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 28 2013: I think the interest and validity given to discoveries both external and internal of ourselves is of undeterminably equal measure. I agree with Simon that there is less value given to intrinsically created expression that there is to extrinsically contextualised discoveries, that is to say, expression of the self is regarded and less discoverable and by extension a consistent framework we can knowingly connect on. There is always, perhaps a defining characteristic of art, currently no definitive reference we can use, expression is taking the blurring elements of our conscious and un-concious abstract constructs and wishing to pass some degree, through some medium, to another to interpret and to be able to gain reference of that expression through their own internal dialogue with those same aspects.

    Until we understand more of the neurological-psychological-conciousness interplays, plus greater aspects of the sociological influences on these, then perhaps they will always be regarded in a number of sense as less valuable as they are less definable and repeatable.

    I am fascinated in the cause and effect relationship between experience and expression, however the mechanics which manifest the expression may remain a mystery for a while just yet.

    With Genuine Interest,


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