Monday, September 9, 2013

Is this really art?

This is from the Nick Jr. show, Yo Gabba Gabba.  I know nothing of the show.  I stumbled upon this video because of a list of recommended children's youtube channels.  Yo Gabba Gabba was the favorite of the person putting together the list. 

I watched a few episodes with Inge.   Yes, she was interested.  Yes, she was involved.  Yes, she was stimulated. 

Strange.  At first glance, the whole show seemed to me little more than a retro hippy drug induced creation.  And at second glance.  Third....

As I watched the above clip, I was reminded of a discussion going on in worldview and education/homeschool philosophy circles many years ago.  Perhaps it still is.  I mostly no longer have the energy to pursue such intelligent philosophical banterings, so I can't say for sure.

The idea was that 20th century art is widely a reflection of the wider 20th century tendency to forgo rules and order.  What appears in this video to be a bunch of adults clowning around and making a huge mess, is called art.

I don't deny that art is everywhere.  Creativity abounds in humanity.  Beauty abounds in the earth.  Interesting and challenging ideas can be portrayed visually.  Touching moments, hardship, violence, accomplishment, virtue, etc.  These can all be portrayed through visual media.  That to me is art.  At least visual art.

But the above definition of art?  Really?  I think we as a society can and should do better than this.  We ought to hold higher standards before our children. 

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