OK, time to piss off some mathematicians. What’s Genius Marketing + Innovative Scope * obsession with death / $198M = ?
Give up? Oh, those buttons aren’t on your calculator. The answer of course is Damien Hirst. I find it incredibly interesting that the arts are the first thing on the chopping block at schools with lagging budgets. I am aware of the importance of math.. to figure out change of a dollar and figure out how many big macs you can eat. However, advanced math is utterly useless when it comes to real life application. Unless of course you are an engineer, but as a trained architect I choose to ignore engineers.
Math is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But we are breeding a new generation of students that have no appreciation for fine art. With tech-culture being what it is, we are exposed to more artwork than ever before. However, the appreciation for that visual creation is lost. Today’s generation is growing up on shock value… hence Damien Hirst. With so much desensitizing and overexposure via the Internet, art like Pollocks is no longer exciting to look at. Everyone relies on the first page of Google Images for their visual connections (which are ranked by traffic, hence all the porn) . Recognizing beauty is an important thing in this world. Today, the majority of us get up early to wait in traffic, just so we can do something we hate or have lost interest in. Art is becoming hidden in a world focused on money and numbers. Nothing was worse than walking into H&R block last tax season and seeing cubicles of people who looked half dead. The art on the wall was about 50% frame and you had to get within inches to see that it was a dull mountain with trees.. gimme a break!
I pose a simple question to all my students the first day they sit down in my class.. ‘Who is you favorite visual artist?’. The general response? Looks of emptiness and a sense of confusion as if it is the first time they have ever been asked that question. Some may drudge up a response like “Da Vinci” or “Van Gogh”… without knowing any of their work and relying solely on societal pop-culture keywords.
We are a tech-based civilization and we are never going back. Why then after learning the basics of math are students forced to learn more advanced computations? So students can become accountants or possibly more math teachers? Can they not afford a calculator for the one time in their life they need to know an advanced mathematical answer? I think more art classes are in dire need. Once you begin to recognize beauty in art, your entire world is open to expression and beautiful things. People become happier and more fulfilled. Perhaps I’m being idealistic and the system is right. Perhaps students today can make their own creative choices. Perhaps the failing American education system will turn around magically. Or perhaps the answer is art and music.
For all of you that disagree, I will be happy to discuss this with you. Oh and afterwards you can help me with my taxes. Wait.. nevermind… there’s H&R Block.