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On Being Struck

On Being Struck

Hitting the Eye/Arousing the Mind

(p.1) Introduction On Being Struck
Ribbon of Darkness
Barbara Maria Stafford
University of Chicago Press

Before students can understand the many ways artists ask us to make sense of their creations, they need to understand how they themselves perceive and think. This essay explores the use of a relational game in teaching our subjective involvement in seeing and resonating with the world. In a reversal of the classic Surrealist objet trouve experiment, participants must go out into the environment not to seek, but to await, an encounter with something that is other, that must be fitted together with our own changing perspectives. Such openness to the intrusion of our surroundings releases the viewer from self-absorption, revealing an independent, yet interdependent, space. This pedagogical game is a pragmatic example of situated cognition. Its phenomenological approach embeds thought in the lived environment. The extensive logic of the game undergirds another perception-enhancing practice. The life-long custom of taking field trips enhances the art of physical and mentally co-producing an always situated reality.

Keywords:   Art Education, Embedded Thought, Field Trip, Game, Objet Trouve, Perception, Phenomenology, Pragmatics, Situated Cognition, Surrealism

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