The Views of Eva Diaz of Albers Pedagogues on Ethics of Perception

Category: Experience, Perception
Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
Pages: 6 Views: 9

I agree with Eva Diaz's views of Albers pedagogies on his ethics of perception through art education as a means of achieving social change. However I think that it is too broad of a statement to say that such an approach to art education will create this big social change. The ethics of perception has an abundance of meaning when explained in the context of traditional art education and progressive art education. The effects that traditional art education has had on restricting the use of and source of forms stagnates social development therefore displaying the need for progressive education.

Josef Albers insight to improving students artistic perspective has proven able them to build forms and directing attention towards different elements in the piece has furthered society intellectually. I believe that Albers's teachings directly correlates with successful decision making processes in life, whether you are an artist or not. The decision making that goes on in shaping a form by understanding its qualities mirrors an individual deeply thinking about a situation and assessing all of its moving parts before articulating a solution to the problem.

Ethics are moral principles that guide a person's behavior and they are formed through sensory memory experience or perception. When traditional art schools give one experience to their students those institutions are giving individuals moral principles that do not apply to their current culture. This has sociological impacts on masses of people that come out of art schools and continue to rehearse the same material for the sake of tradition, for this idea of higher learning is in fact impeding the following generations audience of people from achieving a higher moral awareness. People that come out of these traditional schools are educated but not in relevant material that could help them articulate themselves in their everyday lives.

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Academically trained individuals that were taught see elements of art in artwork that was seamless and perfected not artwork that had a deeper meaning. Nay the society that has been built around preserving tradition does not value art that conveys an innovative idea, a feeling that cannot be captured through words, and pains that have been masked by oppressors. It is very difficult to begin to value social issues and innovative ideas when institutions drive on like horses leading a carriage with blinders on, mindlessly kept going by the motive of the most prominent social values. Through traditional schooling there is a mindless practice of teaching artists to reproduce past art where the same morals are reinstated and the same ideals are strived for despite changing cultural climates.

Progressive art education seeks to deconstruct beliefs set in stone by traditional art educators. Progressive art educators seek to take down these standards by promoting experiential learning which serves the current needs of the society or the changes that need to be made. Modern art communicates some evocation of feeling mentally or emotionally and or seeks to teach and remind one of a new value way or looking at things, to further educate the public.

New forms are able to be made which are more advanced and aid society in furthering itself and shedding traditional knowledge that was kept around just for the sake of its own existence. The truths that artists reveal in their artwork shock viewers who may have never experienced what they had before, yet find themselves impacted by the feeling or idea that the artwork conveys.

In relation, the inner workings of traditional art institutions must be delved into in order to gain a sense how they impacted society because of their restriction of the use of forms. Traditional art schools focus on the repetition of rendering observations from life, particularly the nude as Eva Diaz adeptly points out, as well as duplicating past art works. The focus on duplicating past art works was maintained because of the instilled notion that practices to create such master pieces had been perfected. The repetition of rendering drawings of classical forms and idealized figures through the same processes is what traditional practices include.

Through a classic art education artists are all trained to speak the same visual language, who in turn are all putting out the same work, that end up depicting the same things. Artists were becoming machines that cranked out artwork like machines, each attempting to be more perfect than the last in creating traditional crafts because that is what was valued despite the impact it was having on humanity. Traditional institutes fail to further the individual and their artistic perceptual abilities outside of the traditional context, therefore hindering them to render forms that could progress social change in any current culture or community.

Even going into the 19th century traditional art schooling was focused on elevating idealistic figures and ideas in art pieces. If one is given a tool and then only taught how to create certain forms that do not pertain to their own situation how are they to apply their skills into artistically depicting problems in their own lives or others at that time. The building blocks that traditional art education sets does not guide artists in their processes of creating new forms or how to processes in experimenting with forms to convey their own truths or ideas. The unilateral approach that traditional art education implements does not cater to the demands of the rapidly changing diverse cultures and the social situations that occur in them.

Josef Albers ethical approach to progressive art education is one that focuses on the individual's growth in seeing the inner workings of the world and how the individual can shape their own created forms to better that world. An individual must be active in the active society that we live in with the variety of problems that are abound. Josef Albers is teaching his students how to organize their thoughts and see the steps to how they can create their own solves for issues in their community or themselves. By building upon a base of simple materials and looking closely, Josef teaches students the formal elements of a natural object.

Once the student learns these artistic elements of simple objects they can add in a more complex step and render the form through their own vision. Students test the formal qualities of the material in order to gain an understanding of what each of its qualities achieves, so that a student knows how to render each part of that material to create their own representation of the form.

Josef Albers insists on being able to articulates one's thoughts about what a material's formal qualities are and how they come together to make the form that an audience inspects. As an example for a decision making process I have my friend Anna who picked apart a situation and chose whether or not to tell an old lady she was wrong. I am going to name this old lady Mrs. Jones. Mrs. Jones walks up to Anna in the Ingles in Swannanoa, she is holding up a blooming Poinsettia and asks Anna, "How much are these Mums?".

Anna breaks apart the situation, she analyzes its formal qualities such as Mrs. Jones appearance of being in a hurry and her likening to the beauty of the plant. Anna decides for herself that it is just better for the old lady to know the price of the plant instead of trying to fight her on something that Mrs. Jones could hold as a sure belief. Anna replied, "That is 5.98 ma'am."

My other friend Harvest is on heavy duty and was working in vining C one day. He came across a window in which someone had spat a big wad of dip tobacco all over a window which had hardened like plaster on a surface. Harvest contemplates and decides to use peroxy window cleaner on the mess to fix it. He came to this conclusion because of his knowledge of the qualities that dip tobacco holds, and how it would therefore interact with the window pane.

Bill, Harvest's supervisor walks up to him and instructs Harvest that he has used too much of the cleaner and further tells him to clean a mini fridge that a student left in the common room. Harvest contains his anger and methodically thinks of a response finally stating that, “But 1 Eva Diaz "Ethics of Perception" pgs. 260-264 someone spat dip all over the window, Bill". Bill walks away and so does Harvest as he decides to sit down and reflects upon the situation. Harvest consecutively decides that it is not his job to clean the mini fridge that a student left behind.

In conclusion Albers teachings about assessing forms directly correlates with processes that people use to figure out the best solve to a situation. By assessing the history behind these teachings, and how traditional art education has hindered the development of people's ability to articulate themselves, the need for a progressive education to be in place is seen to be necessary. As progressive styles of education have become more popular peoples decision making processes and ability to articulate themselves has evolved.

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The Views of Eva Diaz of Albers Pedagogues on Ethics of Perception. (2023, Apr 19). Retrieved from

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