By Peter Abbs
Straight away provocative and inspiring, opposed to the Flow is a piece of polemic from an the world over revered author and philosopher on arts schooling. Peter Abbs argues that modern schooling ignores the cultured and moral due to being in thrall to such forces because the industry financial system and managerial and practical dictates. He identifies the current schooling approach as being inimical to creativity and genuine studying and as an alternative, narrowly interested by the quantitative measuring of effects. This absence of an artistic and moral size in schooling has implications for artwork making in wider society. artwork is proven as rising from, and attractive to, the ironic postmodernist sensibility and mass media-led tradition, whereas being without philosophical importance. This ebook opens up a clean and well timed debate in regards to the important energy of creativity in smooth schooling. Drawing on examples from glossy poetry, literature and visible artwork, it's an eloquent and passionate argument for the necessity to increase moral and aesthetic energies to confront the transforming into vacuity of latest tradition.
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Extra info for Against the Flow: Education, the Art and Postmodern Culture
I struggled through my adolescence with the growing hole left by the disappearance of God. I felt the need for a world illuminated by values but experienced often a desolate emptiness within and a mordant awareness of mortality. In brief, I had lost my childhood faith but remained preoccupied with the spiritual dimension. Life, I instinctively felt, had to be about more than could be grasped through the blind operations of chance and the indifferent engines of insentient matter. I also felt, perhaps rather diffusely, that any concept of education worthy of the name had to engage with the perennial issues relating to freedom, to meaning, to value – however broken the world seemed.
The word religion, in contrast, derives from the Latin re-ligere meaning to bind together; but the paradox is that the breath cannot be bound. It is an incoherent metaphor and, if it suggests any image, it is that of suffocation. Systems that would seek to hold the spirit are all but bound to destroy it. That is the depressing story of nearly all world religions. At the beginning of the twenty-ﬁrst century we are in a unique position to grasp this great, if uncomfortable, truth. Indeed, it could be called a postmodern truth where the postmodern is seen as an incredulity towards all meta-narratives and all systems of ﬁnal explanation.
The smile, as with the thought or moral category, can only be understood through human recognition. Any expression of consciousness requires a comparable act of consciousness for its understanding. Here, without doubt, the deconstructing and relativizing elements of postmodernists have had an important part to play in pulling down the grand narratives and metaphysical pretensions of science with its totalitarian tendency to assume it could interpret every kind of problem. This aspect of postmodern thinking has been a liberation of the mind.
Against the Flow: Education, the Art and Postmodern Culture by Peter Abbs