The poetics project is interested in coordinating rigorous program development surrounding the development of handmade goods in the global political economy. Students from all over UNM from various disciplines are welcome to participate in what is constantly becoming a sterling program in arts management informed by world-class interdisciplinary study. Every student who is part of the poetics project is trained to appreciate both the policy/management-driven aspects of the art world, but also the deeply complicated and delicate questions of value for the handmade good. As the political economy evolves at a near incomprehensible rate, these questions are more relevant than ever. We plan to foster leadership in sustainability through the arts in 21st century global civil society and beyond.
Our Program in 2012:
The Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market hosts upwards of 150 unique folk artists from around the world each year. The core mission of the SFIFAM is to preserve the native traditions of those involved in making and producing folk art, and to provide a crucial platform for the folk artists to sell their goods. A platform so essential, that many of these artists make their entire living income for the year off this single event. The income gained by the folk artists from the SFIFAM has proven instrumental in helping women in developing countries gain financial autonomy, helps provide educational opportunities for the folk artist’s children and communities, and preserves the idea that handmade goods are still an essential part of our global economy. The SFIFAM has granted IBSG exclusive access to its folk artists and to developing its core philosophy—those IBSG members involved can expect to impact not only the SFIFAM but those in developing countries around the world.
Poetics Project Curriculum
- Introductory Workshop: Friday Fractals and Discussion of “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”:
- Workshop: Integrating the Business World and the Folk Art World:
- Workshop(s): The Technological and the Poetic: How to Heighten our Receptivity to Both
- Optional Interdisciplinary Lectures: Robert Pippin on “Art and Truth: Heidegger’s Origin Essay and the Case of Cézanne”
- Workshop: Mentor to Market: Formulating Strategies for Working with Folk Artists
- Summer Objectives: Preparing for the Santa Fe International Folk Arts Market
This workshop will serve as the introduction to the poetics project curriculum. The primary concern of IBSG in working with the SFIFAM is to cohesively merge effective business models with the respect and reverence it takes to embrace and understand the importance of folk art in the new technological age. This requires not just that IBSG students be interested in the consulting aspect that the project requires, but also in the theoretical and historical backdrop which will encapsulate and define our research methods. Our first discussion will focus on Walter Benjamin’s text, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. This essay deals with the conflicts that works of art encounter when they are confronted with capitalistic modes of reproduction. We will define what a relationship to a work of art means in today’s society, what it means for us to be “alienated” from the act of production, and what possible routes we as IBSG members can take in defining the scope of this project with these questions in mind.
This workshop will focus on developing effective strategies for collaborating with the SFIFAM. During this workshop we will discuss what the SFIFAM means by its insistence on promoting only “folk artists” and we will discuss ways to be sensitive to the mission of the SFIFAM while simultaneously providing them with valuable consulting and research support. There will also be a discussion of what the work positions will require of the students who wish to be involved, and we will develop strategies for how we will manage writing a research paper that successfully manages both the theoretical and practical aspects of this project.
Our ultimate responsibility to the SFIFAM is to provide them with a rich theoretical foundation which solidifies their unique philosophy of being committed to advancing and protecting the domain of our world’s folk artists. This requires that current and future IBSG member’s develop receptivity to both the poetic and technological aspects that drive human production. This workshop will serve to help IBSG encounter the philosophical origins of the poetic and the technological, what common mistakes and presuppositions we often approach the poetic and the technological with, and the ultimate danger to our humanity that lies in losing our “poetic” ways of relating to the world. We will enrich this discussion with primary texts from prominent thinkers in the field of the philosophy of art and technology. There will be more than one of these workshops to accommodate the breath of research available to us.
Suggested reading for this set of workshops will include: Brief excerpts from Martin Heidegger’s What is Called Thinking, Martin Heidegger’s What Are Poet’s For, Iain Thomson’s Heidegger, Art, and Postmodernity, Hubert Dreyfus’s essays on human intelligence in the computerized age, and a showing of the film “The Examined Life”.
Noted Hegelian and Philosophy of Art Scholar, Robert Pippin, is scheduled to present on topics concerning art and truth at the University of New Mexico on April 5th and 6th. All students in involved with the poetics project are welcome to sit on Pippin’s colloquia, especially those still interested in continuing the discussion of what it means to authentically encounter a work of art. Since major aspects of this project will rely on intensive research, it may be helpful to encounter how those in other fields of study would structure an academic argument involving many of the philosophical figures we have been discussing.
Although research into improving the mission of the SFIFAM is one of our primary objectives, a subsequent part of the poetics project success lies in our ability to successfully interact with the folk artists themselves. This workshop will be dedicated to developing strategies and resources to facilitate our training of the folk artists we will be in contact with. We must take into consideration things such as language barriers, cultural nuances and boundaries, gender dynamics, and the type of consulting which best suits the specific folk art the artist is promoting (jewelry, clothing, pottery, etc).
As the actual SFIFAM approaches this July 13th, 14th and 15th IBSG members involved in the distinct work positions they have interviewed for will be required to submit research and maintain contact with myself, Dr. Montoya, and possibly the board of the Santa Fe Folk Arts Market. The success of this project relies heavily on both research and active business consulting and case studies. Those who are fully committed can expect to see immediate results of their efforts this summer, and can also contribute to the much greater project of continuing IBSG’s involvement in the SFIFAM for future generations of IBSG members.