The Future of Art


Art Pleasure

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 energy; etc.
  • Like humans later in history, we favor artistic audiovisual pleasures over other sensual pleasures, 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.

Art Education

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, puzzles, contests, 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 respect).
  • 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.

Art Therapy

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