Mapping Myself into My World
â€œYour focus determines your realityâ€ Quigon Jinn â€“ Star Wars
â€œEnergy flows where attention goesâ€ - anonymous
Culture is a socially constructed map for living. Maps, like art, (image, story, dance, song), focus consciousness by emphasizing particular ideas / objects / places, and defining our relationships to them. When we consider and create art from this perspective, the elements of a creative composition become understandable as points in a cultural/personal map of the universe, or some small part of it.
The earliest cultural maps were connected to the natural world, where human survival depended upon our ability to negotiate and ...view middle of the document...
Consequently, maps are also outstanding metaphors for culture. Just as traditional navigation maps tell us how to get to our destination, culture teaches us how to live our lives. From this perspective, art is map making, is culture making.
Maps are fundamentally symbolic; they transform real places and relationships into abstract summaries. When we appreciate that the map is not the territory, we also understand that maps and culture censor perceptions, creating a narrow vision from a much wider range of possibilities. The ability to make the maps we use is one of our greatest powers. Some maps lead to treasure, while others point to dead ends. Some art opens up new territories of consciousness, while other art simply guides us back to the same big box store we saw in the last town and the town before that. Some art awakens the mysteries of life, infusing the otherwise mundane with awe and wonder, while other art beats on a long dead horse.
The fusion of nature and human activity in artful relationships with the environment is an essential part of understanding the origins and function of art in...