We seem to live in a world where math, science, and “practical” knowledge are valued, and the humanities–the arts–are not. Yet, Barry talks about art, and the arts more broadly, as an essence that lives and transcends. Consider the following passage from Syllabus:
“There is something common to everything we call the arts… This ancient ‘it’ is something I call ‘an image.’ By image I don’t mean a visual representation, I mean something that is more like a ghost than a picture; something which feels somehow alive, has no fixed meaning and is contained and transported by something that is not alive- a book, a song, a painting–anything we call an ‘art form’” (15).
In the time remaining, respond to at least one of the questions below:
- What does Barry’s explanation mean to you?
- How might you differently describe the “it” that is present in the arts/humanities?
- What do Barry’s and/or your explanation say about how we ought to value the arts/humanities?
- Can you name and describe an example of Barry’s ‘image’ concept that is representative of her (or your) description?
- How is Barry’s understanding of ‘an image’ similar to or different from an idea?