101 things to learn in art school, by Kit White

Sunday January 31, 2021

I picked up this little coffee table book at the MIT Press Bookstore a while ago. It's cute. Some good stuff in there. I'm a sucker for this kind of format recently.


My four favorite items from the book:

"16. Words are images. The power of the visual belongs to all things received visually. The written word is both symbol and cognitive catalyst; image and thought embodied. But words also conjure the image that lives only as a thought or non-embodied object. Some ideas are most potent when not embodied and exist as ephemeral, fleeting experiences. Concept has form."

"25. Style is the consequence of something being described in the way most appropriate to its content. It is not a hemline height or a gratuitous decorative flourish added to modify or embellish an image. Style is the by-product of saying what has to be said in the most appropriate way a maker can say it. Meaningful style emerges from the necessity of description; it is not a product of self-conscious selection."

"29. "Conception cannot precede execution." (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Sense and Non-Sense) Art is a process of discovery through making, and our ability to discover is generally greater than our ability to invent. Think of your work process as a form of travel. Look for the things you don't know, the things that are revealed or inadvertently uncovered. It is easier to find a world than to make one."

"45. Work from your intuition, analyze with your intellect. To keep your work spontaneous and inventive, try to draw upon what lies beneath normal cognition in an uninhibited way. Intuition is not hocus-pocus. It is simply a judgment system that operates without immediately available conscious evidence. Intuition draws upon subliminal knowledge and allows the unfiltered, unfamiliar, and unknown to enter your work. Once there, you can apply your powers of rational analysis to discover what you have done. At this stage, you can always edit, but don't edit or preclude what does not yet exist."