Reading Responses (Week 2)

Sections Assigned

  • Heller: Becoming an Artist/Ethnographer in Visualizing Anthropology by Grimshaw 133-141
  • Garrett: “Free Your Mind.” 35

Heller: Becoming an Artist/Ethnographer in Visualizing Anthropology by Grimshaw 133-141

Roanna Heller reflects on her journey becoming an artist-ethnographer. This experience yields time for self-expression while reflecting on her role as an artist observing and as an artist participating in an environment. She shares, “I realized that the artist, like the ethnographer, is concerned with learning about and communication experience; however, artist learn though making (research by practice), exploring the world through imaginative material and conceptual interventions, whereas the ethnographer is trained to retain an analytical distance, to learn through text-based interpretation.” From there, her experience reminds me of Paulo Freire’s philosophy of reading. Heller reads the context of her environment and expresses this information by employing various artistic practices including visual arts, movement, and text. I find this work to be crucial in justifying multiple intelligences while providing a roadmap of this process.

Garrett: “Free Your Mind.” 35

Rob Garrett’s discussion of publicness and work in the public eye reminds me of a lesson I conducted with my students back in Phoenix, Arizona. We discussed the display of art and access to works. Sometimes, money or transportation were obstacles. Literacy could also inhibit an individual’s ability to see or understand certain art. However, when we began to collectively recognize and identify public art, students began to understand how accessibility can often reflect a work of art’s intended audience.

Garrett continues this discussion, stating “art can play an important role [in political change] by giving voice to what is silent in the existing balance of power.” Art in the public eye yields an opportunity to imagine the possibilities for social structure and individual liberties. Garrett’s concise article reflects my passion for public art and the dynamic possibilities for works to catalyze change.

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