Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Do Our Experiences Shape Our World View?

I've often wondered about that old saw about 'seeing the world through the eyes of an artist'.

Over the years, I've heard many variations on that particular theme in popular culture:

- Life through the eyes of a child.
- Approaching life with the 'engineering mindset'.
- A writer's take on the world.
- A mother's viewpoint...

And so on... Which leads me to wonder, how much do our experiences really shape our world view?

I have a fleeting image of individuals who change hats to change their viewpoint... IE: I'm looking at this as techie or now I'll check it out as a mother!

How many times does that average person change their hat in the course of a day? It would certainly be challenging to quantify. And your control group would have to be very perceptive and honest in order to make the study relevent. If it could even be done...

Coming back to the artist, how does that artist express/communicate his vision of the world in his work if he also has many other 'personas' or worldviews? Could be an interesting direction to pursue if you had a sense of humour I would think...
I have a writer friend who is fascinated with personal expression and how the artist can speak for their generation on some level. There's been a lot of debate on the artists role in society and their voice in a culture. She even postulates that it is the artists responsibility to publish their views in order to express that 'piece of our culture'.

I don't know about that, but I'm a firm believer in variations in order to create a broader, more balanced view of things. 
Maybe our own hat changing trick is designed to do just that, balance us out so that we don't stagnate or go crazy!

With that in mind, I'm going to go change hats and take a look around...

Images by Teresa Young:
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SF Girl said...

Great topic! I'm of the opinion that while "our experiences" go a long way to shaping our individual world view, it is also our "inclination" and how we respond to our environment that makes each of us different. Else, diversity would fall away within a culture, particularly a strong one.

As for changing one's hat... well, I certainly know that being a mother gave me a different (additional) view of the world -- mainly because it was also through the lens of my young son, who was in wonder of the world. But, the "artist' in me never left in that view. The two melded into a creative process that synergistically became more than the sum of its parts...so, being a mother just added another layer onto my world view.

So, I'd liken it to fractal layers rather than changing hats, per se, because they all mix together (making friends)and subtly affecting all other elements.

As for responsibility of the artist, well, I think that's a whole other post... :)

Your friend,

come to my blog, The Alien Next Door, and argue with me about Facebook and social networks and their role in art and language ... LOL!

Dalifan said...

Well said! Now I understand why I read your blog;-) Thanks for the comment!

Tamara said...

Wow duuudes! You guys are like totally so deep and all brainy and stuff! hehehe...

Another wonderfully thought-provoking and inspiring post Teresa. The way you write really pulls me in and carries me along - ie. no effort required to keep my focus, which is more of an accomplishment than you might think. More amazing masterpieces as well. I am SUCH a fan!!

I feel a little out-classed, so will try not to say anything that sounds that way. So... umm... awesome, and gotta go!

;-) ... Tamara (I really should NOT sign this silly comment... but oh well!)