Ryan M. Church

Art is A Dying Art, Or, Once Upon A Time Every Aspect of Everyday Life Required Art And Function To Be One Until Capitalism Conquered Reality By Sending Art to the Back of the Bus And Shoved It Under The Seat

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2013 at 4:44 am

I am watching the late Huell Howser touring the train museum in Arcadia as I write this. I urge anyone to see any museum that displays the tools, machines, jewelry, fashion, architecture, and furniture of the past. You will find amazing works of art  that were all a functional part of our lives. Every time I see go and see these things I feel a wave of emotions such as amazement, bafflement, and, wonder. The Corporate push for profit drove all sorts of building and manufacturing to cheaper and cheaper methods devaluing the cultural quality of all our everyday homes, products, and machines.

On April 5th I went with my family to see the California State Train Museum in Sacramento. My nephew is an avid fan and loves to toot his brand new wooden train whistle. So, the train motif has a special place in our hearts and has opened my eyes to the beauty and artistry of the past. I have seen this before in the various museums and exhibits I have seen in the past. But like most revelations they don’t hit home until you see it through the wonder of a child, and catching the details they miss along the way.

While walking through the exhibits you come to see how each and every passenger was treated like royalty by the service staff on the trains. Everyone was afforded courtesy and expected some form of respect from either the staff or the passengers. In spite of the racial inequality between staff and passenger this particular value gave pride to both sides. When this part of our culture was lost to save a buck for business. We lost it for our fellow man. By the time I was a little kid most people no longer appreciated the lost art of courtesy and no longer knew how to treat others with respect. People use to have better coping skills and tougher skin when dealing with bullies. I wonder if losing these skills is the reason why.

I remember going to school in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The Government began collecting more money through significant tax hikes for schools while simultaneously began gutting the Arts. These days, I hear a lot about vocational schools. Some of the course work would have been very fascinating in my days in school. While I admit I know very little about these schools, I do know that they are training so that they can leave High School ready for a Career. Following my logic most coursework will be focused on job training including math and writing courses applied to a career path. If that’s the case the main motivation for education is for employment. History, art, philosophy, science get perverted or distorted for the benefit for a corporation.

If the corporation fails, and these vocationally trained kids are left out in the cold, I wonder if they will be left functionally and slightly socially illiterate, because they are left without knowing the critical thinking through creativity to easily navigate the new reality, because of a dependence upon the trained one. It may not be the truth for all, but, I have personally met many in my life that are not given the understanding of the value that caring about the past provides, and lack the skills to adapt to rapidly changing futures. I have been seeing the opportunities of those skill sets a vocational school might provide getting outsourced overseas for more than five years. The jobs are not coming back. It seems we are training them for failure in these schools. It seems that the skills for invention are dying in the States, because we are taught to value industry over art.

Perhaps this value is the very difference between Man being parasitic or human.

Huell also visited Griffith Park where they have a set of working tracks for mini locomotives. They have trains that run on the tracks, but enthusiasts who have their own trains scaled down to the track width can ride the rails on their own custom built trains. All the people who work at these places are volunteers. They make no money but ask for donations to keep the trains running. Then it dawned on me, they do get paid. They get paid in fun and pure joy. And it all makes sense. If we were paid in fun and joy we would remember how to create art in every activity we engage in from the moment we wake till the time our heads hit the pillow. If fun and joy were our currency all our needs and wants would be fulfilled as well as the return of politeness, creativity, and art in our lives in abundance. The use and need for money would be obsolete and would be as extinct as the dinosaurs. Why would anyone bother with war or allow anyone to suffer the effects of poverty.

I have comet o the conclusion that Art and expression are essential tools for human survival, and that neither should be disregarded and should be amongst our highest values. It is the fictions in our lives that leads to innovation and  resourcefulness. I think it’s time to bring art back into our lives and not just as consumers removed from the artists. Life is more interesting that way anyway.

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  1. Reblogged this on . . . We All Are The Universe. and commented:

    A new blog of mine sharing my knowledge and perspective on the art of storytelling.

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