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Notes on the 1978 paper, "A Future's Outlook. . ." 

From 1975 to c.1989 I was an active member of the World Future Society. This paper was published in 1980 in FUTURICS:  A Quarterly Journal of Futures Research, a Pergamon Press quarterly. During this period I had come to a fuller understanding of  ecological consciousness and the responsibility of the arts community in shaping this consciousness. For my course on 20th Century Art at MCAD the last week was committed to illustrated lectures on issues addressed in this paper.  My 1985 lecture series in China included  a final segment on "The Future of Art and Artist" with some application to China as it emerged from the cultural revolution.

The first part of this article must have been written around 1977-78. Twenty five years later (2002) I am surprised to find how naive I was about the role religion would play in shaping ethical consciousness from then up to the turn of the century.  With the rise of the "moral majority" and fundamentalist revivals in other parts of the world, the values that appeared to be emerging in the early 1970's came under fire and did not emerge as strongly as many futurists had anticipated. 



The issues related to cultivating an ecological ethic remain as valid today as they were back then.  It is disappointing  that more progress has not been made in the use of alternative energies and conservation via architecture and design..

Packaging remains as much or even more wasteful and abusive than it was back then.  Many futurists of the 1970's expected both active and passive solar systems to be commonplace in  public and private building by the turn of the century. But that is hardly the case.   Recently there have been proposals for several major projects in Minneapolis including a library and a new theater complex.  Reading the concerns of the committees, the intentions underlying the plans of the architects, and views of the critics, one does not find a single voice concerned with the amount of energy these buildings will consume in the next 40 years. What happened in our schools of design and architecture? Why have we failed to develop the aesthetic whereby we can see the beauty of design that respects natural resources?  At the time of this writing it is likely that world energy supplies will be disrupted in the near future. Will this awaken a new wave of interest in the issues raised here?

Roman, 2002



Text of the paper as published in Futurics:

FUTURICS, Vol. 4, Nos. 3/4, pp. 269-278,1980
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. Copyright © 1981 Pergamon Press Ltd
0164-1220/80/0302b9-1 220/80/0302b9-10$02.(X)/0


Art As If People Mattered

Roman Verostko

This article is a revised version of a paper delivered at the First Global Conference on the Future, held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 20-24, 1980. Roman Verostko is a professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404.


In the United States in 1960 statistics indicated that about 470 thousand professional and technical persons were employed in Arts and Entertainment; projections for 1975 were 774 thousand or roughly a 75% increase in 15 years (Bell, 1976). Assuming the survival of our post-industrial society, we can expect that the impact of the arts, particularly in view of the growth in the communication arts, will be immense in shaping the attitudes and life style of this society as we approach the next century.

Recognizing the potential impact of this growth in our near future, this paper addresses certain "values" issues, vis-ŕ-vis the education of the artist, and the artist's role in shaping the emerging future. This paper addresses the visual arts in general including the work of designers and architects.

Usually our art schools and universities identify those involved in practical applications of the visual arts as "designers" and "architects" while those engaged in art for its own sake (ars gratia artis) are viewed as artists. Thus, we have the fields of "design" and "fine arts" with separate curricula for each in our educational systems. Sometimes they are housed in the same facility and, while they may share certain facilities and courses, they do require different curricula. Even so, they both are involved in the visual arts and ultimately their work contributes in one way or another to the quality of life and structure of the world we experience in common.

From this perspective we will explore the values they share in common or might share in shaping the future of the world.


The assumptions of this article are based on the principle of continuity, namely, that things tend to change in the way they have been changing. One concern coursing 


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through Western Civilization, which received great impetus in classical times, has been an interest in the understanding of self and one's proper relation to everything else. The more we are able to grasp the values of our own society in terms of self and relation to our world and the more we are able to see in which ways they are changing, the more we will grasp the emerging values of our future society.

Assuming a very broad perspective of modern society-what can we identify as an emerging and changing value set in terms of self-understanding-and relation to society? What is the temper-the mood? One decided, emerging change in human consciousness is the shift towards an interest in self-realization and this necessarily in relation to the other and to the ecology of our world. How do I achieve fullness-realize my potential-relate to others? Not in terms of a belief structure (a religion)-or a philosophical system-not how do I explain the world?-but rather, how do I realize self in this world and concomitant with this-how do I participate in creating that world? And the artists both today and in the future will surely participate in shaping that world.

Once I asked Barnet Newman, "Why do you paint?" He said, "I paint to create a world to be in." An obvious response, but one pointing to a great responsibility, a responsibility which I think he understood well. For those who choose to create within our world need to understand as much as possible the values they themselves wish to embody in the world they choose to create. A grasp of emerging value systems and convictions relative to one's own choices in view of those systems are necessary for a free and meaningful creative activity.

In seeking knowledge of self we have shifted our set of questions many times since the time of the Greeks (or of the Renaissance, for that matter). The very nature of the question continually changes. Recently it has assumed dimensions that are almost "religious" or "moral" in character. The driving concern in recent times is not "What is the nature of being?," or "Why am I here?," or "Where did I come from?," but rather the question is "How to be me?." The concern is on the quality of being alive in the world ... the process of how I become ME.

This pursuit has been at the center of spiritual fulfillment in all great religions and has taken on many forms. Perhaps this can best be illustrated by the Talmudic anecdote on Ben Joseph, who was disturbed and concerned that he surely wasn't like Moses and the Great Prophets. And the Rabbi sagely advised him saying, "You shall not be asked, 'Why were you not like Moses and the Prophets,' rather you will be asked, 'Why were you not like Ben Joseph."'

Note we are not talking here of the selfish self-aggrandizement of "me." We certainly recognize the stage of selfishness and self-centered ness-a phase our culture has been passing through. Our interest here is in the larger movement in our times towards the value of self-realization - not in a materialistic sense of owning property and being entertained through the use of things and/or people - but rather in reaching for the realization of self as a central life value. The human potential movement has spawned a wealth of literature and workshops and has been an embodiment, to some extent, of this kind of emerging consciousness. Ronald Barnes, in an article on education, suggested that this "me-centered" decade of the Seventies will be followed by a more searching approach to self and others which will have a profound effect on education. He suggests that we will develop new assumptions and our roles as educators will change radically (Barnes, 1978).

The effects of these shifting value systems in terms of self-realization in our emerging future have been changing our perception in three areas:

1. Relation to Self. First and foremost in relationship to self, as we have noted, our



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vital inquiry has been an increased interest in discovering valid means of self-fulfillment at all age-levels. The largely analytical and philosophical inquiry into the nature of the abstract concept "man" is being replaced with experimental and discovery modes of inquiry through meditation and body activity such as yoga, dance and body movement.

Let me diverge for a moment and draw on the insights of Willis Harman and his associates at the Stanford Research Institute. In a recent article on "The Coming Transformation," (Harman, 1977), he underlined a conclusion derived from their research: "The industrialized world is simultaneously undergoing a conceptual revolution as thoroughgoing in its effects as the Copernican Revolution, and an institutional revolution as profound as the Industrial Revolution." Following an account of his "lead indicators" for making such a forecast, he outlines a post transformation paradigm which includes as a basic goal of life "aware participation in individual growth and the evolutionary process; individual fulfillment through community; integration of work, play, and growth." The indicators are everywhere-in the Britannica 1978 Medical and Health Annual (Unit 15 Report on Yoga for Health and Happiness), there are reportedly "over 3,000 Yoga instructors in New England alone." The Minneapolis telephone directory lists six centers for the study of Yoga alone, not to mention six or seven new meditation and inner-awareness centers. And there is an active interplay between these centers, rock music lyrics, theater and dance. Even our language is changing with words such as "personal space."

2. Relation to Others. Second, these modes of inquiry are gradually displacing the moral and ethical codes of formal religion and rationalism as a means of discovering self-realizing ways of relating to spouse, family and society in general.

In effect, prescriptive modes of behavior are being displaced by experimental modes whereby couples, and, in some instances, "communes" seek behavior and relational patterns which they find mutually complementary and fulfilling. The rule or measure of behavior is not an "ideal" or a "concept" or what ought to be-but rather an experiential seeking for what works in the concrete here and now to draw the human potential to greater realization. For example, a couple choose to live together outside of the traditional family structure. They work out a relationship on the basis of what works for them.

3. Relation to Environment.  Third, our perception of the relationship of the human person to the man-made and natural environment is undergoing radical change. This is a natural consequence of this same emerging consciousness that places a high value on the development of human life and, on the basis of experience, rejects the idea that possession and consumption of goods or the exploitation of nature to acquire such goods, will contribute to fulfilling human life.

In a provocative article on Voluntary Simplicity as an alternate life style, Duane Elgin and Arnold Mitchell suggest: "In the years ahead, millions of Americans may move beyond materialistic values and choose an outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich life-style. This phenomenon could foreshadow a major transformation in Western values, with wide implications for future developments in business, technology, and society at large" (Elgin and Mitchell, 1977). I would like to quote briefly from the author's description of Voluntary Simplicity:

The essence of voluntary simplicity is living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. This way of life embraces frugality of consumption, a strong sense of environmental urgency, a desire to return to living and working environments which are of a more human


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scale, and an intention to realize our higher human potential-both psychological and spiritual-in community with others.... Historically, voluntary simplicity has its roots in the legendary frugality and self-reliance of the Puritans; in Thoreau's naturalistic vision of Walden Pond; in Emerson's spiritual and practical plea for "plain living and high thinking"; in the teachings and social philosophy of a number of spiritual leaders such as Jesus and Gandhi.

While we may not experience a societal shift to the extent suggested by the authors, we do recognize a growing consciousness of a societal need to move in these directions.

Salvation and fulfillment, in this perspective, are achieved through a balanced and harmonious relation with nature. One strives to find, as it were, an optimal relationship recognizing that we are not a primary resource for life on earth but absolutely dependent on other life. From this perspective, we discover that we cannot exploit other life because our survival depends on the well being of other life.

The consequences for the future designer are significant. There will be less concern for visual impact in a future society whose attention will be focused on conservation and reduced energy consumption. Redundancy in packaging, which wastes material and proliferates visual junk, will be less and less acceptable. We will value, and I trust with ever more demanding aesthetic sensitivity, the designer who can package and distribute goods by consuming less energy and eliminate the crass abuse of cutting down forests to add one wrapping around another. In effect preservation of life and relation to nature become aesthetic considerations in designing our world. I will return to this - let us look at the consequences in each area under consideration.


1. Changing Value Systems in Relation to Self

Let me diverge by noting an incident. Several weeks ago, I was delivering a lecture on Roman Architecture in my general introduction to art history. Following a break in the lecture, I noticed one student who had returned to class with a cigarette, a plastic cup of synthetic juice, and a chocolate covered doughnut. I thought to myself "I shouldn't be lecturing on Roman Art! This student is already all screwed up-we should be talking first about how to be whole human beings in our bodies." How can this person become a meaningful artist if he is not even aware that he is abusing his body? Shouldn't we really be doing something about that in our curriculum? And I realized then that there was nothing in our curriculum to help him.

Robert Masters has made the very incisive observation that "the primary aim of education should be the most complete and effective use of the self -a use that is then applied to other learning" (Masters, 1978). At all levels of education we need an element in our curriculum, which, on an on-going basis, aims at a holistic development of the self. This must include continuing body and sense development, particularly in those areas that tend to atrophy from kindergarten on - moving toes, fingers, elbows, arms, and legs . . . touching, clutching, grasping and caressing everything in the room ... smelling and tasting ... experiencing the range of taste and aroma ... in effect keeping alive and vibrant our range of sense.


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Perhaps, this would be best realized in an arts curriculum with some kind of core studio course which expands body awareness and sense facility. Such courses would not be aimed at intellectual or philosophical explanation or erudition but rather, in the tradition of studio experience, lead the participant to ever greater awareness and ability in experiencing self and other ... in knowing the magnificence and range of one's living, sensing body.

Thus, studio courses in body awareness stressing movement and the senses of touching, seeing, smelling, tasting and listening would contribute significantly to the artist's ability to effectively participate in creating a world to be in. Such a core of study could include basic direction and experience in meditation and the experience of inner space. Since novelty is often associated with these areas and there is often considerable skepticism relative to the value of this development, care should be taken that there is a clear understanding of the intentions of the program.

This empirical approach to what Masters calls "the most complete and effective use of the self" provides the basis for the effective learning then of what needs to be learned. We need to recognize in the present milieu that the visual artist cannot be adequately prepared if the curriculum presumes that "visual literacy" reigns supreme.

I am not suggesting that our curriculum put aside either the history of the visual arts or studio work with plastic, spatial and visual problems. Obviously, these are in themselves part of what we are talking about. However, the human person as acting artist/designer in our world is more than a set of sensitive eyes-he is a complete living, breathing, sensing organism designing and creating for responding human organisms.

Before moving to the second point, we need to recognize the need for study of the human person in the disciplines of psychology and anthropology as well. Holistic development that sets as its aim to achieve "the most complete and effective use of the self" must necessarily include a rigorous intellectual ability in those disciplines which study the human person in the more traditional academic disciplines.

2. Relation of Self to Others and to the Community

To the second area of concern-relation of self to others and to the community-much of what has been said above applies as well. Our key interest in this area should be to lay the groundwork for creative options in terms of viable life styles in the future. The emerging alternate life styles, while sporadic, are indicators of a general malaise about the survival of our present life-styles.

Schumacher, in his Epilogue to Small is Beautiful, stresses this point:

Wealth, education, research, and many other things are needed for any civilization, but what is most needed today is a revision of the ends which these means are meant to serve. And this implies, above all else, the development of a life-style which accords to material things their proper, legitimate place, which is secondary and not primary. (Schumacher, 1973) (Italics are mine.)

And he goes on to emphasize the destructive nature of the "logic of production" in our Industrial Age.

The materialism of the Industrial Revolution, as so many have pointed out, placed the primary emphasis on the production and consumption of goods. Possession of


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goods rather than wholesome relation to neighbor were a sign of success. Natural resources have been (and continue to be) exploited to serve this end. This materialistic value system has fostered rugged individualism and competitive self-­interest which promises to lead to our own self-destruction if something isn't done to stem the tide. The new emerging value system fosters interpersonal relations with a temperate production and consumption of goods that is more balanced and harmonized with nature.

Elgin and Mitchell, in their article on Voluntary Simplicity, which they have experienced as the emerging way of life, see the following five values as basic: (1) material simplicity, (2) human scale, (3) self determination, (4) ecological awareness, and (5) personal growth (Elgin and Mitchell, 1977). These values are all interrelated and transcend any single category outlined in this paper.

It is not our purpose here to pursue further refinement of this emerging value system. The point is simply that an arts curriculum should include such study and refinement as a central concern. This provides the artist with a perspective on our own changing value systems and the desired options open to us in shaping the future. The Artist and the Designer are necessarily frontline people in addressing these concerns. The artist community will play a central role in creating viable alternate life styles as we move into the postindustrial age. Therefore, artists themselves must become more educated to the implications for the future of the choices they make now.

3. The Relation of the Human Person to the Man-Made and Natural Environment

Finally to the third area of concern - the relation of the human person to the man­made and natural environment.

   The artist and designer community, since the enlightenment, have shared a view, surprisingly enough, not unlike that of the industrialist. Like "production for the sake of production" the pursuit of "art for the sake of art" relentlessly seeks its own ends, namely ART.

   In 1970, the British sculptors, Gilbert and George, published a six-page booklet with one title page to illustrate their "feelings as sculptors on the subject of Art." They did so feeling "very light" and hoped the statement would be read in the same spirit. The title of the piece is To Be With Art is All We Ask.

    Let us review the opening sentence with some excerpts: "Oh Art what are you? You are so strong and powerful, so beautiful and moving. You make us walk around and around, pacing the city at all hours, in and out of our Art for all room. We really do love you and we really do hate you. Why do you have so many faces and voices? ... Is to become an artist to be reborn, or is it a condition of life? ... Art we are driven by you at incredible speed, ignorant of the danger you are pushing and dragging us into. ... And yet, we don't forget you. Art, we continue to dedicate our artists-art to you alone, for you and your pleasure, for Art's sake. We would honestly like to say to you, Art, how happy we are to be your sculptors. We think about you all the time and feel very sentimental about you. We do realize that you are what we really crave for. ... " (Situation Concepts, 1971)

This piece, published at the beginning of our decade, is an extremely enigmatic statement filled with light-hearted intuitive statements about the author's feelings in


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relation to "Art." On the one hand, the statement reflects a personified quasi-religious or almost "sacred" conception of Art with a capital "A." On the other, it suggests something of the frustration of living as an artist with this conception of "Art." I see this, along with other similar concerns with "Art" in our decade, as a kind of documentation of the futility of living out the model of "Art for the sake of Art." Just as "production for the sake of production" must give way to another value system, so also must "art for the sake of art." What's wrong with "Art for the sake of Life"?

In fact, the emerging value system of the post-industrial age demands such a change. Harman points out in his article on "The Coming Transformation" that we all share responsibility in what Lynton Caldwell labeled the "ecological ethic" (Caldwell, 1972). This ethic "recognizes the limited nature of resources, sees man as an integral part of the natural world, hence inseparable from its governing processes and laws. The ecological ethic fosters a sense of the total community of man and responsibility for the fate of the planet, and relates self-interest to the interests of fellow man and of future generations" (Harman, 1977). This is coupled with the "self realization ethic" that is connected to all the issues in this article.

In Harman's words, this ethic asserts: "The proper end of all individual experience is the further development of the emergent self and of the human species. The appropriate function of all social institutions is to create an environment that will foster that process. These two ethics - one emphasizing the total community of 'man in nature' and the oneness of the human race, and the other placing the highest value on the development of selfhood - are complementary, not contradictory. Together, they encourage both cooperation and wholesome competition, both love and individuality. Each is a corrective against the excesses and misapplications of the other." In effect, one could say that the emerging value system emphasizes that the good of the individual, the community and nature are all mutually inter­dependent and no single one can be had at the expense of another.

I would conclude therefore, that a third element in the college art curriculum must include the study of the human person and society's interrelation with nature. And this should be done in more than a casual and popular way as these issues necessarily enter the work of the artist. There is no point in having designers and artists add more bits and pieces to our world without recognizing the over-all interaction of their work with the ecology of that world.

To summarize, we can expect radical changes in societal values in relation to "self," community and both the man-made and natural environment. The education of the artist should include effective study and appropriate experiences as basic development for working creatively in these three areas. Given such curricular changes, I believe our artist community will provide important contributions in shaping a more balanced and fulfilling life in the future.


The following considerations are intended to focus on issues that emerged following several presentations of the original Houston* paper. There are three changing perceptions that

*The original paper was presented at the Education Section's World Future Society conference in Houston during October 1978


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we are experiencing. These changing perceptions will  become increasingly important vis-ŕ-vis the arts. The first relates to views of art in relation to nature; the second relates to views of the artist and the third to views of the artist's work.

1. Art and Nature. It is a near "natural" corollary of the complexion of the changing values discussed above that we will, in the future, be less and less inclined to distinguish the processes of art from the processes of nature. Historically the term "art" has been used to distinguish the traces of human activity on this earth from all other processes which are "natural." Those things which have been shaped or touched by the hand of a man or woman have been viewed in a category separate from "nature," the category of art. This usage,  in the broadest sense, ranges from the fine art of painting or sculpture to the design of buildings, clothing, manufacturing systems, and the myriads of things humans have made. Thus the art and artifacts of human industry have come to be distinguished from the events of "nature." Yet, as we come to perceive ever more pointedly the inter-relation between human activity and that of all other life and our environment, we will come to see more clearly how our art and artifacts are only a part of, and not separate from, nature.

We participate in a process of complex interrelationships, some of which preceded human life on this earth and some of which may very well succeed it. From this perspective, our sense of how we interact with the life and world around us is the nature of our "art," whether it be fashioning a painting or building a dam or a city.

Our growing concern for creating nature preserves is an early indicator of one of the major artistic concerns of the future. It is indeed a strange irony that we are experiencing a world wide level urgency to "preserve" fair samples of nature. Besides the necessity to preserve biological options for the future, it would seem that the very awesomeness of life would compel humans to let more of it alone. Yet nations, cities, and neighborhoods are prepared at every turn to "improve" the riverfront, "develop" the lake, and "enhance" our recreation areas. And these "improvements" are sometimes funded by arts groups including environmental artists, landscape artists, architects and designers-ready and willing to "improve" things.

But things are changing and restoration is beginning to replace improvement. It is in this context that I believe we need to and will experience a counter-move to let things alone, to retreat, to develop a greater sensitivity to the earth and other life forms, to preserve them-yes-to design the preservation. This will lead to an aesthetics and art of the process of preservation of that which is not man-made.

We have examples in those nature preserves and conservations where limited access has been designed in terms of trails and viewing stations. These may be prototypes of future art forms which will serve in amplifying the human relationship with other forms of life and the earth itself. The form of such activity lies open to the richness of the human imagination.

The fish ladder at Rocky Beach Dam in the state of Washington would be an example of an attempt at preservation in the context of high technology. A fish ladder is a water spillway alongside of a dam providing a means for fish to bypass the dam which obstructs their coming and going from nesting sites. This particular fish ladder provides viewing stations for the public and its overall design serves as a kind of "environmental" sculpture which attempts to integrate the preservation of life processes


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with high technology.(Note 1) This is one of a range of design concerns, which reflect the values, discussed above.

2. The Artist. There emerged in Western society, particularly since the time when Francis I invited Leonardo to France, the idea of the "famous artist" and the fancy price attached to the work of the famous artist. We will call this the "celebration of artist" value. For many complex reasons we have cultivated a kind of "hagiography" of artists creating the "Saint-artist," a concept that reached its apogee, I think, with Picasso whose name is synonymous with Art with a capital "A."

In this value system regardless of the value of the work produced by a specific artist, his or her livelihood as artist, is connected to his or her degree of "being famous," or well-known. Little can have been more defeating to an artist within this societal conception than to have been an obscure or unknown artist.

The corollary to this is that the artist who has achieved great exposure by becoming famous and well known also achieves market value. His or her work acquires high market value and becomes prestigious. This has coursed through all the arts in our times and has fostered a kind of movie starism of which Andy Warhol was an excellent example in the 60s and he himself was keenly aware of this phenomenon.

With the gradual increase of the values we have discussed here, I think we will and, in fact, are experiencing a decline in this "celebration of artist" value. This is due in part to the fact that we have had longer experience with mass media, are more jaded to its charm, more concerned with how it can service the quality of life, and less inclined to be seduced by its glamour.

3. Form. The last value change is in relation to the form of artistic activity. Since the time of the Greeks theories of art as mimesis have dominated artistic activity in Western civilization. In the 20th century concepts of mimesis in the visual arts have been undergoing a radical transformation. While mimesis has continued in the visual arts in altered forms throughout our century, there has been a growing artistic activity, which has broken with the traditions of mimesis entirely. Let us look at examples of each.

There has been a wide range of artistic activity in the 20th Century, which we have labeled expressionistic. This has ranged from the French Fauves and the German Expressionists to the New York action painters. If we were to consider the most "abstract" of Jackson Pollock's dripped canvases, we would still have to look at them as reflecting (expressing) something of his inner experience. The intense emotional involvement and personal experience of the artist became part of the subject of the work. Thus, the painting becomes a sign or metaphor of an experience with paint and canvas. In as much as this is so the artwork is a form of mimesis-it stands for and mimics an experience.

We could say the same for the surrealist whose works "mime" the shapes, nuances or aspects of dreams, fantasies and psychological states. Thus, the work of an artist like Joan Miro becomes a window on a fertile human imagination, a kind of mimesis.

There has been another kind of activity in our times, which has simply focused on a given phenomenon. Thus Josef Alber's series "Homage to the Square" focuses on a

Note 1. For a discussion of the problems and limitations of fish ladders in the Columbia River system see "Those Salmon Keep Battling Those Dams," by Anthony Netboy, Natural History, Vol. 89, No. 7, July 1980, pp, 52-61.


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specific and unique color phenomenon that results from a given set of relationships. These relationships explore the nature of visual illusion without referring to other reality. They do not mime another experience. The work is non-referential; its own reality is the reference point for our experience.

This kind of work is outside the tradition of mimesis. Most artists in the structuralist traditions stemming from Kasimir Malevic and the Russian constructivists have created work of this kind.

There has been yet another kind of non-mimetic artistic activity in our times, one we could label as anti-art or "non-art" art. This stems from the tradition of dada and has tended to engage any kind of gesture, act, or non-act, which might challenge any assumptions about art. Such activity may be characterized by the irrational, nonsense and the absurd often employing elements of shock, surprise and the unexpected. It can lead to non-activity as it did in the case of Marcel Duchamp whose works, even with tongue-in-cheek, have managed to reshape the way we think about and experience the questions of artistic activity today. This has lead to the idea that art may be viewed as an attitude, a state of mind, or a point of view.

These brief observations attempt to summarize a very complex series of issues addressed by artists in our times. The current struggle within the fine' arts, it seems to me, is between those who in one form or another adhere to altered and innovative forms of mimesis and those who have shifted their attention towards the cultivation of questions or attitudes in relation to our experience of life. Both serve a valuable function and both will undoubtedly continue into the future.

Even so, with the emerging value systems we have discussed above, I think we will see the artist less and less concerned with forms of mimesis, however altered ... forms, as it were, of "my experience," "my concept." These will be replaced more and more with forms pointing towards the quality of our experience of the world. Or we may have forms, which focus our attention on alternative ways of designing and arranging human experience for the greater realization of self and community. 

Given these value shifts, we may experience a new kind of artist more integrated regionally in our everyday world, our nature centers, our market place, and our industry. And the artist in such a context and engaged this way may not have a name. In such an event, a strange thing shall have happened, the artist will be "Every Person." Art and life will be one.


Barnes, Ronald E. "An Educator Looks Back from 1977." Futurist, April 1978, 12(2). Bell, D. The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York: Basic Books, 1976. Caldwell, Lynton. Environment: A Challenge to Modern Society, 1973.

Elgin, Duane S. and Arnold Mitchell. "Voluntary Simplicity: Lifestyle of the Future?" Futurist, 1977, 11(4), 200ff.

Harman, Willis. "The Coming Transformation." Futurist, April 1977,11(2),106-112. (Note: Willis Harman is currently Associate Director, Center for Study of Social Policy, Stanford Research Institute, Menlo Park, California.)

Masters, Robert. "The Effects of Psychophysical Re-Education." Dromenon, August 1978, 1(2), 3. Schumacher, E.G. Small is Beautiful. New York: Harper, 1973.

Situation Concepts. Wien, Austria: Galerie Nachst St. Stephan, 1971.

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