TED Conversations

Simon Peter Debbarma

Student of History, Desire Machine Collective

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Why is art (or artistically creative fields) often not taken seriously?

My question is self-explanatory.

I live in India where the shortest path to success in life is getting a degree and a good job. Its basically the traditional way. Very few actually pursue something artistic. And very few parents actually encourage it.

I found that most parents don't want their children to take risks and enter the creative fields. Most want their kids to be engineers and doctors. Here in India, most kids either end up wanting to be an engineer or a doctor and many parents want just that. Maybe its the financial stress but there's no explanation for it.

The creativeness in kids is killed although some lucky ones have it until the end of their lives. This is also shared by Ken Robinson''s talk. Creativity is art and its sad to see art dying in the younger generations.

As you can see this is very prevalent in my country and other Asian countries. You can also figure out why we can be kind of over-achievers if we try hard. John Maeda's father as said in this TED talk says that his father told a certain shop owner that he was "good in math" while his teacher had said that John was good in "math and art". His father had left out art. I've been in similar situations too and its kind of sad to see that your talent is not uphold-ed or recognized by the ones you hoped would appreciate it. Maybe I was not good enough, but it didn't mean that I couldn't improve. Many go through this and I think coming up with a solution should be on our agenda.

What can you do to change this? Are you willing to change your society?
How can we keep children interested and their love for art burning through their school life?
Is this something only my generation will have to face? Do you think this will change in later generations?Will we be supportive of our children in what they are good at, and at not what you want them to be?

Topics: art creativity

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    Jul 15 2013: Art is a subject, an often gifted subject, but haven't benefit humanity as much as Physics or Mathematics, therefore, making art less of a serious subject
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      Jul 16 2013: Whooooooooooooowwwwwww hold on there pardner. Art, is as serious as a heart attack, no matter what anyone thinks. It is literally the key to vast power, influence, and control in societies since the dawn of civilization itself. Are you kidding ? Are you serious ? Please tell me you don't believe such silliness. Art influences, and controls your life every day. Just because your not aware that it's controlling you, doesn't mean it isn't happening. I'll give you an example. Young people standing next to a very exclusive store not far from my home. Fifty young people waiting like vultures to buy sneakers, or basketball shoes of a particular name, and style, to show off to their friends, or sell for a huge markup profit. Either way it was art that gave those shoes that special value. ADVERTISING my friend. The question is what's more valuable, the Shoes, or the art that sold those shoes? "No" my friend, art is as powerful as an earthquake, or flood when it's done right. Take my word for it, art matters a lot, not only as important as engineering, but the mother of all engineering, and science.
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      Jul 16 2013: Peter you know this kid Andrew is the person with the highest IQ or something. I don't even think he can be kidding about his views on this. I don't know why Andrew thinks so that art is not valuable but he is wrong. Andrew you may have done amazing things in the fields of physics but you should also realize that art is as important as anything. I'm not being pro-art i'm being honest here. Physicists have the general ignorance of anything besides their subject of interest. Listen Andrew if you say that art has not contributed to humanity then you are being ignorant of the world around you. On similar grounds even I could say that science has not contributed anything. ( but thats not true because I'm a student of science too). Anyway Peter is absolutely right about what he said above.

      Actually guess what Andrew! I started this thread because of people like you that are ignorant of things that matter to others although it might not matter to you at all. Whenever I read your statement I break into laughter because of what you said. Please change your views buddy.
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        Jul 16 2013: I consider art valuable, but if you read my comment you would notice that I claimed that art isn't as effective as physics or the field of science and technological advancement in terms of views of industrialism and revolutionism, since art didn't lead to as many discoveries in benefiting humanity others don't consider it as valuable as the others. You must understand one thing if a physicist though art was more revolutionary ge wouldn't be a physicist.
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          Jul 16 2013: I can think of plenty of examples where art led the way, particularly into revolutions, where ideas promulgated among the creative and intellectual types lead to new philosophies or political systems. The basic questions of what it means to be human, what are our inherent rights, once debated in the harmless realms of academia engendered political systems and social theories.

          Einstein himself placed a tremendous importance on the role of imagination and creativity, skills you don't acquire running calculations or collecting data. His biggest breakthroughs, which are the biggest of the big, came from him doing simple thought experiments. He just imagined what it would be like, say, if you were in a train and how fast someone outside of it might look they were traveling relative to oneself.

          Art is often so far out in front of "physics of the field of science and technological advancement" that it may be interpreted in a narrow scope not to be as effective, when it reality it is leading the way and has lead the way so far ahead that it's no longer even seen by some, unfortunately, as part of the advance at all.

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