-If the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been. And so life is reckoned as nothing. Habitualization devours work, clothes, furniture, one’s wife, and the fear of war. “If the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been.” And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects “unfamiliar,” to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object: the object is not important…
Page 2: Art as Technique
-It is for this reason that all societies have battled with the incorrigible disturber of the peace—the artist. I doubt that future societies will get on with him any better. The entire purpose of society is to create a bulwark against the inner and the outer chaos, in order to make life bearable and to keep the human race alive. And it is absolutely inevitable that when a tradition has been evolved, whatever the tradition is, the people, in general, will suppose it to have existed from before the beginning of time and will be most unwilling and indeed unable to conceive of any changes in it. They do not know how they will live without those traditions that have given them their identity. Their reaction, when it is suggested that they can or that they must, is panic. And we see this panic, I think, everywhere in the world today, from the streets of New Orleans to the grisly battleground of Algeria. And a higher level of consciousness among the people is the only hope we have, now or in the future, of minimizing human damage.
-A society must assume that it is stable, but the artist must know, and he must let us know, that there is nothing stable under heaven. One cannot possibly build a school, teach a child, or drive a car without taking some things for granted. The artist cannot and must not take anything for granted, but must drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question the answer hides.
James Baldwin: The Creative Process
The scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men’s thinking.
Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding. The books of an older period will not fit this.
The American Scholar
-When I visited Kenya for the first time, as part of the U.N. Decade for Women with many women from the University of Utah, I heard the stories of women in India who, when faced with the cutting down of the forests adjacent to their homes by an international timber company, made the decision together that one woman would wrap herself around the trunk of one tree. “They would have to cut into our own bodies before they would cut into the bark of our trees,” they said. When asked why, they replied simply, “Because the trees are our flesh and our children’s flesh. The roots of our trees hold the soil in place. Their leaves shade our water. Their health is the health of our village.” (This is where the term, “tree huggers” came from. It came to be known as the Chipko Movement and the trees were saved).
-The open space of democracy provides justice for all living things and extends our notion of community to include plants, animals, rocks, and rivers, as well as human beings. It is a landscape that encourages diversity and discourages conformity.
Terry Tempest Williams: “The Open Space of Democracy”
-Deregulation, privatization, rapid industrialization, and urbanization have also accelerated climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and the mass extinction of species.
Why Democracy Needs Arts and Culture
The above quotes fit with the key terms of awareness, sustainability, and education. Taken from a sampling of readings from this past semester, these terms and quotes are important in starting an exploration of Solar Fest. Solar Fest does something, by raising awareness for the environment through music, vendors, and activities. What are people doing every day? How does it impact the earths systems around us? Why don’t we make more changes? What is holding us back? There are many answers to all of these questions, but no matter what, people need to take the time to learn and to care about what is going on around them.