Reflection- The Art of Complexity

detail of Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger's Waterhole installation

I was very confronted by having to prepare a talk on the how my discipline and this course relate to each other. At first I was going to cop out and relate it to my South American politics course because I think that would have been easy. After a semester of studying South America and complexity side by side I'm almost convinced that the continent is more complex than anything that we have discussed.

However, upon reflection I decided that I would much rather explore the relevance of the discipline that I am passionate about and intend to have a career in as I believe that is the forum in which I will put into place the skills that I have learnt in this course.

I will not go over the talk too much as it has already been assessed and presented but I do want to reiterate how this course has influenced my thinking about what I study. I still don't think art is really complex or not complex but do believe that it is/can be part of complex system. I intend to complete my honours thesis on how artists use audience involvement and participation to explore environmental themes. I think doing this course has really forced me to look at the way art can be connected to the world rather than to isolate it on some sort of aesthetic pedestal. I think that the educational potential of art offers real potential in helping to communicate the reality and urgency of some of the complex problems that we face.

One part of the feedback that I got from my talk was that I relied a little too heavily on jargon. The vocabulary that I used, from my point of view, has become so inculcated that I have no objectivity to see it as unusual. I think this is telling about how things become more complicated than they need to be. In a world of over-specialisation it is easy to fail to see how something that you know so well can be difficult from another point of view. I guess this is one of the things that this course is trying to achieve is insight into differences.