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AACORN  April 2016

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Subject:

Re: Harsh critics of embodied leadership?

From:

Birgit Ramsauer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Birgit Ramsauer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 19 Apr 2016 05:21:58 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (291 lines)

Dear Colleagues,
Reading through all those great discussions I wanted to come back to several points:
I certainly believe there is a difference of people to buy art and collect and those who join in to hear, see, enjoy and live with art.
Since quite a long time the art buyers market has disconnected from the producers and performers.
A market is a market is a market...... And the product does not matter. But this is known for a long time anyway and to You especially. There are black sheeps as well on the producers side......

But the substance of the arts, the rest from daily need, the openess for fresh air, the unbound senselessness, even it refers to time and reason of production quite often.
There are great exampkes like it was in Stalingrad (Schostakovisch's Symphony) and in Sarajewo during the war the only solidation for people to survive in their human resources and stay alive for a new beginning.
So from there I certainly believe the arts survival kit is a magic one, which is the root to culture.....

So I certainly agree that art is right now on its way to be used as a suvival kit and a blanket statement. But better than be excluded.....
And as well I believe the artists in their positions near to menagement and business can creat infections towards the arts in a long term effect.
And education in all terms is going to held up. The new rich in USA and Russia for example are going to a stupididness standard, they don't need to ignore in any case the arts anymore because they don't know anything about it at all...... 
Truly with You all
Birgit



Birgit Ramsauer
Hornstrasse 4
10963 Berlin, Germany
[log in to unmask]
Www.BirgitRamsauer.net
And 
210 Thompson street # 5DS, 
NY NY 10012, USA


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Ariane Berthoin Antal <[log in to unmask]>
An: AACORN <[log in to unmask]>
Verschickt: Tue, Apr 19, 2016 10:23 AM
Betreff: Re: Harsh critics of embodied leadership?


Dear colleagues from arts, academia and consulting,
the quality of the questioning in this series of emails is refreshing!
While all the claims for the positive effects of arts can be inspiring and
there is certainly some truth to them in some cases, the effect of the
blanket statements creates problematic expectations in an economic (and
social & political) context accustomed to instrumentality and quick fixes.
The research needed to address these questions takes time to conduct, and
can be difficult to publish because it is not quite as flashy as the
claims.
with all due respect and curiosity, i remain,
ariane
> Dear Arlene,
>
> Perhaps I should read The Culture of Possibility. Even so, as a social
> scientist, I find myself questioning several points in the paragraph you
> posted here.
>
> The first issue is the nature of a common culture. Many years ago, I found
> myself fascinated by Esperanto and the notion that a common language would
> enable us all to speak with one another. It did not occur to me that many
> of the most harsh and enduring conflicts in history involve civil wars
> among groups that speak the same language, and in some cases, even revere
> the same founding documents and the same ancestors. Do we have a common
> culture that we can heal?
>
> The second issue is demonstrating that art can, indeed, heal the capacity
> for self-knowledge, empathy, imagination, and social creativity. While
> there is clear evidence that art sometimes has this effect for some
> individuals, there is no evidence of how this can be done in any
> predictable way.
>
> From this inability to demonstrate a predictable link between art of any
> kind and these desirable and excellent effects, this leads to a third
> issue. What, specifically, is the specific antidote?
>
> How do we specifically prescribe the antidote of “deep engagement with art
> that awakens encounters and nourishes awareness and compassion” for
> individual human beings? I’m not saying that this must work positively in
> all human beings, without side effects. There is no medical antidote that
> does this. But I do say that the paragraph you posted confuses desirable
> outcomes with predictable antidotes.
>
> To ask serious questions is not to be a reductionist. And with reference
> to the next post from Michael Gold, I’m no more a Cartesian than Clifford
> Geertz, Martha Nussbaum, or Michael Polanyi. I’m asking how art functions
> to “awaken encounters and nourish awareness and compassion.” Clearly this
> is not true of all art. So what kind of art does this and how does it
> work? What is it that generates a deep engagement with this kind of art?
> How does this deep engagement function?
>
> It should be clear from the fact that I participate in AACORN that these
> questions interest me in a serious way, not a reductivist way. For that
> matter, I have been a working artist — I am not sure how I would classify
> myself these days, but I still work with many of the ideas and forms that
> I worked with when I was comfortable calling myself an artist. I asked
> many of the questions you ask — but I no longer feel as comfortable as I
> might once have done with the answers that you state in this paragraph
> quoted from The Culture of Possibility.
>
> For that matter, it’s my view that Leon Botstein’s argument is hardly a
> straw man. This is someone as deeply engaged in the embodied enactment of
> an art as anyone I can think of — it just might be that he sees things
> differently than you or others do.
>
> As for myself, I really was speaking to the points in the discussion. I
> have considered the questions deeply. The more I understand about the
> complex layers of human action in cultural context, the more puzzled I
> become. The idea of art as a “specific antidote” for all of the seven and
> a half billion people in the world today seems improbable. Which people?
> Which cultures? What art? How does one apply the antidote? How does it
> work?
>
> One challenge in research involving art is to distinguish between
> aspirations and goals and the question of whether a work meets the goals
> or aspirations that an artist claims for the work.
>
> It is not reductionist to ask, “Is this true? Does this happen?”
>
> Yours,
>
> Ken
>
>
>> On 2016Apr18, at 17:26, Arlene Goldbard <[log in to unmask]
>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>>
>> Precisely, Prem, to the message following this.
>>
>> Again, Ken, you’re insisting on a reductive idea of what it means to
>> interact with art, or even what art is, then attempting to use it to
>> refute a very different claim. I’ll quote briefly from The Culture of
>> Possibility
>> <http://arlenegoldbard.com/essays/books/two-new-books-by-arlene-goldbard/>:
>>
>> Any antidote to this malady, to the plague of greed and indifference
>> that has had such profound and distorting impacts of our common
>> culture, must turn on art, because to heal our economy and its broken
>> stewards, we must heal our capacity for self-knowledge, empathy,
>> imagination, and social creativity. I’m not attributing magical powers
>> to
>> art, or suggesting that any art experienced in any way will do the
>> trick.
>> If that were true, just being an artist would provide inoculation
>> against
>> such distortions, and there would be no hungry ghosts among art stars
>> and celebrities. The antidote is specific: deep engagement with art that
>> awakens, encounters, and nourishes awareness and compassion.
>>
>> Leon Botstein made your same argument at a Brown University symposium on
>> Music & Civil Society
>> <http://archive.communitymusicworks.org/images/SymphonyInTheMaking_AGoldbard.pdf>
>> I was commissioned to write about a few years ago. Similarly, he
>> attacked a straw man. No one had asserted that music was intrinsically
>> civilizing, so Botstein’s argument (which consisted entirely of saying
>> the Nazis loved music) similarly failed to speak to the points actually
>> being made.
>>
>> all best,
>>
>> Arlene
>>> On Apr 18, 2016, at 5:51 AM, Ken Friedman
>>> <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi, Arlene,
>>>
>>> While no one on this list seems to claim that involvement with the arts
>>> as a patron or
>>> connoisseur enhances virtue, this claim is not unknown in corporate
>>> leadership circles:
>>> F.ex., Philip Morris's many-year art sponsor program, "It takes art to
>>> make a company great."
>>>
>>> But it is not clear to me that practicing the arts creates virtuous
>>> leaders either -- or even effective leaders. If this were the case,
>>> then art departments, music departments, theater departments, etc.,
>>> should be better places to work than the departments of other
>>> disciplines, but they are not. And artist-managed organizations should
>>> have effective and humane leaders to a far greater degree than they do.
>>>
>>> Pablo Picasso was one of the definitive artists of the modern era. His
>>> artistry was so far above that of even other masters that one may as
>>> well call him a magician. In contrast, he was hardly a virtuous person.
>>>
>>> Leadership and virtue seem to me utterly independent of artistry.
>>> Relatively few great artists prefer to have it said on their tombstones
>>> simply that they were citizens of their homeland who fought in the
>>> greatest battle of their time. Aeschylus's epitaph commemorates his
>>> Athenian citizenship and his service in the Athenian victory at
>>> Marathon. It makes no mention of his thirteen first-place victories in
>>> the city Dionysia festival, a record surpassed only by Sophocles.
>>>
>>> In a sense, this mixes apples and oranges. Similarly, we mix fruit if
>>> we imagine that embodied engagement in any art makes us better leaders.
>>> Any engagement that deepens the reflective sensibilities of a mindful
>>> person can enable better leadership. One can far more often meet
>>> artists like Richard Wagner ... Obsessively embodied in their art, but
>>> otherwise deficient in the qualities of mind and soul. And while I've
>>> met few artists who match the grandeur of Wagner's art, I have met
>>> several that match his sense of self-worth, and the towering conviction
>>> that he and he alone is the artist of our age.
>>>
>>> There is - and there must be - more than the embodied practice of an
>>> art to create embodied leadership.
>>>
>>> Ken
>>>
>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>
>>> On 17 Apr 2016, at 22:35, Arlene Goldbard <[log in to unmask]
>>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Yes, it’s ridiculously simplistic to make such claims for mere
>>>> exposure to or possession of art objects, let alone the art world. But
>>>> it’s quite another thing to say that art-making and other such
>>>> interactive, embodied practices can increase awareness of the
>>>> importance of bringing all dimensions of the human subject into
>>>> leadership (or for that matter, participation in any social
>>>> enterprise).
>>>>
>>>> Speaking for my own work, the underlying idea is that direct
>>>> participation can expand awareness, and that can lead to an expansion
>>>> of empathy, and other capacities. There is much evidence for this, and
>>>> I’ve written quite a bit about it. I haven’t seen anyone on this list
>>>> making the point that it will make people good, which is the
>>>> hypothesis your listing of evil collectors seems to be refuting. I’d
>>>> like to think that embodiment (or art-collecting, or almost anything
>>>> else) leads to personal virtue, but sadly, there is no evidence for
>>>> it.
>>>>
>>>> all best,
>>>>
>>>> Arlene
>>>>
>>>>> On Apr 17, 2016, at 1:53 PM, Ken Friedman
>>>>> <[log in to unmask]
>>>>> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Friends,
>>>>>
>>>>> It seems to me problematic to say that art will change the way that
>>>>> people understand
>>>>> the embodiment of leadership. There is far too much evidence that
>>>>> powerful but evil
>>>>> leaders have been among the world's great collectors, connoisseurs,
>>>>> and patrons. You've
>>>>> got to wonder. Who it is that has made eight-figure paintings
>>>>> commonplace. Who it is that
>>>>> shifts money through art storage freeports? Why do so many people
>>>>> named in the Panama
>>>>> Papers have major art collections? What reason is there to believe
>>>>> that art makes today's
>>>>> leaders any better than art made the Borgias, the slaveholding
>>>>> aristocrats of the Americas
>>>>> (North or South), or the Elector Princes of the Holy Roman Empire?
>>>>>
>>>>> As someone who has been an artist and observed the art world at first
>>>>> hand, it's a
>>>>> reasonable question. I'm just saying, is all.
>>>>>
>>>>> Ken Friedman
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>>>
>>
>> ___________________________________________________
>> “Racism is worse than idolatry. Racism is Satanism, unmitigated
>> evil. Few of us seem to realize how insidious, how radical, how
>> universal an evil racism is. Few of us realize that racism is man’s
>> gravest threat to man, the maximum of hatred for a minimum of
>> reason, the maximum of cruelty for a minimum of thinking.”
>>
>> 						Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel
>> ___________________________________________________
>> Read about <http://tinyurl.com/2newbooksbyAG>: The Culture of
>> Possibility: Art, Artists &
>> The Future and The Wave!
>> __________________________________________________
>>   Arlene Goldbard • www.arlenegoldbard.com
>> <http://www.arlenegoldbard.com/> • 415-690-9992
>>   Chief Policy Wonk, U.S Department of Arts and Culture
>> <http://usdac.us/>
>> 			2015 Purpose Prize Fellow
>> <http://encore.org/purpose-prize/arlene-goldbard>
>
>
--
Prof. Dr. Ariane Berthoin Antal
Research Group "Science Policy Studies"
WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Reichpietschufer 50
10785 Berlin, Germany
http://www.wzb.eu/en/persons/ariane-berthoin-antal
Blog: www.culturalsourcesofnewness.net
Research program:
http://www.wzb.eu/de/forschung/gesellschaft-und-wirtschaftliche-dynamik/wissenschaftspolitik/projekte/kuenstlerische-interventionen

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