The Future of Art
The role of arts in modern life should basically be entertainment, not guidance
that once was millennia ago to early Homo sapiens, who largely depended on their
audiovisual instinct for discovering the world and "making sense" of it. As for
modern humans, they can rely instead on their more evolved brains whenever they
know well of a subject, with no need to follow a primitive, addictive, deceptive
instinct whose evolutionary function is now outdone by the higher brain. No need
to take risks and follow one's guts, heart, nature, instinct ... or artistic sense, except in situations with
no data available.
Looking at a work of art or
listening to a piece of music evoking all the good things in nature we
instinctively love doesn't mean we should feel happy or even secure then:
A homeless man may die of hunger/cold/accident in a beautifully designed square,
next to fountains, trees and signing birds; while another lives peacefully nearby in a small room
with sufficient food, water, heating, and electricity. The latter
may have no beautiful scenery or even picture to look at, yet he knows
that his visually unattractive faucet, fridge, phone ... will just keep him alive.
Adding some art or music to one's life for pleasure is good, but it doesn't give security: green, blue or orange doesn't mean food, water or warmth; nor do
murmuring waters or singing birds (or instruments mimicking them) celebrating
nature's hospitality, mean let's sing with animals.
Art is better taken off its pedestal, down to the status where it really
belongs, as is the fate of every instinct with primary functions civilization
could do without; it's how human nature EVOLVES:
- Like other animals, we favor pleasure over pain, and carrot over
stick., when both are offered.
- Like some evolved animals, we use some primitive instincts as endorphin-boosters,
a pill in our body's drugstore for quick excitement when nothing else is
available: sex for pleasure, not reproduction; food for pleasure, not storing
- Like humans later in history, we favor artistic audiovisual pleasures over other sensual
for mind stimulation when knowledge is not allowed, available, or exciting enough.
- Like wise men of all times, we favor intellectual pleasure over all physical pleasures, artistic or not, when
we think without restrictions: physical, social, political, etc.
Government funding of art programs in schools is better redirected toward
"scientific" methods respecting students' intelligence.
- Natural science programs can substitute arts, being sensually
pleasing, mentally provocative and easily memorable, in addition to teaching
students how to deal with the world and develop logical skills. With minimal
funds and good energetic teachers, students can both enjoy and learn from various science games, role plays,
assignments, etc. Their minds won't travel too far in artistic trance during
class, their artistic tastes won't be accidentally offended, and their bodies won't go
restlessly out of control, tormenting their art teacher, all in
art's name. At the end of the day, they will have something "learned" to tell
their parents about, other than the fun they had at school.
- Language can replace arts, to relax, play, and mind-travel by
mere words. Dramatic story-telling, which
naturally fits and benefits from young students' vivid imagination, can be better than
using actual objects, artistic or not, limiting such imagination.
- Computer and web-based activities are cheap, and vital for every
classroom to have, for fast, diverse, enjoyable learning. Blended learning is
not an option, it's a must; because it's difficult to keep students away from
their electronic devices for a long time (that are becoming "part" of them you should
- Social interaction and intimacy between students and teachers, and
between students and other students, have a lasting effect on their brains
that subconsciously connect the memories had with the lessons taught. Funding
can be redirected toward organizing simple occasional gatherings/trips
bringing students and teachers together and "breaking the ice" between them.
During class, students can quickly feel at ease after self-introduction,
personal anecdotes, laughter, etc.
Doctors who use art therapy to cure their patients may wait ages before their
efforts bear fruit. Arts' temporary effect may act as a mere analgesic without
solving the root problem, physical or psychological.
- In psycho-therapy, using writing can help patients understand themselves better,
without wasting hours painting pictures or playing music that barely describes
their suffering: hidden fears, suppressed desires, long-lost memories, etc.
- Music and art are not the only
sources of serotonin, the
well-being hormone that increases immunity, speeds up recovery, improves brain
functions, etc. Simple meditation and yoga exercises can benefit both a
patient's body and mind.
An Argument against Art
Advantages and Disadvantages of Music