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    Did that just happen?...

    By psteiner
    Oct 27, '05 11:07 PM EST

    So...Archeworks had its midterm critique this past Wednesday evening (10/26) and while I can say we as groups did recieve interesting, at times useful constructive criticisms, there were some: holy crap, did you just say that? moments.

    The first group presented their project dealing with responding to Stroke victims, survivors, and such. After the presentation there was a comment that went like this:
    Yes, erotic + stroke in the same chain of thought...

    The point was made that the medical community is working to rename "stroke" They are looking towards:
    "Cerebral Vascular Attack". Interesting...

    The second group presented their project dealing with Chicago Community Schools. They are working on bringing the community to the schools, outside of the schoolday. THe comment was made during the questions : If you are trying to bring the community to the school - take it to the community, not take them to it...confusing.

    My group "Tools for Schools" went last. Coupled with the fact that the Soxs were playing, and the free dinner had already happened the crowd was thin. We got some strange questions, we got some obvious questions, and we got some "ah-ha!" comments. There were of course teeth-grinding moments as well...

    Every group was pretty much given the same comment - you are going about it wrong - you should be going about it this way... some got it gentler than others, some got it harsher...

    So our group went out and drank until it made sense tonight. Blue skies...

    This is a seperate response from our critique evening.
    Every Tuesday we have Stanley's Ethics class. This week the discussion dealt with the question: "What is the definition of GOOD?" The conversation eventually got around to defining/acknowledging the "Ultimate good" or "Ultimate Ideal" that we should all be striving for.

    My point went to the effect of, why are we trying to reach an un-reachable goal? That's the whole point of an ideal, something that you will always be striving towards, but never quite reaching. Instead, why not do what you do, and do it well? Do what you do to the best of your ability. Understanding that the next person has the exact same right to the same thing. That may or may not "gel" with what you do, but..."do what you do and do it well."

    I found the text I wanted to quote (after class of course)
    From S.K. Kubose, "Bright Dawn":
    "It is said that the wise are not shaken by the winds of praise or blame. It is a wise person, indeed, who does not allow others to define his or her goodness or badness." ...Do we always have to decide that something is either good or bad?...Nothing is good or bad...only our thinking makes it so."

    Anyways, I was overwhelmed by the conversation, got mad, spat out my above comments, and then proceeded to vent and draw the rest of the's the results:


    That's it, back to basics next week.


    • ampm

      reading your archeworks blog has been a good time. did the program five years ago and i see its still the same in many ways.
      During one of our reviews, someone(Ben Nicholson, I believe) asked us, after we had been up all night building our protoypes for final review, about the "monocularity" of the materials we had chosen. i swear we sat and stared at him for about 5 or 10 seconds before we all started to giggle. Turns out none of the 4 of us had understood what he was trying to ask and didn't know how to bluff our way out of it!

      ok. good luck on the project. If I am in town during one of the reviews, I'll try to check out the presentations.

      Oct 28, 05 11:09 am  · 

      How do like the archeworks experiance thus far? Its a rather unique concept, not really sure what it is exactly. It started in 99 right?

      Oct 28, 05 1:42 pm  · 

      "Instead, why not do what you do, and do it well?"

      how do you define doing what you do 'well' if you don't have a definition of 'good'? is this merely a personal definition with no social connotation/implication?

      while 'ultimate good' sounds a little extreme, religious even, are there not things that are generally agreed to be 'good' which can serve as goals, versus things which are agreed to be 'bad' from which we can try to shift away?

      while kubose's comment has a kind of aesthetically pleasing clarity, isn't it also a little fatalist/existential? SURE it's our thinking that "makes it so". why choose 'yes' or 'no'? because we have will and we move in directions which we get to choose and because we (presumably) might like for those directions to be positive/constructive rather than negative/destructive. if kubose discounts 'our thinking', why do we do anything and does anything we think or do matter?

      yes, good/bad are social constructs, but we exist in these social constructs and we must negotiate our way through them. saying that they don't matter negates your ability to think critically. critical thinking does not just mean saying NO, it requires taking a position and establishing a dialectic...or setting a 'good' against another 'good' in order to test the two positions.

      good stuff. thanks for sharing.

      Oct 28, 05 1:56 pm  · 

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