Critical Approaches to Culture + Communications

A Weblog by Ron Burnett (Founded in 1994 and now celebrating 23 Years!!)

This site began as one of the first academic sites in Canada when the World Wide Web was in its early phase of development. I have maintained it through many iterations since 1994.

Arts???

Whenever analysts, researchers or policymakers talk about the Visual Arts and/or Design, they default to let's have some pictures up on some walls or alternately let's use Design to pretty up urban and institutional spaces. This approach is quite pervasive. This is because the creative arts are generally seen as decorative in the 19th century meaning of that word. Decorative means adding something pretty to an environment or space. Instead of recognizing that the creative arts are about problem solving and research, popular notions of the decorative are powerful reminders of the challenges that lie ahead for artists and designers. Notwithstanding statistical evidence that shows great success when artists and designers apply their approaches to problem solving, popular notions of marginality and examples from the sciences suggest that artists and designers are peripheral rather than central to planning for the future of our society. I would welcome comments.