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16:30 MAD/AMS

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Let`s assume we never talked about this: It is just the virtual history of a file.

22:40 MAD/AMS


Third Post

Questions - The Open Ended Nature of Important Things.

The importance of language pops out in unexpected places. While trasnlating some educational material from Spanish to English, one section caughts my attention: “Questions and comments to inspire you and start changing your outlook.” 

It applies to adults as much as it does to children (guess that proves we are not that different when it comes to self-development and self-esteem). It encourages open questions stripped from assumptions: instead of asking: Wow, is that a robot? ask instead: Wow, what is that? Without assumptions there is space to explain our own thinking. Commenting without changing the direction of the proposals allows to understand a line of thought. 

It instructs the parents to let children to face the problem when something is not working in order to turn it into an oppotuniry to analize the causes of the problem and think about solutions. As adults we are constantly running from our own problems, aren’t we? We act out, we repress, we shift blame or tune out with a drink or netflix. We refuse to be nailed down by reality, facing the fear of having an existencial question without a conceptual answer. 

According to the material, open ended questions and comments open up curiosity, that is why parents should only comment on what they observe not what they think they know, even if they are quite sure that they do know. The instructions tell the parents to only give clues to generate ideas.

Doesn’t it sound like the work that artists should do? Is art educational material instructing us in politics, nature, gender, history, race, emotions, feelings, metaphysics, community and the richness of the human experience?

When translating the material, I was reminded of Jerry’s Saltz article “Twenty-points on how I was wrong about everything in this election cycle (and one quote from Julian Schnabel)” specifically the part where he laments about his believing HE WAS CERTAIN, he just KNEW who was going to win the elections, he KNEW demographics favoured his candidate, he was CERTAIN his country was not prepared for a progressive candidate. He missed the chance to change the system because he broke “art’s credo of paradox” and voted against the impossible and failed to free his imagination. Instead he went with what he KNEW.

And then he accepts... He knows nothings, none knows anything. We failed to observe what is around us and investigate the experience because we think we know. 

Ask open questions, make open comments... children educational materials might very well work as art guides. Trust me, they read like if they were written by good artists just in simple language.

BTW, here is the quote from Julian Schnabel:

“What’s interesting about making art is that you take everything you know about it and you bring it up to that point, and you start making a physical thing that addresses what that is … It’s about not knowing, feeling your way through something, then seeing if it comes out…. But while you’re doing it, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing… Still, you kind of come up to the mound ready to pitch that thing…” 

15:15 MAD/AMS