess. Instead, innovation, as stated in your thesis, ought always to use art as way of checking in with what universal and unchanging humans needs technology actually meets. In a way, you’d really just be making an important distinction between mere uncontrolled ‘growth’ and genuinely ‘development’.

I hope these remarks will be sensible and helpful to you. Please feel free to consult with me if you need further clarification or direction.

Best to you,

Brian K.

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