Chapter 4 “What Would an Artist Do?”



This morning Arzu and I dove into chapter four of unfolding practice, intended to unpack and demystify the roles, purposes and processes of different kinds of artists

here’s  a mini rant I posted on Facebook in response to an old friend of mine provoking me with the following questions:

Friend:Was wrestling with this idea tonight listening to Howard Zinn interview where he was pointing out how eu outspends us on art and I was asking how many diseases has art cured, how many lives does art save, what value is art?

Me: artists synthesize,envision, reframe, catalyze, trigger, persuade, inform, translate, narrate, hybridize, bridge, connect, invent, explore multiple perspectives, predict, analyze, observe, think systemically, inquire creatively, critique, provoke and take part in conversations about the crucial issues of our time


Arzu and I used this rant as part of the raw material for this morning’s work session

2 thoughts on “Chapter 4 “What Would an Artist Do?”

  1. All the things we can do outside of art are, I think, to make the work of art possible. Art is an expression of what humans can do when they give themselves permission to be fully human. So I’m thankful we’ve cured some diseases and so forth so that more people have more chances to live artfully. I wish it were more so–since the structures that have the resources to invest in humanity’s well-being seem so bent on privileging the few–85 people have more wealth than the 3.5 BILLION poorest people on the planet. Art speaks to these inequities and honors the human sprit in everyone. Amen.

  2. I think the binary between art and medicine – spirit and body – is a binary one that may be a false construct or an artifice… but I have a bias as an artist who worked in hospital and clinic settings working primarily with people within the last six months of life. There is ample research based, peer reviewed, evidence that indicates the roles between mindfulness, social connection, and their impact on biologic processes. Similar data emerges about the arts and healing- and that is all great. There is also robust evidence to show that feeling a locus of control is important – to healing – art moves patients into the role of creative, creator, and actor. But to heal- or to be a real healer – one must work with the mind, the body, and the spirit. It seems to me that art is one way to speak, and listen, to the spirit.

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