Does philosophy have anything to do with the Arts, or Education?

A scene from Giselle - English National Ballet

As an Arts teacher working with early years, primary or secondary students I found certain events, suggested there was more to art than my teaching students to reproduce what I knew. There were times when group compositions came from nowhere. A group of boys producing a ‘rap’ in their own time, with no prompting, or a small collection of 11-year-olds evolving a composition that strayed into a sound-sphere where time changed. This intense feeling Deleuze and Guattari call affect.

Affect forms part of what Deleuze and Guattari discuss in their final publication ‘What is Philosophy’ (1991), where they examine the origin of the art-work in the unconscious moment, when the onset of art occurs. This origin they relate as the percept, where no form or feeling has arrived, the sight, the recognition only has taken place. The percept and affect are together realized by us - people - and this forms part of the concept or how ‘we’ that is also ‘I’ respond to the artwork.

When watching a film there are moments when we see something, percept, and unconsciously respond, and we sense something, affect, while it is us ‘our’ response that occurs not another’s concept. The three may not occur in any order or time but at once or later as we recall an event, a dance, a play, a film or a concert. This occurrence is felt, is real, it happens and it comes into philosophy. This is referenced in Chapter 5 of Art, Artists and Pedagogy with respect to dance and Akram Khan’s Giselle - now on a world tour with the English National Ballet.

To order Art, Artists and Philosophy go to Art, Artists and Pedagogyuse the code FLR40 for a 20% discount.

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