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JournaloftheResearch
InstituteforIntegrated
BrainStudies
March 2005
Volume
1
IssueOne
2
L AY, P RO F E S S I O N A L , A N D S C H O L A R LY J O U R N A L
Exploring Pedagogical Issues
Volume One:
ATTENTION
Quotetoconsider:
“ PerhapsthesinglebiggestreasonforADDandADHDinAmerica
todayisboringteachers.”
ProfessorDanielCataneo,TheJuilliardSchool
Whatkindof teacherareyou? Howdoyoukeepstudents’
attention?
© Research Institute for Integrated Brain Studies
1590 Madison Avenue • Suite 3C
New York NY 10029
Phone 212.289.5561 • 402.342.4170 • Fax 402.731.7052
I
www.riibs.org www.jriibs.org
EndowmentsandResearchGrantsDesired!
If you would like to support research in the areas broadly covered by this Journal, you may establish an endowment that
awards grants for scholarship in an area of special interest to you. Your gift can help a needy scholar to continue his or her
research, deliver a paper, or travel to a scholarly conference and advance his or her work. To lend your name or that of a
loved one to special research, travel, or paper grant, contact RIIBS at the address listed above, or at our web address
www.jriibs.org. Some areas the Journal Editorial Board currently focuses on include:
• Education
• Development (Both childhood and adult)
• Brain Research
• Movement
• Somatic Education
• Standardized Testing
• Intelligence
• Spirituality, Philosophy, and Religion
• Creativity and Art
• Classics
• Culture
• Integrated Learning
• Ethics and Morality
• Music
• Discipline
• Communication, Psychology, and Neurology
• Qualitative and Quantitative Research
• Humor
I I
E D I T O R I A L B OA R D A N D S TA F F
E d i t o r i a l B o a r d :
P r o f e s s o r H a r r y W i n g f i e l d , P r o f e s s o r C h a r l e s J. Z a b r o w s k i , P r o f e s s o r R i ch a r d W h i t e, P r o f e s s o r
S u z a n n e B u r g oy n e, P r o f e s s o r K en n e t h W i s e, P r o f e s s o r W i l l i a m H u t s o n , D r. D ’ A n n J i m m a r,
P r o f e s s o r K a t h r y n T h o m a s, A d j u n c t - I n s t r u c t o r K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , M s. C l a r i n d a K a r p o v,
Re ve r e n d S k y S t . Jo h n , Re v e r e n d N a n c y B r i n k , M r s. K a t h r y n D o u g h e r t y - S u t h e r l a n d , M r s. G r e t ch e n
M a c C a l l u m .
S t a f f :
P u b l i s h e r : K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , BA , M A
E d i t o r : K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , BA , M A
I n t e r i m E d i t o r i a l A s s i s t a n t : M r s. R i k k i W i l l e r t o n
AC K N OW L E D G E M E N T S
S p e c i a l T h a n k s To : A l l w h o h a ve s u p p o r t e d t h e s e e f f o r t s, s o m e a n o n y m o u s l y a n d o t h e r s i n c l u d i n g :
M a r i l y n a n d We n d e l A n d e r s o n , K e y s t o n e D i e s, I n c. ; K a r e n a n d T i m o t hy A d k i n s ; K el v i n A n d e r s o n ;
Au b r e y N y e, Au b r e y N y e Pe r s o n a l C o m m u n i c a t i o n ; L i n d a Tr o u t , W. D a l e C l a r k O m a h a P u b l i c
L i b r a r y ; M a r y a n d B i l l A p p l e g a t e ; M r s. M a r y H e l e n E h r e s m a n ; M r s. Joy R a ch oy a n d Fa m i l y ; D a v i d
a n d N a n c y E h r e s m a n a n d Fa m i l y ; D i a m o n d D i e C o m p a n y ; Je r r y ’s Wa t e r p r o o f i n g ; A n d r e a M c K i n l e y ;
L a d y C a r o l i n e ’s B r i t i s h Te a S h o p ; Ja ck N e p p e r a n d Fa m i l y ; D e s i g n P l a s t i c s C o m p a n y ; V i c t o r i a
H a g g e ; S t u d e n t s a n d A p p r e n t i c e s o f K BA S t u d i o s, LT D ; Fr a t e r n a l O r d e r o f E a g l e s, A e r i e # 3 8 .
T H A N K S A L S O T O : A L E X B O I C E L ; A F R I C A M O N D O P RO D U C T I O N S ; RO B E R T M . A B R A M S O N
DA L C RO Z E I N S T I T U T E ; J O E - PAU L W I L L I A M S - S A N C H E Z , T H E D E L S A R T E P RO J E C T;
R I C H A R D, M A R L E N E , A N D E R I C M A I T L A N D ; C L A R I N DA K A R P OV; T H E P R I N C E T O N
R E V I E W S TA F F A N D T E AC H E R S — E S P E C I A L LY K E N D R A ; A N D A L L T H E S P O N S O R S,
E D I T O R S, A N D C O N T R I BU T O R S L I S T E D H E R E I N.
I I I
THE CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST. JAMES
INSPIRING VISION AWARD
ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST. JAMES, THIS
AWARD RECOGNIZES PERSONS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED IN SOME MEANINGFUL
WAY TOWARD RAISING THE LEVEL OF VISION AND INSPIRATION IN THE COMMUNITY.
CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST.JAMES WAS A HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE
BASKETBALL CHAMPION FROM SIOUX CITY, IOWA AND OMAHA, NEBRASKA. SHE
WENT ON IN HER LIFE TO BECOME A PROMOTER OF VARIOUS CAUSES, PEOPLE AND
ACTIVITIES IN HER COMMUNITIES. SHE PROMOTED AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE,
AMERICAN CULTURE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS, MUSIC,
FASHION, BEAUTY, CHILDREN, HARD WORK, DISCIPLINE, ART, AND, IN GENERAL, THE
SPECIAL POTENTIAL OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL SHE MET. SHE HAD AN INFECTIOUS
LAUGH, A SCREAM OF DELIGHT, AND AN UNPARALLELED GRACE AND APLOMB. SHE
WAS A 6’-4” WOMAN OF RARE BEAUTY WHO RELISHED ADORNMENT AND
UNIQUENESS. PERHAPS HER GREATEST CHARACTERISTIC WAS HER WILLINGNESS TO
BELIEVE IN THE EFFORTS OF THOSE AROUND HER. SHE COULD CREATE HER OWN
VISION OR PARTICIPATE IN THAT OF OTHERS; EITHER WAY, SHE NEVER STOPPED
WORKING. SHE NEVER SHIED AWAY FROM APPROACHING A PERSON OF FAME OR
ACCOMPLISHMENT. AS SHE MIGHT HAVE PUT IT, “THEY PUT THEIR PANTS ON ONE
LEG AT A TIME. I, HOWEVER, CAN ALSO WEAR A DRESS!” SHE GLORIED IN BEING A
WOMAN, LOVING CHILDREN, AND WORSHIPPING GOD.
We are now taking nominations for this award. Currently, it is a recognition-only award, with no financial
compensation. However, if you or someone you know would like to cosponsor the award, you can help
it become endowed with a financial award attached to it. An essay submission on the life and importance
of Conchita Johnson-Corbino-St. James and others of her quality is highly recommended for
consideration for this award.
I V

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Pasted Version journal 2005

  • 3. L AY, P RO F E S S I O N A L , A N D S C H O L A R LY J O U R N A L Exploring Pedagogical Issues Volume One: ATTENTION Quotetoconsider: “ PerhapsthesinglebiggestreasonforADDandADHDinAmerica todayisboringteachers.” ProfessorDanielCataneo,TheJuilliardSchool Whatkindof teacherareyou? Howdoyoukeepstudents’ attention? © Research Institute for Integrated Brain Studies 1590 Madison Avenue • Suite 3C New York NY 10029 Phone 212.289.5561 • 402.342.4170 • Fax 402.731.7052 I
  • 4. www.riibs.org www.jriibs.org EndowmentsandResearchGrantsDesired! If you would like to support research in the areas broadly covered by this Journal, you may establish an endowment that awards grants for scholarship in an area of special interest to you. Your gift can help a needy scholar to continue his or her research, deliver a paper, or travel to a scholarly conference and advance his or her work. To lend your name or that of a loved one to special research, travel, or paper grant, contact RIIBS at the address listed above, or at our web address www.jriibs.org. Some areas the Journal Editorial Board currently focuses on include: • Education • Development (Both childhood and adult) • Brain Research • Movement • Somatic Education • Standardized Testing • Intelligence • Spirituality, Philosophy, and Religion • Creativity and Art • Classics • Culture • Integrated Learning • Ethics and Morality • Music • Discipline • Communication, Psychology, and Neurology • Qualitative and Quantitative Research • Humor I I
  • 5. E D I T O R I A L B OA R D A N D S TA F F E d i t o r i a l B o a r d : P r o f e s s o r H a r r y W i n g f i e l d , P r o f e s s o r C h a r l e s J. Z a b r o w s k i , P r o f e s s o r R i ch a r d W h i t e, P r o f e s s o r S u z a n n e B u r g oy n e, P r o f e s s o r K en n e t h W i s e, P r o f e s s o r W i l l i a m H u t s o n , D r. D ’ A n n J i m m a r, P r o f e s s o r K a t h r y n T h o m a s, A d j u n c t - I n s t r u c t o r K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , M s. C l a r i n d a K a r p o v, Re ve r e n d S k y S t . Jo h n , Re v e r e n d N a n c y B r i n k , M r s. K a t h r y n D o u g h e r t y - S u t h e r l a n d , M r s. G r e t ch e n M a c C a l l u m . S t a f f : P u b l i s h e r : K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , BA , M A E d i t o r : K e n t o n B r u c e A n d e r s o n , BA , M A I n t e r i m E d i t o r i a l A s s i s t a n t : M r s. R i k k i W i l l e r t o n AC K N OW L E D G E M E N T S S p e c i a l T h a n k s To : A l l w h o h a ve s u p p o r t e d t h e s e e f f o r t s, s o m e a n o n y m o u s l y a n d o t h e r s i n c l u d i n g : M a r i l y n a n d We n d e l A n d e r s o n , K e y s t o n e D i e s, I n c. ; K a r e n a n d T i m o t hy A d k i n s ; K el v i n A n d e r s o n ; Au b r e y N y e, Au b r e y N y e Pe r s o n a l C o m m u n i c a t i o n ; L i n d a Tr o u t , W. D a l e C l a r k O m a h a P u b l i c L i b r a r y ; M a r y a n d B i l l A p p l e g a t e ; M r s. M a r y H e l e n E h r e s m a n ; M r s. Joy R a ch oy a n d Fa m i l y ; D a v i d a n d N a n c y E h r e s m a n a n d Fa m i l y ; D i a m o n d D i e C o m p a n y ; Je r r y ’s Wa t e r p r o o f i n g ; A n d r e a M c K i n l e y ; L a d y C a r o l i n e ’s B r i t i s h Te a S h o p ; Ja ck N e p p e r a n d Fa m i l y ; D e s i g n P l a s t i c s C o m p a n y ; V i c t o r i a H a g g e ; S t u d e n t s a n d A p p r e n t i c e s o f K BA S t u d i o s, LT D ; Fr a t e r n a l O r d e r o f E a g l e s, A e r i e # 3 8 . T H A N K S A L S O T O : A L E X B O I C E L ; A F R I C A M O N D O P RO D U C T I O N S ; RO B E R T M . A B R A M S O N DA L C RO Z E I N S T I T U T E ; J O E - PAU L W I L L I A M S - S A N C H E Z , T H E D E L S A R T E P RO J E C T; R I C H A R D, M A R L E N E , A N D E R I C M A I T L A N D ; C L A R I N DA K A R P OV; T H E P R I N C E T O N R E V I E W S TA F F A N D T E AC H E R S — E S P E C I A L LY K E N D R A ; A N D A L L T H E S P O N S O R S, E D I T O R S, A N D C O N T R I BU T O R S L I S T E D H E R E I N. I I I
  • 6. THE CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST. JAMES INSPIRING VISION AWARD ESTABLISHED IN MEMORY OF CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST. JAMES, THIS AWARD RECOGNIZES PERSONS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED IN SOME MEANINGFUL WAY TOWARD RAISING THE LEVEL OF VISION AND INSPIRATION IN THE COMMUNITY. CONCHITA JOHNSON-CORBINO-ST.JAMES WAS A HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPION FROM SIOUX CITY, IOWA AND OMAHA, NEBRASKA. SHE WENT ON IN HER LIFE TO BECOME A PROMOTER OF VARIOUS CAUSES, PEOPLE AND ACTIVITIES IN HER COMMUNITIES. SHE PROMOTED AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE, AMERICAN CULTURE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS, MUSIC, FASHION, BEAUTY, CHILDREN, HARD WORK, DISCIPLINE, ART, AND, IN GENERAL, THE SPECIAL POTENTIAL OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL SHE MET. SHE HAD AN INFECTIOUS LAUGH, A SCREAM OF DELIGHT, AND AN UNPARALLELED GRACE AND APLOMB. SHE WAS A 6’-4” WOMAN OF RARE BEAUTY WHO RELISHED ADORNMENT AND UNIQUENESS. PERHAPS HER GREATEST CHARACTERISTIC WAS HER WILLINGNESS TO BELIEVE IN THE EFFORTS OF THOSE AROUND HER. SHE COULD CREATE HER OWN VISION OR PARTICIPATE IN THAT OF OTHERS; EITHER WAY, SHE NEVER STOPPED WORKING. SHE NEVER SHIED AWAY FROM APPROACHING A PERSON OF FAME OR ACCOMPLISHMENT. AS SHE MIGHT HAVE PUT IT, “THEY PUT THEIR PANTS ON ONE LEG AT A TIME. I, HOWEVER, CAN ALSO WEAR A DRESS!” SHE GLORIED IN BEING A WOMAN, LOVING CHILDREN, AND WORSHIPPING GOD. We are now taking nominations for this award. Currently, it is a recognition-only award, with no financial compensation. However, if you or someone you know would like to cosponsor the award, you can help it become endowed with a financial award attached to it. An essay submission on the life and importance of Conchita Johnson-Corbino-St. James and others of her quality is highly recommended for consideration for this award. I V
  • 7. Table of Contents Introduction: Publisher’s Notes VIII Editor’s Thoughts IX C H A P T E R 1 The First Annual Creativity Symposium 2000 Elizabeth Eynon–Kokrda, J.D. 1 Aspiration, Failure, and Triumph: The Heracles Motif in Classical Myth And Modern Glass Art Professor Charles J. Zabrowski, Ph.D. 3 Classical Inferences in the Art of Leonard Baskin Professor Katherine Thomas, Ph.D. 19 The Art of Politics: Play, Power, and Myth Professor Kenneth Wise, Ph.D 26 Conflict and Art: The Importance of Conflict in Art, Education, and Life Professor William Hutson, Ph.D. 36 The Provocation of Art Professor Richard White, Ph.D. 40 C H A P T E R 2 Mary Helen Ehresman Creativity Symposium 2001 46 V
  • 8. Rediscovering the Ancient Art and Science of Rhythmic Brain Integration Adjunct Professor Kenton Bruce Anderson, M.A. 49 Ancient Greek Mousike and Modern Eurhythmics: The Educational Uses of Greek Mousike According to Plato and Aristotle Professor Charles J. Zabrowski, Ph.D. 55 Debriefing Theater Rehearsals: A Grounded Theory Study Professors Suzanne Burgoyne, Ph.D., Karen Poulin, Ph.D., and Christopher R. Hodson, Ph.D. 79 Reflections on the Scream: The Art of Francis Bacon Professor Richard White, Ph.D. 92 Finding Resources for Educating Gifted, Challenged Children in an Unenlightened Establishment Mrs. Kathryn Dougherty-Sutherland, B.A. 100 C H A P T E R 3 Mary Helen Ehresman Creativity Symposium 2002 108 The Somatic Techniques of Dalcroze Eurhythmics Adjunct-Professor Kenton Bruce Anderson, M.A. 111 Dalcroze Eurhythmics: Educating the Brain through Rhythm, Movement, and Musicality. Professor Robert M. Abramson, Ph.D. 116 Folktale Motifs in Herodotus: Historic Myths in Rhythmic Prose (Headless Thieves and Handy Reminders, Peppered With a Dash of Voyeur-ism Professor Charles J. Zabrowski, Ph.D. 123 The DEREPOP Idea: My Limitations and Obstacles Became My Educational Testimony Dr. D’Ann Jimmar, Ph.D. Emeritus 142 The Education of Love Professor Richard White, Ph.D. 148 Contributor Information 156 V I
  • 9. Publisher’s Thoughts: Professor Cataneo’s words in the frontispiece may be controversial, but their importance cannot be underscored enough. They serve here as the touchstone for an argument about who is responsible for the state of education in the United States today. Not everyone will agree with Professor Cataneo. Yet, in the true Socratic tradition, the greatest truth might come from the debate his remarks can inspire. Thus, Mrs. Sutherland writes in her article about the need for teachers and parents to coordinate their efforts in the classroom, with the individuality of each child being paramount. When I brought up these ideas in a recent conversation, teacher Shirley Perkins, P.S. 98, New York City--Inwood, mentioned that kids gravitate toward the stronger “beat” in the classroom. That could be the rhythmic “beat” of the teacher; but for highly disturbed, mainstreamed students, it may be that of their peers. Mary Guthrie, teacher at Elysian Charter School of Hoboken, NJ, also reminded me that disturbed or marginal students might be wonderful one- on-one, but in the classroom engage in “tempo wars” vis-à-vis their teacher or other students. Finally, teacher Francine Weinstein, Columbus Magnet Elementary School, New Rochelle, NY, pointed out that this rhythmic beat of the teacher is an important controlling element in the classroom, but one that students must become sensitized to. She suggested games such as one in which students are told in a “gamelike” tone: “You have 10 counts to get into a standing circle—without touching or bumping each other.” One class of children required seven repetitions before they could achieve the circle successfully. Boys found the game especially challenging. (Professor Robert M. Abramson proposes that muscle development in boys and girls is distinct, with young boys tending toward grabbing and young girls tending toward releasing.) This first Volume of the Journal thus introduces several research themes of importance. In addition to Mrs. Sutherland’s parental perspective, Professors Zabrowski and Thomas give a sense of the ancient interconnectedness of education, the arts, musicality, and rhythm. Professor White explores the many ways art provokes us, while Professor Abramson and myself elaborate upon how that provocation originates in or is instilled in us at every age. This development is not a peaceful one, cautions Professor Hutson, as he explores the centrality of conflict in art and education. Professor Burgoyne introduces the often overlooked topic of ethics. With her DeRe-POP Idea, Dr. Jimmar emphasizes the importance of proposing practical solutions for classroom problems. Professor Kenneth Wise writes in this Journal about the importance of myth and group vision. I encourage you to present Professor Cataneo’s remarks (whether fact or myth) and the responses mentioned above to your own groups of visionaries as a way of encouraging a new framework V I I
  • 10. for discussing an ever-present problem—motivating under-motivated students. Editor’s Notes: This effort has been the dream of several people. Twenty years ago, Professor Charles J. Zabrowski (now of Gettysburg College) whose work is presented herein, first told me of his dream to establish a “school under the trees” in the manner called for by the ancient Greeks. His picture of the informal nature of optimal education stuck in my mind. Artist Mrs. DeLoris Bedrosky, widely respected artist and founder of the “Omaha School” of Midwestern art, imbued me with her love of all forms of art and a sense of their importance in education. My aunt, Mrs. Mary Helen Ehresman (sponsor herein), sensitized me to the belief that we can learn something from every person we meet—no matter how different he or she is from ourselves. My parents and family have been teachers for many generations and have imbued me with the profound respect for education as both a discipline and a calling. Professor Robert M. Abramson is responsible for the title having an integration message in it, since he has emphasized in my study with him the training and exploring of both hemispheres of the brain. Modern neurology also explores the ramifications of not just inter-hemispheric coordination, but also multipart cooperation, in which each region of the brain participates in every activity. Dr. D’Ann Jimmar and I spent a lovely evening developing the acronym RIIBS which reflects her delightful southern drawl. This Journal is largely the published papers and presentations from the first three annual Symposiums of the Research Institute for Integrated Brain Studies (RIIBS). The journey of this Journal began in 2000 at the W. Dale Clark Omaha Public Library through the cooperation of Mrs. Linda Trout and the library staff. It was a grass-roots effort to integrate not only findings on the brain, but also the voices of several strata of concerned people—laity, professionals/practitioners, and research scholars. The entries in this journal reflect the tenuous nature of those early presentations. (The first year we offered to transcribe the talks for the speakers—not realizing this would prove impractical.) So, while this early Journal may show the stretch marks of its laborious birth, I invite you to explore the important contributions of these laypersons, professional practitioners, and scholars, each of whom shared in the vision of bringing their findings to you, the final reader. All their voices come together in the agenda-setting, issue exploring, and fact- finding mission that we call the Journal of the Research Institute for Integrated Brain Studies. Enjoy! V I I I
  • 11. Creativity Symposium October 8, 2000 Elizabeth Eynon-Kokrda: I am Elizabeth Eynon-Kokrda, a long, complicated name, and I am primarily by day an attorney. I work for Baird-Holm, McEachen, Pedersen, Hamann & Strasheim here in Omaha. I have to say that it's precisely Kenton's creativity and abstract thinking that causes me to be here today for this symposium on creativity. It was just a few short months ago that I was walking through the Old Market, just kind of wandering along and saw that Kenton had this Chapter 1 A D J U N C T - P R O F E S S O R E L I Z A B E T H E Y N O N - K O K R D A , J . J . , E S Q . Attorney, Baird-Holm, McEachen,Pedersen, HamannandStrasheim, Omaha NE. I X
  • 12. sign outside his glassblowing studio that said, "Hot Glass Classes." As I said, you might think my creativity is pretty limited, and for the last couple years it has been. It's been limited to creativity in writing contracts, creativity in legal research; and perhaps not what we traditionally think of at least artistic. But I decided “what the heck, it's time for me to get kind of out there and try and do some things.” Of course, hot glass is beautiful and Kenton's work - which is upstairs and which I would encourage anybody that hasn't gone and looked at it to go see - is absolutely beautiful and stunning and so I thought, “why not take a class?” I signed up with Kenton. For those of you who know Kent, it's not as simple as signing up for a class and sitting down and doing one's class. Which kind of gets to the creativity and perhaps the right brained subject. I think that what I'm here for is because Kent inspires us, as art does, to draw inward on what's inside of ourselves to give an outward expression about what we're feeling and put that into our art. So Kent drew upon me and, sooner rather than later, we were talking about what I did for a living and how that applied. What was exciting was, I discovered that I had something to offer to Kent as well as Kent had to offer me. Therefore - and what my primary goal here today is – I want to talk a little bit about a Foundation that Kent is putting up. He hopes to bring, through the structure of both a scholarly and an educational facility, exploration of art to those whom he terms, "the creatively disenfranchised." My secret fear is he thinks I'm creatively disenfranchised. But notwithstanding that, I think it's a forum to explore the various creative resources that we have within ourselves. As an attorney, what I can bring to the effort is the various legal considerations necessary to walk him through putting up a foundation. So we found something that we can trade upon. But it is Kenton's enthusiasm for projects and his ability to pull people- such as yourselves and myself - together from different walks of life into this forum for this symposium (and its resultant journal publications which are planned to be an offshoot of the Foundation) that make me pleased to be a part of this project and pleased to open this particular event. I would like to encourage you to speak directly with Kenton about his Foundation, his plans, and how you can be involved. Those of you who are familiar with sitting on boards and putting up something new such as a Foundation know that seeking grants, seeking insight, looking to what the Foundation can be, what it can bring to the public, who that public is, and what those public needs are, takes more than one brain. Everybody here has probably the creativity and at least the interest to have some input to help us as we put together this Foundation. That being said, and that being my role, I want to tell you who will be here today. Today we will have speaking: first, Professor Charles Zabrowski, who is Chairman of the Department of Classics at X
  • 13. Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Dr. Kathryn Thomas, Associate Professor of Classics at Creighton University; Dr. Richard White, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Creighton; Dr. Kenneth Wise, Associate Professor and Acting Chair of the Department of Political Science at Creighton; and Dr. William Hutson, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre at Creighton University. Aspiration, Failure, and Triumph: The Heracles Motif in Classical Myth And Modern Glass Art Professor Charles J. Zabrowski: P R O F E S S O R C H A R L E S J . Z A B R O W S K I , P H . D . Chairman, Department of Classics, Gettysburg College X I
  • 14. [Given the difficulty for Professor Zabrowski of transcribing his Greek quotations into a standard document, JRIIBS agreed to accept his papers in the following pdf format.] X I I
  • 28. KentonBruceAnderson: I would like to now introduce to you Dr. Kathryn Thomas, who is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics at Creighton University. And she will be speaking today on - I hope I've got the title right - Inferences on the Art of Leonard Baskin. Thank you. InferencesontheArtofLeonardBaskin By Dr. Kathryn Thomas [Thefollowing transcribedpaperhasmanyunfinished edits,duetotheprolongedillnessofthe writer.] Thank you, Kent. The title isn't quite right, and that's my fault because I never e-mailed you back. I'm rather right brained! (laughter) I'm still suffering from the toxic fumes. But that's okay because once I received this (holds up program) if I had... I mean, I've been thinking about the paper quite a bit, but then I changed it completely because I said if this is part of a right-brain creativity project then we need to be right brained. And so I said what could be more right-brained than to give a talk about an artist and not have slides! (laughter) So, there are none. I will have to talk a little bit about some myths, so I hope you're not mythed out but I won't talk much about (inaudible) at all. My other justification for not having slides comes from Plato P R O F E S S O R K A T H R Y N T H O M A S , P H . D . Associate Professor, Department of Classics Creighton University Omaha NE
  • 29. who, of course, says that any kind of an artist is a... you know, a forgery, you know, it's a copy of the copy of the copy of the copy. And so a slide of a bronze that is copy of something that was inspired by a Greek bronze that was inspired by a Greek myth. I mean, how much further can you get, Richard, right? (laughter) Richard: The self is a paled reflection of the raw truth. Dr. Thomas: And I have a third excuse - everything's in threes, like Cicero. My third excuse is that if you hear a paper delivered about an artist with slides and you've seen them all, you have no excuse to go to the museum. (laughter) You have no excuse to go upstairs and see the art that Kent has created for us. So, I will only tell you that much of what I'd like to share with you has to do in two pieces in the Joslyn Museum here in Omaha. Two pieces that I find totally fascinating, but when I ask people, "Oh, are you familiar with Leonard Baskin's work in the Joslyn?" They say, "Who? What?" How many of you know what I'm talking about? Kent might because I clued you in. How many of you have never been to the Joslyn? How many of you have never been to the Joslyn Art Museum? You've all been and yet you are not familiar with two of the largest pieces in the museum? Well, you're not familiar with his name. I think when I start talking about them you might remember them but maybe not. We shall see. You can also go to Ann Arbor, Michigan, if you're so inspired, to see one of Leonard Baskin's more controversial pieces. You can go any of the major museums in the United States and you will find Leonard Baskin's art. It's just that outside the centers of art criticism, I don't think the name is well known. But I will tell you that thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people since 1997 have seen Leonard Baskin's work. And I imagine one or two of them might even know his name. Because anybody who has been to Washington, DC, to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt monument - how many of you have been there? Oh
  • 30. Kent, this is inexcusable that you don't know his work. The funeral procession - the wonderful 30- foot long funeral procession in front - that was done by Leonard Baskin. So now you know who I'm talking about. Okay, so I don't have any slides because I'm tempting you to maybe just go and find the art. So who is this man? I will warn you, part of the point of saying that you've all seen his work but don't know who he is... let me share with you a little bit of a story that's a little bit of an aside. Leonard's work - if I can call him by his first name, he's an older man, I think he'd let me. Leonard's work is disturbing. It's disturbing because he's fascinated by Greek philosophy, art, history - but more the darker, mysterious sides of the Greek world. Similarly, another artist whom I have tried to track down in the past - well, not physically, because before I started trying to track him down he was dead, so I'm not in that big of a hurry - (laughter) is the Greek artist named [inaudible- artist]. And Charlie may remember this. Our friend and colleague, Father Roland (Rolly) Reichmuth, in his later priestly life, became enamored with this artist named [inaudible-artist], and even had a correspondence only, mind you, a very close relationship with the artist's widow. Well, [inaudible- artist], similarly, is a rather disturbing artist but for other reasons. He was a surrealist artist very active in the 30's and 40's who also took much of his inspiration from mythology. But his interpretation was more sensual. And so it was sort of cute to have this older Jesuit chasing after the art by this sensual artist. But anyway, I tried to help Rolly out and went in search of anything I could find by [inaudible-artist] on one trip to Athens. And I went in to the National Gallery of Art in Annapolis and I knew I had seen three of [inaudible-artist]'s large paintings in the museum. But I was in a hurry so I asked at the front desk if they could tell me which gallery the [inaudible-artist]'s were in. And they said, "Oh, we don't have anything by [inaudible- artist]." And I said, "I know you do because I've seen them here." "No, no we don't. We do not have [inaudible-artist]." So just out of this side of my eye,
  • 31. I saw one of them - it was in the third gallery over, yes, but I could see it. And I said, "Well, never mind." I chased back there, got the information I needed for Roland, headed back out of the museum and lo and behold, right behind the head of this woman who was telling me they don't have any [inaudible-artist] was a poster for an exhibit that they had for [inaudible-artist], which I then purchased. Then I went to the bookstores, and the best quote that I can share with you is, I finally found a young man in a bookstore who admitted to knowing who [inaudible-artist] was and he said, "You know, he doesn't have much favor in Greece; you're going to have to go to London if you want to find anything." So it might not be easy for you to track down Leonard Baskin. That much sort of by way of introduction. So who is this man? Well, he was born in 1922 - I'm going to get left-brained here, I'll be really fast. Born in 1922, the son of Rabbi Samuel Baskin and May Gus Baskin - I love that name, May Gus Baskin. He worked in woodcuts, originally, a lot of woodcuts. But then I think around 1970, I think, was probably his most creative period - But I certainly am not going to put down the piece at the Roosevelt Monument. He moved into sculptures - and I'll refer back to this in a minute - but his sculpture work is done in what they call sandcast, which is a very twentieth century way of doing things. It's the way bronze is worked for industrial purposes. Through this process it comes out very rough and then he needs to polish it, but he can choose what parts he wants to polish and what he doesn't, because it has a very grainy surface when it's first cast. And he also worked a lot and works in watercolors. He was educated at New York University, Yale and then also in Paris and Florence. His academic life was spent teaching at Smith College. I might be able to embarrass Ken - not that Kent, but Ken - one more time. When did you come to Creighton? Answer: Just about the same time you did. Dr. Thomas: I came in 1947 so think again... (laughter) Answer: About 20 years later,
  • 32. '67. Dr. Thomas: That's what I thought. You were a little bit earlier than me, depending on which of my reincarnations you want to talk about. There actually was an exhibit of Leonard Baskin's work at the Joslyn - primarily his woodcuts - in 1970, largely organized by (inaudible), whom many of you know. Those are the facts. All right, we'll try to get it interesting, but I'm going to have to start telling myth stories in a minute here, I don't want to lose you. The two works that are at the Joslyn are the ones I mainly want to talk about - the myths behind them and the pieces themselves. I became interested in his work from those two pieces. And, in fact, when I was in Washington, DC, the first time - I was there actually on the week for Roosevelt, but I didn't go to see Baskin. I had not realized that the artist was one and the same; but as I studied the artist more and more the image occurred to me that one could take the funeral procession relief sculpture from the Roosevelt monument and wrap it around a Grecian urn and it would be perfectly at home, perfectly at home. So both his style and his subject matter is inspired. I have a couple quotes. John Whitney did write a book about this artist; it's not easy to find literature about him. But a rather wonderful book called Angel to the Jews, it came out in '91. And he says, "The link between Baskin's images is his humanism. His sculptures of the human figure depict the grace and mystery of woman..." Now, abbreviating here, "...and pay homage to man, the individual." We are fortunate to have one female and one male sculpture in the Joslyn. Whitney continues, "Although Baskin treats the frailties and injustice of humankind, his caring for human beings and human condition is ever present." I think that fits nicely with Elizabeth's opening comments to the "it's all about survival." Baskin himself has asserted, "My sculptures are memorials to ordinary beings, gigantic monuments to the unnoticed dead." Gigantic monuments to the unnoticed dead. He writes other things in that same vein but he captures it all beautifully in that one quote.
  • 33. As far as style goes, the human figure, both in his two-dimensional and in his three-dimensional work, is monumental and (inaudible). It's very classical. Drapery is secondary to the human form. And he indicates the importance of individual parts by size and isolation. For example, I'll talk a little bit later about his birds, but many of his birds have extremely exaggerated talons. The claws are as big as the bird. Or a piece which is similar to one that we have in the Joslyn - I wish we had this one. There isn't anybody from the Joslyn around here today, is there? I was hoping. He has wonderful (inaudible) with all this (inaudible) which has this one eye just peering out at you. And it just captures everything, just that one eye. You'll have to seek that one out, too, on your Baskin search. So what are the myths I want to talk about? What are the myths that are connected to the two Joslyn pieces? Well, Baskin was influenced by tragedy, more than (inaudible). And you know, there has yet to be written a child's garden of Greek tragedy. It's not exactly children's material, so when I saw some of the children walking in the (inaudible). Let me talk first about Phaedra. And by the way, this is a Halloween topic, this is an October talk, the timing is perfect. Phaedra, P-H-A-E-D-R- A, also you hear her called Phedra. Her name actually means "the shiny one." The mountains that overlook Delphi the oracle, the most famous oracle (inaudible) Phaedriatic city is "the shiny ones" and Phaedra is the shiny one. But she and her family, by the ways that we usually think of things, was not shiny. Let's go back a generation. There was a woman named Pasiphae. It means "shiny to all." (inaudible) Pasiphae was the daughter of the sun god, Helius and a nymph named Crete. So naturally as daughter of the sun, she would have to be shiny. Pasiphae married good old king Minos and the two of them had two daughters, Ariadne and Phaedra, and several other children that we don't have to worry about. But to fully understand the daughters, we have to know more about the mother. Pasiphae
  • 34. got sort of tired of Minos - you know this happens in marriages sometimes. And she fell in love with great, big, white bull, B-U-L-L. Bull. And there just happened to be on the site, a wonderful artist, Daedalus. Curiously enough, Daedalus is the man that's credited in ancient times with the invention of sculpture, probably came up with the (inaudible) method of bronze sculpting, bronze casting. And also was credited with the earliest of the stone sculptures. I think there's a connection here with Baskin, probably, because Baskin clearly was fascinated with this myth. Anyway, Daedalus said, "Well, you know, if you really want to get it on with this bull, I could fashion a nice wooden cow and you could just get inside the cow and the bull would probably fall for it because art is larger than life and the bull would be fooled and so this happened. And, of course, this is how the Minotaur was born - the half-bull, half-man thing. I only tell you that part of the story because this is the mother of this Phaedra and the mother of Ariadne. And there seems to be a theme in this family of women having sort of strange desires. So Ariadne, briefly - you probably know that story - Theseus whom Charlie mentioned briefly, Prince of Athens and his family is full of all sorts of difficulties - these two women are part of it. But anyway, he thought that he could help his city by going off and killing this Minotaur because the people of Crete - where this family of strange women lived - were holding Athens in hostage and requiring that the Athenians send their best young men and women on an annual basis to feed to this half-man, half-bull Minotaur. And actually it was quite successful but only because Ariadne betrayed her father and her kingdom and helped him get into the labyrinth which Daedalus had also created to house this creature. And then helped him get out of there as the typical daughter-betrays-her-father-and- kingdom story. Theseus is sailing back to Athens with Ariadne. And the next time you're cruising in the Greek Islands, be sure you go to (inaudible) - it's one of the most beautiful of the satellite islands.
  • 35. But when Theseus got that far he decided he really wasn't too crazy about Ariadne - I don't know why, it was probably because she had (inaudible) or something. And he just dumped her. Now, the reason I wanted to tell the story of Ariadne is that she was dumped by Theseus but, guess what? She was picked up by the god Dionysus, the god who releases us from all our worries and trials and troubles with the gift of lying and wine and also with the gift of tragedy, which cleanses us from all those emotions which get backed up in us that we really can't stand. So there's a happy ending in this family of difficulties. So what happens with Phaedra? Well, leave it to Theseus. Later on - and he's got a long story that I'm not going to tell you - but at a certain point he decides to go back and marry Phaedra. If I were she, I would have said, "After what you did to my sister?" Anyway. So Phaedra and Theseus get married. Now there are some problems, and one big problem is a young man named Hippolytus, Theseus' legitimate son - or illegitimate, actually - but still the son who was there first. And so Theseus decides to send this son, Hippolytus, off to Troezen where he can inherit the kingdom by some interesting negotiations that Theseus pulled off. But Phaedra, meanwhile, has fallen in love with her stepson, Hippolytus. And so she does everything both in Troezen - she thinks up a reason why she has to go visit there - and Athens and everything to try to get this young boy to have sex with her. That's why I said I don't want (inaudible). And ultimately... and he refuses because he actually, his mother was a firm follower of Artemis, an Amazon. So he refuses but then Phaedra finally screams and yells and hangs herself after leaving a death notice that she has committed suicide because Hippolytus has violated her. And then Theseus curses his son. He has three wishes from Poseidon that he can fulfill. There is a big bull that comes in from the sea and attacks the chariot that Hippolytus is fleeing in and he is killed. Now, I said there was a Halloween connection. The Halloween connection is this: this
  • 36. is one of about 80 Greek myths, all of which reflect the belief in ancient Greece that in order to keep agriculture going, in order to keep humankind going, even, the king must die. They must sacrifice the king in order for the female regenerative powers to continue. Now the anthropologists say that over time this got to be rather nasty for a lot of kings, after all. And so then you have surrogate kings. But there was a nice, clean murder of - or assassination of - king on an annual basis. It is the same theme that is in a movie that at least one of the cable channels picks up every year about this time, called Harvest Home. Having said that, I've heard some, "Um-hmm's." If you know the movie - I'm not going to tell you the movie, I'm going to make you search out the movie, too. I think you can get it from most of the video places - if you know the movie you can then understand why there's also a connection with Oedipus. And if you know Oedipus - let me just finish my sentence about Phaedra. If you could borrow it from the Joslyn, it would be perfect in your Halloween entry. . Now, Oedipus. Everybody knows the story of Oedipus blinding himself. That's not the Oedipus that Baskin related to. He tends to choose the lesser known myths, like the story of Phaedra, or lesser-known parts of major myths, as with Oedipus. He has one monumental Oedipus in exile and the one that's at the Joslyn is Oedipus at (inaudible). After Oedipus blinded himself he went into exile. He had committed himself for that. But ultimately he doesn't die. He ends up with his daughter, Antigone in a suburb of Athens called Colonus, which curiously enough - this is Sophocles' version of the myth - that was Sophocles' hometown. And Sophocles wrote this play when he was in his 90's. This is his last play and he is giving a tribute to his hometown, which I think is pretty special. According to this, Oedipus actually becomes, he refuses to go back to Thebes and he becomes a patron hero of Athens. And we're told that he just goes into a sacred room and disappears into a crevice. So he doesn't die. He is
  • 37. heroized. He rises from what is probably one of the worst tragic stories in Greek mythology to become a hero. And I'm going to just close with a challenge to you to stretch the right sides of your brains. The play that is more frequently read and studied and performed is the Oedipus the king, (inaudible) and it ends with the chorus saying, "Call no one... call no man blessed until he is dead." That’s a common theme. Herodotus has one of the rich Asian kings cite that to (inaudible), one of the seven wise men (inaudible) king of Athens. It is, I think, almost invariably assumed that those lines refer to Oedipus. I have never thought so. Because to me Oedipus is the most blessed man at the end of that play and he continues to be because he is the only one who really knows who he is. I think it referred, rather, to his brother-in-law, Creon, who appears to be on top of things, who appears to be blessed and happy at the time because he has just become king. But he will live to see his wife, his son, his son's betrothed, all die around him and the kingdom collapse. . So if we are talking about new beginnings and rising from ashes or rising from nothing, I think that the two works by Baskin at the Joslyn gives you a good starting place. Thank you. Kenton Anderson: Our next speaker today is Dr. Kenneth Wise, and he is speaking on the Art of Politics, Power, Play and Myth. By the way, Dr. Wise is the acting chairman of the Department of Political Science at Creighton University and associate professor at Creighton University.
  • 38. The Art of Politics: Play, Power, and Myth By Dr. Kenneth Wise Kent called a while back and said, "I've never forgotten the final exam you made me take in U.S. Foreign Policy." This is his revenge. (laughter) Professor Zabrowski was asked to speak, Dr. Thomas to discuss, Dr. White to touch upon, and I, I get to address! (laughter) Let me tell you what I'm not going to talk about. You saw "Politics" on the program and you all got scared, you got freaked out. Well, I'm not going to talk about funding of the National Foundation for the Arts and the Humanities. (laughter) Audience member: What funding? (laughter) Dr. Wise: The issue! I'm not going to talk about the quadrennial political circus in which the United States now finds itself engaged -- or at least the candidates. And I'm not going to talk about how nasty, mean, cruel, brutish -- and sometimes short -- all politicians are, except our own, of course. (laughter) What I am going to talk about is the art of politics. What you and I do and what leaders do and what we do to each other, especially certain ideas that I find important when we think about politics as it is and as we might think it ought to be. In particular, I want to talk about play, power, and myth -- about our need for playful myths to assure that we use power productively, use power to P R O F E S S O R K E N N E T H W I S E , P H . D . ActingChairman, Department of Political Science Creighton University Omaha NE
  • 39. survive the crashing of fractured myths of glass around us. I was especially taken with Kent's “Morning of the Doves” (in the exhibit upstairs) rising from the chaos. This work of his might serve as our image for my goals here. Forgive me, if need be, for all my illustrations will come from the realm of global politics; that's where I live. Play is essential to the work of politics. Play is our imaginative capacity to create something that has never been; it is where we form our images of the possible. We move these images from inside ourselves to the outside, to share with a hearer. We open a dialogue by making a public representation of our tentative idea. This dialogue can produce surprises much like the happy accidents Kent Anderson no doubt has when he manipulates the molecules of silicon in the material realm. In one way of looking at our political action, we are engaged in a craft – a very serious business, rationally matching ends and means. However, in another way, probably more real way, we usually are artists at play, discovering our goals during this dialogue while navigating by our values in a sea of experience. Our fellow players in politics, the actors, are persons and groups. They play the game by the rules or else they pay penalties. They make choices, that is, they gamble on the future. Some players are leaders; they perform, subject to our judgments. However, the people always rule, not because of democracy in form but because of their ability to withhold cooperation in the game. Play connotes discipline and skill as well as fun, moving with alacrity, sometimes having wiles. One crucial skill, one nearly impossible to teach -- and I have tried for 30-some years to do so -- is timing. Timing is being able to spot that place in the run of sand where one will have the greatest opportunity to affect what comes after. Where that point is depends on the cost of a particular choice. That is where you and I always affect politics. We are part of the cost and we can raise or lower the costs of the options from which leaders choose. That is where our image of the future contributes to
  • 40. the actual future: when we act to cooperate or to refuse. Play sometimes is the finding of relationships outside of the rules, using one’s senses to find a new fit among various parts of social life. Then together we can design and implement new rules. Of course, this is not a free for all. We learn to work within the constraints of the material world, aware that not every question or problem has a single right answer. Others’ images of the future become part of the reality too. We do not construct reality alone. If our appetite for diversity is keen, we can shift goals to exploit the unexpected. The joy of this journey is in finding how to say some of the much we understand but do not know how to say. He who bottles up this playfulness, in the name of “the practical,” suffers, and the rest of us lose too. The “practical one” sacrifices the poetry of the soul for the misery of certainty. In this journey we “fit” means to ends, rules to goals. All politics is ultimately about ends – futures – and not about means, despite much of our dialogue’s seeming to be about means. Without ends we have no gauge of our power, our means. Power is a core idea in the study of politics. Power, for me, is ability to achieve goals, ability to influence. It is only ever means, in service to ends. Power as “an end in itself” is a logical impossibility. Without goals, we cannot achieve. Yet, without power, we cannot play. This is where many say they are “powerless.” To overcome this untruth we need to understand that everyone alive has at minimum a goal of staying alive; thus everyone alive obviously has and is exercising power – to stay alive. This linking of goal and power is critical to our having a healthy, playful approach to politics. Those who absolutize power –confusing means for ends -- lose touch with life’s game quality and inject the negative. Given the technological realities of our day, negative politics can spark a conflagration that wipes out stage, players, and, certainly, joy. In dichotomizing “play” and “practical,” positive politics and negative politics, I am
  • 41. illustrating that we have important differences in perspective between us. The existence of these differences, in fact, is the reason we have politics. Some of us look at the world and respond to it in a fashion political scientists call “realism.” This is not quite what philosophers mean by “realism,” I should note. What political scientists call “realist” I dub contentionist, to avoid the connotation that “realism” might be more “realistic” than the opposite perspective. Power to the realist or the contentionist is the capacity to impose a future. Yet coercion does not begin to exhaust the inventory of power for the other perspective. Those of us who are not “realist” the political scientist calls “idealist” or “liberal”; I dub us harmonists. Harmonists see power as persons working together to achieve goals; power uses the tactic of cooperation, not coercion. Stereotypically, we in our culture sometimes identify these perspectives -- the realist and the idealist – as contentionist-male and harmonist-female versions of power; in actual distribution they do not fall together this way. Because these differing perspectives of contention and harmony have important impact in political life, we need to ask: “What happens when we lose our sense of play in politics, especially in using power?” When not playful, a realist tends to think of cooperation as something that is outside of politics. Or, if the realist admits that cooperation occurs, it is only a product of coercion, someone’s use of or threat of force. Thus the realist tends to act in ways that prevent us from reaching agreements that will last. Idealists, when they are not playful, tend to overlook interests that are compatible but not identical. So they miss chances to reach agreements by trading interests, by matching complementary interests. Power of the group is most important in politics. A group that has power is a group that has enough agreement within it on what it wants to accomplish that it can choose reasonably what to do to accomplish it. Power is the means for pursuing ends that we agree upon in our collective life. In the United States, in our political culture, we
  • 42. say that our highest ends are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We want maximum enjoyment of these ends at minimum cost. We seek this through politics – selecting goals, refining the rules, and exercising power. The challenge for leaders in politics is to attract and keep members in a group. They do this by rendering service and offering incentives to meet persons’ needs and wants but on the condition that these persons become or remain members of that group. Leaders seal allegiance and loyalty by giving persons an identity. The leader’s art in politics--the product of the playful mind, whether realist or idealist--is to use myths to get realists and idealists to work together. Since, as our contrasting perspectives of contention and harmony show, we do not live in the same worlds, politicians strive to create a virtual world for us. They indite myths, they reinvent myths, and sometimes they destroy myths. They turn to right- brain thinkers to help them do this! (laughter) That's the vision thing! (laughter) Without it, no politician succeeds. Myths spell out for us our identity. They generally serve as our history, telling us where we came from. Often they lay down for us a pallet for our future by denoting our shared purpose and reminding us of our need to act together. Myths evoke shared emotions; they arouse our idealism or our fears. Myths, as I continually remind undergraduates, are not necessarily untruths. Instead, they may speak from such deep truths-- even sacred truths--that they enable us to hold in one hand conflicting facts without noticing that they conflict. That is their secret political power. In a negotiating situation, one who knows the other’s myths has insight into the interests of that group that lay behind the group's public pronouncements. Such knowledge facilitates one’s changing the ground of the discussion by moving it away from the immediate disagreement to a place closer to principles on which both parties might agree. Thus myths have a reality that one tries to
  • 43. cash in on when negotiating to end conflict or prevent conflict. Crafting myth is an art form that combines word, image, emotions, symbols -- like Kent's work. The myth has to evoke trust, especially -- though it sometimes pains me to say this -- trust in authority. It requires getting members of a group to ask the questions the leader wants them to ask so that the leader's answers become the ones the leader wants widely known. It requires getting members of the group not to ask the “other questions,” the ones that leaders do not want to answer. Working their magic, then, myths can prevent revolutions or they can foment them. Myths can improve the decisions we make as groups or they can set us blindly onto roads of self- destruction. That is, myths combined with play can help us work together productively. Without the sense of play, they lead us astray. Here are some illustrations. Students continually ask me, "Give us illustrations." And I say, "But I've given you the abstract. What more do you need?" Right, Kent? (laughter) I have laid out some theory; let's try some illustrations. Let's look at what happens when we put these components of politics together: when they combine well and when they do not combine well. Usually I start with a “don't combine well” side of the illustration. I want to unpack the notion of history first, then some of our Cold War experiences, then the Balkans situation --oh, no... I'll try to be short. (laughter). Finally, I’ll look at challenges of the future. No, I'm not running for office. "History shows..." seems a convincing way to open or cinch an argument. Any student who starts a sentence in my class with "History shows..." gets shot down before word three! What does history show that is not a product of the historian? Nothing! Thus, history cannot be more than what one historian has seen because of the questions that the historian asked. If one accepts majority rule, then one might accept as “the facts of history” what the majority of historians agree is history. But is the majority always right? What about the vital personal
  • 44. insight that we might lose in an homogenized work done by a committee of historians. Or, worse, history written or approved by bureaucrats or other self-appointed monitors of what is good for us. History shows what? Does it show constant warfare? That the strong survive and the weak perish? That to avoid a war we should prepare to fight it? That one should always negotiate only from a position of strength? That we should always support our allies and our troops, no matter what? How often have we heard this? Indeed, historians often depict human beings as in endless series of battles, wars, and upheavals. Given the technological realities of our era, our ultimate collective end could soon come with either a bang of Wagnerian immolation or a suffocating whimper of environmental collapse. Not all historians focus on violence as the human constant. Some see over time greater unity in larger and larger groups. Or the unfolding of tides of religious thought and faith. Or evolving technology that breaks down barriers of communication. Or the universal recognition of human rights: civil, political, social, economic, cultural, even the human right to peace and a healthy environment and having a say in one’s future. Thus, the wall between the present and the solution of difficulties of our era is not necessarily lack of data, lack of facts, American tastes notwithstanding. It may be that we are not asking the right questions, the ones that will help us escape from the present. History is. Only questions open the door for choice and for a different future. We can apply this approach to history to analyzing contemporary events and thereby produce what I call the soap opera dimension of myths and politics. Political leaders sometimes manage relations the way scriptwriters in Hollywood put together soap operas for us on television. These soapie’s actors, like our leaders, try to draw us into their lives and loves by all manner of stratagems. They cry, they worry, they emote, they
  • 45. argue. They make ignoring them difficult. They may distract us from other tasks or, more importantly, from our own worries. They try to control the parameters of our worry. Compare a soap episode to the cold war. If one can focus on whether Marcia still loves John after Matilda's surgery is botched by a power outage caused by Kevin's sports car hitting a power pole outside Bruce's house while John is inside with Bruce's wife, consoling her for Bruce’s having bailed Marcia out of jail for having attacked Matilda for running around with Bruce after Kevin had left her… our anxieties over a family budget might be lower. (laughter) During the Cold War, if leaders could heighten the public's tension and worry over whether the world was about to explode itself to kingdom come, followers would be less critical of the price of healthcare, energy, and food. Of course, the explosion would have ended the soap opera, but the actors tried to keep the tension high enough that we viewers would tune in tomorrow to learn whether the next missile in the inventory would mate with or divorce from the strategic triad to continue the global love affair of nuclear war preparation. One of the more interesting things that occurred involving this notion of play and changing a myth in our Cold War era was the Kennedy experiment. Most of us in this room, with a few exceptions, lived through the Cuban missile crisis in 1961. I am not sure how many of us have thought about what happened in the subsequent year or so. Quiet negotiations began between the two who could not be caught talking to each other: the United States and the Soviet Union. Their talks produced the partial test ban treaty. The Kennedy administration systematically, playfully, set out to crack the Cold War mold in our brains sufficiently that the United States could sign publicly such an agreement. Members of the administration, following a careful score, flew hither and yon over the country giving speeches that sounded discordant if one listened to all of them. Officials contradicted each other, without acknowledging
  • 46. doing so. This introduced cognitive dissonance into our hearing and our brains. The administration gained maneuvering room, the wiggle space to arrive at an agreement that would begin to undermine myths such as, "You can't trust the Russians." That was a long time ago, 1963. The erosion took a bit of time, but it succeeded. Let me give you a peek inside where I have spent a very long time. I have taught for more than 30 years at the Strategic Air Command -- or today, STRATCOM -- and I want to take you there to witness another example of how we can change a myth. During the October war of '73 in the Middle East, the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff went on special alert status, as did nearly all the military sites of our government. Because the unplayful cold war myths molded the targeting staff's thinking, the staff spent its time during the alert -- responding to the president's request to be ready -- re-examining, one by one, with great care, all the targets in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and Eastern Europe. (laughter) You got it, didn't you? They made no official attempt, nor did any other part of Strategic Air Command, to investigate potential targets in the Middle East where the problem was. The Middle East was outside SAC jurisdiction. SAC merely assured itself that it was ready to fight its prescribed war: all-out insensate thermonuclear suicide. So much for a playful use of power or a willingness to challenge existing myths. By contrast, when the United States was weighing whether to take on the second of the three menaces that the 1990 National Strategy Review predicted the United States would face – North Korea (we had already taken on the first, Iraq; and Iran lay in the future) – StratCom Commander Butler told me the following one evening: “Today I put on the President’s desk options for nuclear release that we are prepared to undertake against North Korea. I recommended that he exercise none of them.” Here was an intelligent officer who had reexamined the world (he visited the USSR in
  • 47. 30 years at the Strategic Air Command -- or today, STRATCOM -- and I want to take you there to witness another example of how we can change a myth. During the October war of '73 in the Middle East, the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff went on special alert status, as did nearly all the military sites of our government. Because the unplayful cold war myths molded the targeting staff's thinking, the staff spent its time during the alert -- responding to the president's request to be ready -- re-examining, one by one, with great care, all the targets in the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Cuba, and Eastern Europe. (laughter) You got it, didn't you? They made no official attempt, nor did any other part of Strategic Air Command, to investigate potential targets in the Middle East where the problem was. The Middle East was outside SAC jurisdiction. SAC merely assured itself that it was ready to fight its prescribed war: all-out insensate thermonuclear suicide. So much for a playful use of power or a willingness to challenge existing myths. By contrast, when the United States was weighing whether to take on the second of the three menaces that the 1990 National Strategy Review predicted the United States would face – North Korea (we had already taken on the first, Iraq; and Iran lay in the future) – StratCom Commander Butler told me the following one evening: “Today I put on the President’s desk options for nuclear release that we are prepared to undertake against North Korea. I recommended that he exercise none of them.” Here was an intelligent officer who had reexamined the world (he visited the USSR in 1987), redesigned the Command, and was trying to help form new controlling myths. Our next example is China: From the “Red Menace” to the “China Card” to “constructive engagement.” China and the United States carefully worked out behind the scenes a series of steps, starting in the Kennedy Administration, leading to Ping Pong diplomacy and then President Nixon’s visit, and, under President Carter, to normal
  • 48. relations. Many called this “playing the China card” (against the USSR). Now that the USSR is gone and with it any credible threat from the Russian Federation, those who cannot seem to figure out the running of politics without having an enemy want to create a new myth. Theirs is, in my judgment, far removed from reality. They want China as the “new enemy.” By contrast, play and power suggest that U.S. interests call for a myth of China as a “strategic partner.” In the Balkans situation unplayful myths and hard realities led to uses of power by otherwise powerful governments and to the worst fighting in Europe since World War II. Taking note of the myths leading to this destruction cautions us against unwisdom many places on Earth. Myth: that this fighting in the Balkans was a “religious war” or “civil war” or an “ethnic war.” Yes, the words of those doing the fighting could lead one to believe these “explanations.” However, the distance of these not so true myths from reality was substantial. While these groups fought amongst themselves during World War II -- often cited as evidence of these myths – invaders provoke it. Borders of newly declared states in 1991 in the Balkans were not “artificial,” as many supposed. Rather (with only minor alterations) they were less in scale than changes across Europe over the centuries. These were entities that had existed for centuries off and on: legally, politically, and culturally. Myth: The Balkans conflict arose because of the collapse of the USSR. Reality is that it began during the personal physical decline of Tito, the leader of post World War II Yugoslavia. That was in the late 1970s, well before the USSR’s collapse. Milosevic began maneuvering politically in 1980 to replace Tito. Seeing in Tito’s weakness and Milosovic’s growing strength an opportunity and a defensive need, Izetbegovic in Bosnia and Tudjman in Croatia sought positions of rule for themselves. All three leaders hired academicians and other myth makers to stir up their populations. All three used historical cries of “ancient wrongs” and of
  • 49. “ethnic uniqueness” as bases for their claims to the right to rule. What really happened to bring on that fight? Answer number one: policies of megalomaniac, ruthless, stupid, demagogic leaders seeking bases (a way) to legitimize their rule. They created bleating, competing, nationalist myths--cultural constructions serving their governments whose jurisdictional claims overlap. Answer number two: the myth of the homogenous state, that is, of the single-nation-per-state, emerged in 1648 at the Treaty of Westphalia. The U.S. experience reinforced this myth by saying that we have here in the States the strongest possible political community because we have a single nation attached to a single state. In the twentieth century the U.S. example fruited as the myth of self- determination, the claim that every group should be its own state. Since geographically this was not possible in the Balkans -- each new state dominated by a single ethnic group left its new minorities feeling at risk -- each minority then sought a state of its own. The overlapping of the groups made actualizing this myth impossible. Added to this harsh reality was a political culture practice of “winner take all.” This reinforced each majority’s lording it over its minorities who, then, believed that they stood no chance of having political influence. Other realities at the time kept outsiders from helping form playful myths to overcome these scourges. First, the European Union was striving to adjust its integrating project to accommodate the collapse of the USSR. Second, the newborn Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was not up yet to operating as a viable multilateral organization. OECD leader Hans van der Brooke campaigned almost literally around the clock on the eve of the war to get the OSCE to maneuver the competing leaders into cooperating. However, he failed. I met him at the end of a 36- hour stint to hear firsthand how fragile was the OSCE. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was consumed with trying to absorb the former Warsaw
  • 50. Pact countries which had not been integral parts of the USSR and to set up institutions of cooperation with the newly independent parts of the former USSR. In the United States, 1992, candidates for president, robbed of the Cold War myths, vigorously proclaimed, “I’m less interested in foreign policy than my opponent.” Thus, while the collapse of the USSR does not explain the outbreak of fighting in the Balkans, it does help explain the international community’s impotence in coping with it. Yet a playful post Cold War myth, which began during our war with Iraq, got its second trial during the fighting in the Balkans. It is a myth to which we should give some serious attention. It was not then fully in place, and it is not now fully in place. I call it the “Four C's Myth.” This myth has global utility, but I will apply it here in the Balkans. “C” number one, the top of the hierarchy governing our action in anything below, is "cooperation" of the United States with functional multilateral organizations such as NATO and with leading regional powers. In the case of the Balkans, the latter would be the European Union and Russia. Thinking globally, my question is whether a “community of the north” cooperation (which I proposed to NATO in 1991 and might prevent future Balkans-like events) will eventually include China. Second “C”: That done, we move on to "containing" whatever fighting might be going on -- as in the Balkans or Iraq or Israel and its neighbors -- to keep it from spinning out of control. This spiral most certainly was in prospect in Iraq (1991) and the Balkans given the alliances that were piling up on the various sides. That done, the third “C” is "constraint": having something to say about and doing something to keep the nature of the fighting under control, to reduce the harm to persons, institutions, and infrastructure. The fourth “C” comes either when the fighting is over or, if possible, before it can occur: “conciliation." This is bringing order to political communities through routine use of multilateral institutions operating under international law. In the Balkans this has
  • 51. meant long term policing and institution building through the United Nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OSCE, and U.S. peacekeeping. For our future, where do we go? We need a playful new myth. However, we have a problem. The Presidential Campaign of the World 2000 had its first face-to-face debate of the major factions' candidates. In that debate, the parties spent 7 of 90 minutes on foreign affairs. And that on only one question: whether to coerce Yugoslavia’s leader to accept an election. We have not come far from the 1992 election campaign in which each candidate sought to convince voters he had "less interest in foreign affairs than my opponent." Here we are, citizens of the United States, electing the president of the world, but so sorely divided that we have lost our sense of play. We need a view able to take a leap comparable to that that our ancestors took back in the 17th century (creating states) and in the 18th century (creating nation states). We are still in love with the nation state -- supposedly for protection. Despite the nation-states’ having developed the ability to kill us all, we keep them, supposedly for the common achievement that we can't achieve in any other way. The myth of state sovereignty disserves our security. States, individually or collectively, no longer are capable of making and pursuing decisions about economy, human rights, or our global environment. States simply cannot do that effectively, though they continue to try! The leap we need is to new images, new symbols, and new myths – a different future. Life on the Internet is preparing us to see ourselves as a single, globe-wide political community. This does not require institutions of one world government that demigods in the United States profess to fear. We can see, if we look for it, that the planet already governs itself. One may argue, "Not very well!" But how are we going to improve it if we do not study this governance? I think the globe does rather a good job. In some ways, I think the planet does better than do most individual states.
  • 52. We need a new myth to help us see. This then will help us think very differently about government and to ask important questions. It will help us use our power more effectively, maybe building our legitimacy here in the United States, as the globe's leader. For example, we will have to confront the hypocrisy that lets us be outraged at the possibility that agents sympathizing with China might have contributed to political campaigns in the United States. While at the same time, the government of the United States funds the overthrow or attempted overthrow of governments around the world, funded the opposition that won against Milosevic in Yugoslavia, paid the top military salaries and the nuclear science payroll of Russia. Why not permit foreigners to contribute to our election expense, on the condition that the contribution activity is transparent? After all, our president affects everyone. This is the world we live in now. We need a myth that makes sense of it for us. Maybe the Four “Cs” applied globally will work as that myth and help us regain our sense of play. We have to decide. We are in position to decide which future we want, to build the myth that makes the world make sense – to the global polity as well as ourselves. Do we want a future in which we lead the world skillfully, manage it humanely, and develop it so that it has institutions of conciliation at a local level throughout the planet? Or, do we want a world in which we turn leadership and management over to global institutions which we have carefully constructed and nurtured? Do we want to wreak havoc with existing norms of cooperation and constraint by acting unilaterally? Or, do we want out of the global job entirely? Do we want to turn it over to another country, have the planet led by another country and all of us start to learn to speak and read Chinese (since that is the likely replacement)? Or, we have a fourth option: simply continue to do what we're doing, that is, ignore our responsibility and condemn our offspring to lifetimes of war and tragedy.
  • 53. I hope we will accept the spirit of play in politics, will get involved, will learn the rules, and will use the power wisely. Kenton Anderson: Thank you Dr. Wise, Dr. Kenneth Wise of Creighton University. Our final speaker this evening is Dr. William Hutson, and he is an Associate Professor in the Creighton Theatre Department. He is here to talk upon the topic of Art and Conflict, The Importance of Conflict in Art, Education and... something else! There's always three, I forget the last one. Dr. Hutson: Life. Kenton Anderson: Life! Conflict and Art: The Importance of Conflict in Art, Education, and Life Dr. William Hutson Thank you, Kent. Kent asked me to talk about conflict and art, conflict in art. He also added a subtitle there: Conflict in Education - which I know nothing about, teaching at Creighton University. (laughter) And Conflict in Life, which I seem to know a lot about. Our society today seems to think it's a good idea not to have conflict. We seek a society without conflict, and we're constantly bombarded with advertisements and all sorts of media saying if you buy this, if you try this, you will not have conflict, you will not have any hassles, you will not have any kind of problems at all in your life. So this seems to be the ideal. We want what is known as the good life, especially here in Nebraska. And by conflict I mean troubles of any kind. But I want you to imagine - along with John Lennon for a moment - P R O F E S S O R W I L L I A M H U T S O N , P H . D . AssociateProfessor, Department of Theater Creighton University Omaha NE
  • 54. with me a world without conflict; a world without any kind of problems. No war, no legal problems, no personal problems, no time constraints, no stress, no cancer, no tooth decay, no plaque build-up. (laughter) You get the idea. Such a utopia may seem desirable but would it really be the good life? More importantly, would it be good for us? My emphasis here today is conflict in art, but I do want to touch upon conflict of life itself because art is a reflection of life. And conflict in education briefly, too. More specifically, I deal daily with conflict in dramatic arts. And in trying to teach my students acting and directing, we're constantly dealing with conflict. But let me touch upon the other subjects first. To talk about the relationship between conflict and art, one has to assume that there is conflict in life - and I think we can all agree that there is. It's inevitable. But also, many times it can be positive. Life itself is conflict. If you break life down into one of its smallest beats, which is a breath, and you think about that breath as an inhale of air and an exhale, there's a moment between the two which is the struggle for life, which is the spark of life. And it's that moment which is most important. The same is true in art and acting, in particular. The moment in between - and it's not just the struggle - it is that moment of decision: what will happen next? Will the breath continue? Will you inhale, will you exhale? When will you exhale again? It's that moment in between, that moment of decision which is most important. So I think we can conclude that conflict exists in life in the smallest particles, in the smallest beats; it exists in our everyday struggles. Therefore, not only does life necessarily contain conflict, life is conflict—from our first breath, to the most momentous decisions of our lives. Conflict sustains life; conflict enriches existence. It is the struggle and our response to the struggle which is most important. The crucial moment is the moment of decision. Will she or won't she? Should I get out of bed now, should I
  • 55. sleep five more minutes? Should I stop and help this stranded motorist or should I drive on? I'm not here today to talk about moral decisions or which decision is more appropriate, given the circumstances, the important thing here is the decision itself and your response to it. Conflict in education. I think those of us who are in higher education are constantly being asked, Why educate? What is the purpose of education today and what is the purpose of higher education, in particular? The degree today seems to be synonymous with a salary; and how can the student increase their potential for money? I'm constantly getting this in my class, you know, it's, "Am I going to get an "A" on this project?" And I know the concern is so that they can get into medical school or go on to law school. That is the concern. That's the last thing I want to hear in a class is what kind of grade they're getting. And what their ultimate goal is - which is usually to... usually money. So I think that's our biggest conflict in education. And in my particular field, I'm constantly hearing people ask, "Why do we teach theatre in higher education? What's the point of theatre?" People always ask me, "What do you do?" "Well, I'm an associate professor at Creighton." "Oh, what do you teach?" "I teach Theatre Arts." There's always this pause, it's like, "Oh." And then the response is trying to be very positive, "Oh, that must be wonderfully interesting. How fun for you!" (laughter) And I have to admit, it is fun and it is terribly interesting, but it's that pause that bothers me. (laughter) That's the conflict, that little pause there. Part of my job at Creighton is to open students up to the possibilities of life and their experiences in life, because theatre, to me, is our response to life and how we approach it, how we live it, how we view it. Theatre is learning more about yourself as well as others and our life on this planet. So that's my goal in my classes. Conflict in art - and conflict in drama, in particular - I think we can all agree that there is conflict in drama, in the dramatic script itself. There
  • 56. is always a protagonist and an antagonist. Sometimes the protagonist... [End of video tape #2) The conflict in the process of creativity is very much a part of the rehearsal process. An actor must find a creative way to solve the actor’s block. Actors experience blocks very much in the same way that writers do. There are many ways to solve these problems, but most resolutions involve improvisation. As I tell my actors, and especially my young directors, any acting problem one encounters can be solved with the appropriate improvisation. This is why the art of improvisation is an essential part of a theater curriculum. Beginning actors usually question the importance of improvisation. Aren’t the characters and their lives given by the playwright? Doesn’t the director provide the blocking and the movement patterns of the play? Then why improvise? Because the skill of improvisation is the very heart--or should I say breath--of good acting. It is the decision-making process. The audience has come to watch this process, not the words of the play. Let us use the following dialogue as an example: Bill: Kent, would you like to go out tonight? Kent: Yes, Bill, that would be great! What is the most important part of this scene? Oddly enough, it is not the question, not is it the answer. It is the moment after the question is posed and before the answer is given; that moment when everything hangs in the balance. The audience will hear the question, then look to Kent for the answer; it is that moment of decision-making which arouses in the audience the most anticipation and interest. Once the answer has begun, it becomes anti-climactic. Actually, it doesn’t matter how interesting the dialogue may be. The question and response could be: Bill: Kent, would you like to go skinny- dipping in the Missouri River at midnight? Kent: Yes, can I bring my friend Gina, Playboy’s “Miss July?” The moment of decision-making is always the most fascinating for the audience. Dialogue is like a game of ping-pong. The server delivers a line
  • 57. and we the audience follow the ball to see if the receiver will make a hit or a miss. Once the receiver does either, the mystery is gone. A good playwright knows this. Dialogue is secondary to the inner conflict of the characters, even with a familiar story; perhaps especially with a familiar story. Consider the plays of the ancient Greeks. The plots were already familiar to the audiences. The Greeks attended their theatre to see and hear how the story would be told, and more specifically, how the characters would react this time. Again, the moments of decision become the most interesting elements. Hamlet is always new with each generation and with each production because each actor’s Hamlet is different. We will never know the Hamlet Shakespeare had in mind. We are always viewing an actor’s interpretation of the character—Olivier’s Hamlet, Gielgud’s Hamlet, Bernhardt’s Hamlet. That is the fascinating aspect of this portrait. Each of us is Hamlet and each interpretation is as valid as any. Any individual would contribute his or her own reactions to the circumstances of the play. Those subtle moments of pauses, reactions, and decision-making keep our interest as an audience and keep the play constantly and eternally new. The same is true of all art. We are all artists; it is in those moments of conflict in our lives that our creativity is allowed to flow. It is then that our artistic essence shines brightest. Conflict in art, in education, and in life is not only important, it is essential. Only by recognizing this fact can we make conflict a healthy and manageable part of the growth and flowering of all three.
  • 58. The Provocation of Art By Dr. Richard White Anything can become a provocation to thinking. This means that anything can become an object or a theme of philosophical enquiry. This is important, because we typically think that philosophy is only concerned with the most abstract or abstruse problems which go beyond our routine existence: Is there a god?, for example; How should I live?; and, What is the meaning of life? But philosophical reflection also emerges within our everyday experience as an attempt to grasp its significance and meaning. It is not just focused on grand or otherworldly themes, but looks to the everyday world--the profane as well as the sacred--for its inspiration and content. Since we are here today to celebrate creativity and the modern glass artist, let us begin with the example of glass. Let us try to focus upon our most ordinary and typical experiences of this material. Glass is, paradoxically enough, something that we don’t usually see. For the most part it is something that we literally look through in order to view the world around us. We don’t usually grasp it for itself or contemplate its own nature as glass—unless it should happen, perhaps, that the window is broken or the mirror is cracked. Glass seems to be an unremarkable material and a fairly ordinary feature of our everyday experience of the world. For the most part, along with stones and wood, water and air, it does not force itself upon our attention. It withdraws and recedes from us so that we can experience the world through it. Having said this much, however, I think we may also allow that there is at least one exceptional encounter with glass that must also be described. We don’t need to limit this discussion to the Christian tradition, but it is certainly the case that in P R O F E S S O R R I C H A R D W H I T E , P H . D . Department ofPhilosophy Creighton University Omaha NE rwhite@creighton.edu
  • 59. churches and other sacred spaces, stained glass has frequently been used to celebrate the glory of God, and to focus the thoughts and feelings of the worshipper upon the realm of the holy and a higher order of things. In this case, as before, the stained glass serves as a window onto a particular order of being—although it’s not the one that we usually encounter. There is a difference; for, in this case alone, the window also draws attention to itself, as a privileged node of being and a point of transcendence. Indeed, it is that which seems to reveal and clarify the nature of the sacred itself. Our encounter with the stained glass window will usually involve an appreciation of the light and color which it frames and reveals to us; we will enjoy the artist’s skill and craftsmanship; and we will be inspired to a thoughtful reflection upon the themes or patterns that the window contains—whether or not it represents a particular subject, like St. George and the Dragon, or even “represents” anything at all. The point is that the stained glass window provokes reflection. [Ed. Is this intended as a pun? Perhaps this is an eschatological theme worth developing.] While a particular subject or even a title may help to organize and focus our thinking, the reflection is ultimately unconstrained and even infinite. Thus, beginning with the everyday, we have tried to clarify and illuminate our ordinary experience of glass in the same way that glass helps to clarify our own experience of the world. While all of this remains very speculative, it can be said that so far, in our meditations upon glass, three themes or paths of thinking have begun to emerge. Turning specifically now to glass as an art object— or glass as an aesthetic phenomenon—I want to use these three themes as a guiding thread that will help us to organize our thoughts. In brief, the three themes are materiality (or thinghood), reflection, and the sacred. In what follows, I will use these three themes—materiality, reflection, and the sacred—as the most important currents or vectors that will help us to apprehend the artistic activity which we are here to celebrate today.
  • 60. First I will address materiality or what is sometimes referred to as the “thingly” character of the work of art. As we have already observed, for the most part and for most of the time, we don’t usually see glass as glass. Instead, we see it only as an intermediary form that allows us to grasp the world. [Ed. In this way, doesn’t it function as a reflective surface? Perhaps it even functions as a reflexive material?] But glass is itself an object and a material form within the world. We tend not to notice that which is typically transparent and translucent. But the artist in glass is the one who makes us aware of its very material nature. As the glass artist shows us, in pieces like “For Purple Mountains’ Majesty” or “The Soul in the Window,” glass captures all of the different modalities of light. It seems to absorb light or else it shimmers with an excess of luminescence. It holds different colors against themselves and makes us intensely aware of their existence and the differences between them. Glass is a multifarious material. It can be smooth or mottled, translucent or opaque, massive, enframing or just a slither. In all these respects, the artist in glass makes us aware of the thingly character of glass or glass as a material phenomenon. This is especially the case when the glass artist, through his or her own expertise and technical skill, is able to educe the inherent qualities of glass to an astonishing point. Perhaps it would be better to say that the artist liberates the potency or the potential of glass and allows it to be itself. We are usually preoccupied with forms and representation: What do I see out of the window? How do I look? But the artist--and not just the glass artist—is the one who celebrates and gives testimony to the material character of the world--insofar as he or she reveals the very stoniness of the stone, the thick luster of oil paint, or the shimmering essence of glass. All of this is really to affirm the goodness of the world and the sacred character of that which is simply here—and now. Likewise, it is to allow us to see what is normally hidden from us, because, paradoxically, it lies too close for us to really notice.
  • 61. The second theme that seemed to emerge from our earlier deliberation was that of reflection. Of course, glass and reflection go together in a very obvious sense. But more profoundly, I think it is the case that every work of art serves as a stimulus or as a provocation to reflection and thought. Why is this? For one thing, the work of art does not possess its own world. The art work is not a part of the ordinary world that we encounter and use because such a world continually recedes from us. In using it and manipulating it we tend not to see it for itself. Philosophers like Schopenhauer, Kant, and Husserl have taught us, however, that when we look at a work of art, or, rather, when we view an object aesthetically, we are abstracting away from all of our practical concerns. We may want to know how expensive a house is or whether it is big enough for us to live in. But obviously such practical and interested questions are entirely inappropriate if it is the artistic representation of a house that we are considering and the latter kind of a house, the artistic representation of a house, is without a world as its surrounding context. It does not slip away from us, but as a discrete and uncanny presence it forces itself upon our attention as a demand and a provocation for which reflection can be the only response. Looking now at some of the glass art pieces that are on display today—“Grapes of Wrath in Repose,” “Knowing of the Spirit,” “Our Shadow Meets its Heavenly Fruit,”—there is by no means an obvious connection between the title and the work that it is meant to describe. The relationship between an object and its name may finally be arbitrary. [Ed. Certainly it may seem so to a viewer lacking or unable to discover the ‘key’ to the title possessed by the artist.] But here, at least, reflection is offered a place to begin. As we have seen, in ordinary work the meaning of something is often swallowed up by its use. But the art work has no use. [Ah, I emphatically disagree and challenge you on this assertion. Some functions include: education, communication, socialization, and propaganda.] So it poses itself as a question—
  • 62. What am I?—that inspires our thinking along paths that lead us beyond the ordinary horizon. Now this brings us to the third theme that we anticipated above. Art is not simply a part of the everyday world. For in this sense it goes beyond the everyday horizon to illuminate what is normally considered sacred. Presumably, this is why art can be so inspiring. Inspiring, yes, but also, I think, it can be overwhelming because it cannot be grasped by the ordinary categories of our understanding. Indeed it threatens theses categories and calls them into question by announcing the advent of another order of being--the sacred—that is normally hidden from us. But let us think for a moment or two about exactly what we mean here. More usually than not, the sacred and the profane have been contrasted as two radically discontinuous orders of being, as in “earth or heaven,” or in the contrasting vision of this vale of tears and the life everlasting. The problem with this formulation is that it makes the sacred into a completely otherworldly phenomenon and at the same time it destroys all of the value that this world possesses in itself. Earlier, however, when I discussed the materiality of art, I pointed out that the art work is really what allows us to see and celebrate the thingly character of existence and the beauty of material forms such as stone, wood, or glass. So, yes, there is a sense in which the art work forces us beyond our everyday perceptions and towards a more exalted region of being—presumably this is what the stained glass window achieves. [Ed. I, however, would note that this occurs when the viewer discovers the intangible “key” of the artist. Exaltation and transcendence are part of the intention of the artist. He or she achieves that either by design or promotion.] But at the same time, the art work also reveals the absolutely sacred character of everyday existence itself, its splendor and its power. Whether in the humble materials that it uses—wood, glass, or stone—or the themes that it reflects upon, [Ed. Or that reflect through IT.] which, however high-minded, are all
  • 63. grounded in the givenness of everyday life. The proof of all this is that through art the world is re- enchanted. As Shelley puts it, poetry, or we would say art in general, creates the world anew. It does so not necessarily in moments of tremendous enthusiasm that would mirror religious rapture, but in the luminous power of the art work and the splendor that it provides through the absolute generosity of its being. For better or for worse, these very speculative meditations must end, as all meditations must end, arbitrarily. We looked at glass, an ordinary thing, and we discerned three points that elicited thought: materiality, reflection, and the sacred. Turning to the work of art, and especially the work in glass, we used these three points as a clue in our attempt to understand the work of art in general. We found that the artist is the one who liberates the materiality of his or her medium and allows it to show itself. The artist in glass, for example, allows us to notice glass for the first time and reveals all of its inherent qualities. Likewise, the art work also promotes reflection. It is not just another piece of the world, but in a real sense, it has been snatched out of this world. The work of art is worldless, and as such it poses itself as an enigma and as a problem for thought. The artist begins a meditation upon the work, even in the very act of providing a title or talking about it to others. But in the end the art work provokes a conversation with the spectator that the artist cannot control. [Ed. A social critical thinker might argue that by framing it as art, the artist ultimately controls the conversation. This assumes that to “control a conversation” one need not predict or paint every word that comes out of one’s conversant’s mouth, but merely steer the outcome to one favorable to the initiator—in this case, the artist.] This conversation cannot be limited, except by death. [Ed. It is, however, delimited, by the framing of the conversation as an aesthetic one. Ultimately, that is perhaps enough of a “control” for an artist.] Finally, we saw how art is related to the sacred and to transcendence. But here, I want to
  • 64. emphasize that in spite of the religious connection with art, in the historical relationship between stained glass and the church for example, the sacred realm that art discloses, and which it is itself a part of, is actually this world itself. The art work shows and illuminates the luster of this world, its goodness, and its power—although this is something that usually goes unnoticed until the artist discloses it to us. Finally, I wondered whether there was anything that I could say or do that would allow me to gather all of these reflections together into a single form. Of course, we face an obvious problem of translation whenever we try to use one language in order to describe the forms of another. In this paper, too, I have had to use words and literary effect to describe the artistry of glass. In the end, perhaps showing would be much better than saying. All the same, as a philosopher, I do obviously believe in the efficacy of thoughtful reflection, and I think that thought can illuminate whatever it is that we are trying to describe. In spite of all the obvious differences between painting and sculpture, music, poetry, and modern glass art, I think it is likely that all art, as art, possesses a common intention and form. If what I have suggested today is in any sense close to the truth of things, then art itself cannot be understood without reference to the three dimensions that we have described. They are, to reiterate: materiality, reflection, and the sacred. In conclusion, I would like to quote here a favorite poem of mine, written by Rainer Maria Rilke in the early years of the twentieth century. In this poem, “Archaic Torso of Apollo,” all three of these aspects are clearly present and they help us to understand the total power of the poem itself. Materiality is present in the form of the stone, but also in the very words that Rilke uses and which call attention to themselves. Reflection is present in the challenge to thought that this uncanny relic (and the poem itself) creates. The sacred is also present in the sense that here we are in the presence of the god and of something that forces us beyond the
  • 65. ordinary character of our lives. This life must be reverenced. Through the poem we are taken away from our selfish concerns. Culminating in the final line, we are forced into the deepest encounter with ourselves. Here is the poem: “Archaischer Torso Apollos”—“Archaic Torso of Apollo”—which I offer as a final illustration, and as a most lucid example, of the provocation of art: We cannot know his legendary head with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso is still suffused with brilliance from inside, like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned so low. gleams in all its power. Otherwise the curved breast could not dazzle you so, could not a smile run through the placid hips and thighs to that dark center where procreation flared. Otherwise this stone would seem defaced beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur: would not, from all the borders of itself, burst like a star: for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.* In a sense, and at some level, all of the art works present today share exactly the same structure and intention of this poem. *Translated by Stephen Mitchell in The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (New York: Vintage, 1989) p. 61.
  • 66. Mary Helen Ehresman Creativity Symposium 2001 Presenters Convene for 2001 Symposium on Creativity (Sponsored through the generosity of Mrs. Mary Helen Ehresman) Omaha's W. Dale Clark Library (Downtown), 215 So 15th ST, was the setting for a Sunday, October 7, 2001 gathering of nationally known scholars, professionals, educators, and laypersons to discuss issues of creativity, Chapter 2
  • 67. abstract thinking, education and other "right-brain" topics. 2:00pm INTRODUCTION: Mrs. Elizabeth Eynon- Kokrda, J. D., Periodic Adjunct Professor, Creighton University School of Law; Attorney: Baird, Holm, McEachen, Pedersen, Hamann, and Strasheim. 2:05pm: Mr. Kenton Bruce Anderson, Graduate Fellow, Department of Communications at University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Graduate Student of Dalcroze at Juilliard School, New York City. “Talking Does Not Teach”: Somatic Education and Flow States. 2:35pm: Professor Charles J. Zabrowski, Ph. D., Chairman of the Department of Classics at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA. Ancient Greek Mousike and Modern Eurhythmics: The Educational Uses of Greek Mousike According to Plato and Aristotle, followed by a brief musical performance. 3:05pm: Lady Caroline's British Tea Shop of Dundee served refreshments. 3:05pm: Dr. Suzanne Burgoyne, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Theater, University of Missouri at Columbia. Debriefing Theatre Rehearsals: A Grounded Theory Study. 3:35pm: Dr. Richard White, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Philosophy, Creighton University. Reflections on the Scream: The Art of Francis Bacon.
  • 68. 4:05pm: Mrs. Kathryn Dougherty-Sutherland, Alumna, Summa Cum Laude, Honors Program, Creighton University. Finding Resources for Educating Gifted, Challenged Children in an Unenlightened Establishment. This Sunday afternoon event (2:00PM - 5:00PM) was part of the establishment of a non-profit educational foundation, "The Institute for Right Brain Research." The public was cordially invited to this free symposium.
  • 69. Rediscovering The Ancient Art of Rhythmic Brain Integration By Adjunct-Professor Kenton Bruce Anderson, M.A. According to Campbell (1997), Plato said about music that it ‘is a more potent instrument than any other for education.’(p. 10) Campbell says that musically trained children scored 80% higher than their classmates on spatial intelligence. This intelligence later becomes the ability for complex math and engineering. Parents observe not only these higher scores, but also observe more organization and discipline in kids’ approach to learning overall. She says it is reported that children respond to music even before birth. She says many consider Emile Jaques-Dalcroze to be the father of modern music education. His Eurhythmics pedagogy centers on the body as an instrument. She quotes Parker at the Longy School of Music who says Dalcroze Eurhythmics’ theatrical and playful approach nourishes the creativity of both students and teachers while building awareness of phrasing, notation, pitch, harmony. The Dalcroze Eurhythmics methodology was founded on the principles of pedagogues and psychologists such as Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, Edouard Claparede, and Mathis Lussy. (Caldwell, 1995, p.14) Lussy’s contribution was the emphasis on expressiveness and rhythm; he believed that teachers should teach expressiveness, words, form and melody simultaneously. Teachers must build in expressiveness as part of the technique. (http://musikas.net/portfolio/htm/musi/dalcroze.htm accessed 2/28/03) Swiss psychologist Edouard Claparede, founder of the Institut Jean- Jacques Rousseau for child development, contributed his expertise to make the method systematic and complete. (Ibid.) Claparede was also A D J U N C T - P R O F E S S O R K E N T O N B R U C E A N D E R S O N , B . A . , M . A . UniversityNebraska atOmaha Department of Communication Omaha NE Robert M. Abramson Dalcroze Academy The Princeton Review, New York City