UP Saga 5-8: Art as a Social Construct

Well…I wasn’t really at UP.

Was at the CCP today for one of Tutok’s forums and it just really amazes me how every UP college seems to revolve around the theory of Social Construction. It’s been in Mass Comm, Women’s Development, Arts and Letters and Fine Arts.

Two main speakers today — both obviously from UP. I mean, just listen to them speak.
Jun Cruz Reyes and Professor Sarah Raymundo are definitely, DEFINITELY from UP. Hehehe.

Mr. Reyes was particularly funny, but what struck me most about his talk was how he categorized artists into three main types:

  1. Those who use art as therapy – I would fall into this category as I am the type who would produce artworks solely for the sake of my (in)sanity. Goodness knows I don’t make money out of it. I don’t have the patience. My art is a very personal thing, which is why I VERY rarely do it if I’m not in the zone.
  2. Those who will delve into canon – Robert Besana, Gelo Magno and Cris Dumlao would fall into this category. These are the artists that will go into further studies because they will become critics, curators, museum directors. If MFA weren’t a terminal degree, they’d probably be getting PhDs. Generally the people that will standardize the pricing of art as commodity. As Mr. Reyes said, these types of artists are very rare because they’re the ones that come up with canon.
  3. And the activists – Ok. He didn’t exactly use the word “activist” but I forgot the exact words that flowed into my head when he described these people. They are the ones that want to make a statement and express this through their art.  Many of the artists I know would belong to this category.

Some artists can be all three.

Mr. Reyes also mentioned something about artists being misunderstood because they were probably slapped by their teachers for doodling in class. I actually am one of the people that doodle in class, especially when I find a topic boring. (I showed Armand Bentigan the proof.) Ok, when I find a topic boring I drink 2 cans of Coke — when I don’t even drink soda — and put up all my colored pens to work on useless swirls, circles, figures and shapes.

Fortunately for me, the Chairman of the Graduate Studies Department, Dr. Joey Lacson, actually conducted a study on doodlers.  His findings showed that people like me, whom a lot of teachers thought were being unproductive, are actually at their most productive when they’re doodling.  They’re thinking of creative things while doing this. Hm. Interesting. I guess I’m lucky that I belong to Communication Research. My professors actually understand because they have empirical evidence that I wasn’t being pasaway.

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