EUROPEAN GRADUATE SCHOOL 20TH ANNIVERSARY - AESTHETIC AND CRITICAL EDUCATION:
A special Publication in Honour of 20 Years of Teaching at The European Graduate School – With Essays and Testimonials by EGS Faculty from the Division of Arts, Health & Society and the Division of Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought. What does it mean to teach and to learn? How can education be an aesthetic experience? What is distinctive about the style of learning at The European Graduate School? These essays by noted thinkers and practitioners reflect upon their experience at what has been called “The White Mountain College.”
Articles: Christopher Fynsk, “Teaching Events: The Division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought,” Philippe Beck, “The Educator Educated,” Stephen K. Levine, “Aesthetic Education: The Division of Arts, Health & Society,” Sally Atkins, “Aesthetic Education at the European Graduate School: Holding the Heartbeat,” Michael Schmidt, “The Event of Thinking: The European Graduate School is both University and Symposium,” Jeremy Fernando, “Or les lecons de la maitresse,” Ellen G. Levine, “Degradation and Preservation,” Margo Fuchs-Knill and Paolo Knill, “Aesthetic Responsibility in Expressive Arts: Thoughts on Beauty, Responsibility and the New in the Education of Expressive Arts Professionals, “ Margo Fuchs-Knill, “Three Poems,” Barbara Hielscher-Witte, “Thinking Art-The Art of Thinking: A Turnaround,” Herbert Eberhart, “Education for Life: Our Way of Teaching at EGS,” Paul Antze, “The Saas-Fee Experience,” Victor Vitanza, “Teaching and Studying in EGS: An Experience High in the Alps, both Transalpine and Subalpine,” Geert Link, “Teaching Critical Internet Culture,” Heather Dawson, “Making Meaning: Experiencing Aesthetics in Education,” Ellen. G. Levine, “Art Asylum: Exploring Otherness Through Play and Art-making,” Brigitte Wanzenreid, “Short and Intense: A One Night Exhibition at EGS, June 2014,” Peter Wanzenreid, “The Art of Teaching,” Rowesa Gordon, “Pictographs: Painted Drawings: My Experience as Artist-in-Residence,” Shaun McNiff, “Using and Perfecting the Universal Languages of Art,” Judith Greer Essex and Wes Chester, “Embodying Scholarship, “ Aylin Vartanyan Dilaver, “Beauty & Truth,” Markus G.Scott-Alexander, “The Pause,” Melinda Meyer, “What Makes the Difference in Being a Teacher at EGS?”, Simon Critchley and Manuela Kolke, “Does Critique Still Hold in Paradise?: A Conversation Between Simon Critchley & Manuela Kolke,” Carrie MacLeod, “Composing a Home Away from Home,” Alessandro De Franceso, “A Place of Joy and Possibility,” Christopher Fynsk, “An Open Site,” Sally Atkins, “After.”
RESEARCHING ART - THE ART OF RESEARCH:
It is said that poiesis is a way of knowing. What do we really mean by that? Is the kind of knowing that happens in the arts different than the kind that happens in scientific inquiry? Are we expecting too much of the arts when we ask them not only to move us but also to teach us something new? And what about the proper way to know art itself? Should we use art to know art – or do we need to step outside of poiesis and go to theoria to understand art as it should be understood?
These and other questions are especially relevant when, on the one hand, there is a greater and greater demand for “evidence-based research” (even when it’s not clear what “evidence” means) and, on the other hand, “art-based research” becomes the slogan for a variety of approaches to research that employ the arts in one way or another. We live in a time when boundaries are crossed and sometimes crossed out – do we lose something when we plant ourselves firmly in the territory of both art and science? Is poiesis enough? Or do we need to supplement poietic knowing with “theory”?
This issue of the POIESIS journal features contributions using art as research, thinking about art as research, and thinking and showing how art itself is to be known. Articles, poems and images from both the fields of the expressive arts and of media and communication all deepen our understanding of the art of research.
Authors: Stephen K. Levine, "Poiesis and the Understanding of Art: A Conversation with Jean-Luc Nancy," "What are Philosophers for? An Interview with Judith Butler," Wolfgang Schirmacher, "On the World View of a Vita Activa," Christopher Fynsk, "At the Stove with Ferran Adrià," Shaun McNiff, "The Open Space of Art-Based Research," Sabine Silberberg, "Knowing Not- Knowing: Rethinking Research as an Art- Analogue Process," Koenig, Schild & Hufschmid, "Seeing Art as RAW DATA: Artistic Transformation," Kelly Clark/Keefe, Jessica Gilway, and Emily Miller, "Maps, Flesh & the Radicant: Mobilizing the Expressive Arts and Arts-Based Research to do a Conceptual Translation of "Science-as-Usual," Vachel Miller, Katrina Plato, Kelly Clark/Keefe, John Henson, and Sally Atkins, "Love Letters, Notes and Post Cards: About Pedagogy, Ways of Knowing, and Art-Based Research," Ellen G. Levine and Stephen Levine, "The Beauty That Sustains: An Arts-Based Research Exploration of Expressive Arts Therapy with Children," Lisa Herman, "Playing with Auschwitz: A Liminal Inquiry into Images of Evil," Carrie MacLeod, "Per-formingHome: Spinning New Scripts for Re-Search," Jena Leake, "Living Nel Mezzo: Becoming an Artist/Researcher/Teacher/Therapist in the Expressive Arts," Kathleen Vaughan, "Map as Theory,Theory as Map: Meditations from the Middle of the Journey," Patrick Phillips, "Performance as Research-A Double Fold."
Poets: Daniela Elza, Stephen K. Levine, Dorota Kozusznik-Solarska, Stella Audonoff, James P. Lenfestey, Marc J. Straus, Thomas R. Smith, Wes Chester, Judith Greer Essex, Norman Minnick, Emily Fiddy, Carrie MacLeod, Elizabeth Gordon McKim, Jean Luc Nancy.
Artists: Mowry Baden, Paulette Phillips, Chris Cran, Don Gill, Mowry Baden, Wolfgang Laib, Marin Majic, John Newsom, Lucy Pullen, Matthew Thomson, Chris Cran, Rowesa Gordon, Andrew Harwood.
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THE WORK OF ART AND THE WAY ART WORKS:
In Honour of Paolo Knill on the Occasion of His 80th Birthday
Paolo Knill, the founder of the European Graduate School, is a pioneer in developing ways for the arts to work in the lives of contemporary individuals and communities. He has taken the psychological framework in which art is understood within the arts therapies and turned it towards a recognition of the centrality of the work, not the subjectivity of its maker. His concept of “decentering” emphasizes both the radical separation of the alternative world of the imagination from the concerns of the everyday and, through subsequent “aesthetic analysis,” the importance of works of art for our experience of life. Art is not self-expression, but it has an undeniable effect on the person or community which receives it. Achieving this “effective reality” is the responsibility of all those who work with the arts to help bring about change; it is our “aesthetic responsibility.”
In this special issue, we invite members of the EGS community and others to reflect on the work of Paolo Knill as well as on the place the arts may have within our experience. Can the work of art still play the central role which it did in traditional cultures or has what Walter Benjamin called the elimination of the “aura” of the work in the “age of mechanical reproduction” rendered it impossible for art to give meaning and value to life? Does the “age of digital reproduction” in which we now live intensify this process or open up new possibilities for artistic creation? In what ways can we reinvent the arts so that they have a connection with our lives? Heidegger once wrote, Das Werk wirkt (The work works). How can the work work for us today?
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THE HEAD OF ORPHEUS
Voice, Song and the Poetics of Resistance and Transformation
Are voice and song primary modes of communication? How is it that voice-work can affect us in such a powerful way? In this issue of the journal, we explore the primacy of the voice in poetry and song, seeking to understand its communicative and transformative power. Our authors explore the resurgence of the oral tradition, the origins of the poetic, the extreme reaches of vocal expression and the ways in which digital media both close off and open up new possibilities for primary vocalization. More than an academic exploration of voice, the issue speaks to us as we read it, and sometimes it even seems to sing.
And for the first time, the journal has links to audio and video presentations connected to the theme - we can look and listen as well as read.
Articles: Rishma Dunlop, "Vox Humana," Elizabeth Gordon McKim, "Ride the Poetry Bus: An Excursion Into the Oral Tradition of Song/Story/and Poem," Fides Krucker, "Chiaroscuro: The Bodhisattva in the Voice," Vivian Darroch-Lozowski, "Making Worlds: the Extended Voice Work of Richard Armstrong," Richard Armstrong, "The Irritant," Linda Wise, "Voice and Soul: The Alfred Wolfsohn/Roy Hart Legacy," Enrique Pardo, "Figuring out the Voice: Object, Subject, Project," Allucquére Rosanne Stone, "Song and Resistance," Christina Foisy, "Gloomy Sunday on a Tuesday: The Unsound Voices of Suicide re-membered Through Sound Poetics," Peter Price, "Digital Sound and the Post-Human Future"
Poetry: Norman Minnick, Rebecca Chamberlain, Shara Claire, Jeffrey Thomson, Domenico Capilongo, Alison Luterman, Stephen K. Levine, Tomas O'Leary, Vivian Darroch-Lozowski, Maxine Yalovitz-Blankenship, Kristin Briggs, Andrew Sofer, Ewan Whyte, Lamont B. Steptoe, Phil Woods, Barry Dempster, Mihku Paul, James P. Lanfestey, Frank Miller
Art Work: Jenn E. Norton, Yi Xin Tong, Nicholas Hooper, Martha Townsend, Erin Gee, Rory Dean, Faye Mullen, Michael Caines, Nicola Woods, Jennifer Chan, Audio Lodge
Featured Artist: Elise Kermani
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THE POIETICS OF ALTERITY
How can we represent the Other? How can the Other represent us? In this issue of the journal, we are looking at ways in which we may open to the Other in the arts, media and the arts therapies. Is art a vehicle for the expression of the self or does it necessarily imply transcendence toward otherness? What, if anything, is a self and how does it reach out to the Other, both the other person and the otherness of itself? Can poiesis be a basis for ethical practice or is there, as Kierkegaard thought, an insuperable gap between the aesthetic and the ethical?
Featuring articles on working with others, especially those considered radically different, through the arts, as well as articles on the political significance of the arts in Critical Theory:
“Asylums Rededicated: A Concrete Utopia,” “Anthropologists of the Mind,” “Conversations at the Edge of The Numinous,” “Encountering the Other-Self: Essential Forms and New Therapeutic Developments in Transitional Phenomena,” “Edith Turner: A Lifetime of Encountering the Other,” “Teaching Peace by Piece: Two Quilts One World,” “Contact Zone: The Ethics of Playing with “the Other”,” “Doing the Dishes, Aferim,” “Art as Counter-Thinking: Aesthetics and Revolution in the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School,” “Sound as an Expression of Critique: Theodor W, Adorno’s Philosophy of Music,” “Art as the Experience of Alterity: Theodor W. Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory.”
Poetry by: Stephen Levine, Elizabeth Gordon McKim, Adriana Marchione, Charles Coe, Isabelle Schenkel, Thomas R. Smith, Phil Woods, James P. Lenfesty, Rebecca Chamberlain, Barbara Claire Kasselmann, Danielle Legros Georges, Margo Fuchs Knill, Sally Atkins, Alice Beecher, Anna M. Warrock, Judith Steinbergh, Shara Claire, Chris Brandt, Alison Luterman.
Artwork by: Susanne Sekula, Issa Ibrahim, John Tursi, Brent Taylor, Angela Silver, Kelly Lycan, Annie Si-Wing Tung, Jordan Bower, Jen Mann, Gisele Amantea, Olexander Wlasenko, Steve Cribbin, Paris Visone, Stephen Schofield, Juliana Pivato.
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ECOPOIESIS: Imagining the Earth
This issue of the POIESIS journal brings together writers from the fields of philosophy, media studies and the expressive arts in an effort to grasp our relationship to the environment in a more imaginative way.
Paul Virilio, writing about Grey Ecology, (“…the pollution of the self-created world”) looks at our situation through the lens of speed and the acceleration of reality, while Jason Adams applies Virilio’s concept of popular defense to an aesthetics of resistance. Thomas Zummer’s eco/sophia calls for a remediation of technics and a re-membering of the world; and for Wolfgang Schirmacher, Eco-Sophia becomes an ethics for the human being as technician, the art of living humanely.
David Abram reminds us that underlying our technologized experience is a direct sensuous relationship to the world, one which we can return to through the re-awakening of our primary oral culture in story-telling. For Wes Chester, our fundmental relationship to the world is through an aesthetic encounter which can be cultivated in a disciplined way. And Thomas Trenchard and Sally Atkins make this encounter come alive by telling us of their experiences in the woods - either at night or in the mountains.
The journal is filled with art-work and poetry that embodies the call for a new aesthetics of the natural world, featuring a lengthy excerpt from the important new work by Rishma Dunlop, The New Republic: Reading Towards Ecotopia. As Dunlop says,
for nomenclature. Hoop the names of things
to your belt. When you are empty,
eat the words, drink them.
We invite our readers to join us at the feast.
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The image has always been suspect to thought. Either it is seen as a false representation which seduces us from truth (Plato) or, at best, a superceded stage on the way to the Absolute Idea (Hegel). For the artist, however, the image is home, the land of possibility where new perspectives can be found. Where are we with the image today?
In Baudrillard’s view, the dominance of media and the emergence of hyperreality means that the classical opposition between image and real can no longer be maintained. Not only does the real vanish in a profusion of simulacra, but the “original power of the image,” its capacity to become an event of transcendence, is also obviated.
Can we find that original power again? The coming issue of POIESIS invites readers to submit papers that explore the image today - and perhaps imagine it tomorrow. Where are we with the image, and how can we find its original power again? We hope that readers will be inspired to think about this question and its implications for philosophy, art, therapy and social change.
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Amor fati: that shall henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war against the ugly. I do not want to accuse — I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Let looking away be my only denial! And all in all and on the whole: I want someday to be purely and simply a Yes-sayer! -Nietzsche
After several issues dedicated to trauma, suffering and terror, POIESIS takes up Nietzsche’s call for a “Yea-saying” philosophy of life. How can we find joy and enjoyment in everyday life and in the arts? Can we get beyond the media-driven conception of happiness as endless consumption and reclaim a non-ideological attitude of affirmation towards existence? What would this mean for the critique of ideology? What implications would it have for therapeutic and social change? What would be an aesthetics of praise?
We hope that readers will be willing to risk the foolishness of affirmative thinking in the face of all catastrophe and join us in saying, “Yea!”
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For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure, and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us. -Rilke
So begins the Editor’s Introduction of the latest edition of POIESIS: the annual, cutting-edge source for new research from the fields of Expressive Arts Therapy and Media & Communication. As Rilke’s quote suggests, this beautiful new issue of the journal contains an extensive feature section on beauty and terror. This section also honours Shaun McNiff, one of the founders of the field of expressive arts therapy, on the event of his 60th birthday. In addition to this special and thought-provoking section, we are also proud to publish new works from Media & Communications — Pierre Aubenque, Christopher Fynsk and John Sallis — as well as poetry by Robert Bly and others. More than any other issue to date, POIESIS VIII spans geographic distance as well as time periods, exploring the art and nature of expression in places as far-reaching as Sierra Leone, Iraq, Jerusalem, Texas, and rural Canada, and from the Deep South of the 1800s to the Woodstock era to present times. Artwork appears in full colour.
Explore POIESIS VIII
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