It’s the 11th of our 12 weeks of Artful Summer!
Art Idea #11 – Artists Like Choice?
Everyone loves freedom. Right?
You could say that being part of a family or a community is more important than freedom. That fitting and belonging are more important than the chance to go it alone. Or go in your own direction.
Maybe no one loves freedom, whatever, exactly, it is, more than Americans. We Americans are often over-confident. Sometimes under-qualified. But one thing Americans, on average, do have, is confidence. Nobody likes to be tread on, but America is the nation whose origins include a bold yellow flag proclaiming “don’t tread on me.”
Cake or Death?
The freedom to choose. Do we actually want it? I think the idea of freedom has to include the idea of choice. If I say that you’re free to do as you like, but you only have one choice… are you free?
Deer in the Headlights
What if I give you 20 options for your life path? Or career? Or partner? Each option has positive qualities. And challenges and frustrations. How do you choose!? You might be paralyzed by having to choose between so many complex options.
Researchers found that if they put 6 samples out on a table in a supermarket, a good percentage of shoppers will buy one of the 6. If they put 20 out, almost nobody buys anything. Shoppers seemed paralyzed by too much choice.
Come with me if you want to live
Cake or Death is a really easy choice. It’s funny because it isn’t really a choice. If you learn that you have cancer, and that surgery has a good chance of saving your life, but that no surgery will end your life in a few months, that’s a really easy choice.
Children’s Miracle Network
I used to be an Art Director at Disneyland. I handled all the television and radio broadcasts from the park. Each year we’d host the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Telethon from what, back then, was called Videopolis. The CMN team would come out from Utah for a couple of weeks to do all the pre-production and then the telethon itself.
One day I invited them all to dinner at my place. They told me how good the food was. But after a week-and-a-half of eating in restaurants, they said the thing they liked best was not having to look at a menu. Not having to think about a choice. Just being able to sit down and enjoy a meal.
The Illusion of Choice
Glenn’s cooking dinner, we’ll eat whatever it is. Cake or Death. And life-saving cancer surgery are all easy choices. As simple as dinner, and as complex as surgery, they’re all easy choices. They don’t require much thought.
Those 20 life choices I gave you? That’s a lot to think through! That’s real choice, and it can be a real burden.
No choice; no freedom; no fun.
Too much choice? Hard!
I think what we often like best is the Illusion of Choice. Situations where we get to pick. But where it’s nicely laid out to not give us too much mental pain.
I’m thinking about freedom and choice because… it’s Student Choice week in Art 110!
For the past 10 weeks, I’ve picked the activities for you. This week, you get free will! Choice! Freedom!
How will you use your freedom?
Pick any media you like. Something we haven’t tried in Art 110. Or, something you want to try again. Or, do it Intermedia style and come up with your concept first and then consider what media best expresses that. Define your project and do it.
Lame or Deep?
Choice makes it easy for you to come up with something quick and lame to just collect points.
I encourage you to go deeper.
Come up with a project that really means something to you. Take this moment to create something that you will remember and be proud of as time goes by.
- Come up with an art project
- Perform your project
- Come up with blog questions to answer about your project
- Answer your questions
- Name your blog post: Week 11 – Art Activity – Choice
How “useful” for your life & career your specific project will be is up to you this week.
As for the concept of Choice, I think it is useful to make real choices in your life. Often we follow a sort of default path because it is what we know or what those who came before us did or what seems available. If that’s your true path, great. But every now and then step back for perspective and ask if your choices are fulfilling your life?
Should you make different choices?
We don’t get many big choices in our lives. Once you pick a college major, marry someone, or buy a house, many other “choices” unfold automatically from that choice. So it’s worth considering how our choices shape the experiences we have and the people we become.
- Pick an Artist #1 of your choice
- Pick an Artist #2 of your choice
- Write some questions about your artists
- Answer your questions
- Name your blog post: Week 11 – Artist – Choice
Two Weeks Left!
It’s just this week and next week to go! And then you get 1 week to decompress from summer and prepare for fall and boom! It’s fall semester already!
It’s been nice sharing a bit of your online summer with you. As always, LMK if I can help with anything. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or LMK if you’d like to meet up on Zoom sometime.
Have a good week! Be safe. Be well.