In this assignment I want you to read a book chapter by art theoris...

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In this assignment I want you to read a book chapter by art theorist and critic Suzi Gablik. It was written in the early 1990s, but the issues it raises are still relevant today. In all of her work Gablik explores the question whether art should seek to further itself, to take care of its interest (presumably, its interest is to look good, be popular, win the art game) regardless of what is happening in society ... or does art have a responsibility to help society improve, or solve its problems? In other words, should art have more than a purely artistic aim? Should it have a social or political aim as well?
Now, when one asks questions in this "should ...?" form one is asking an ethical question, not a true/false factual one. The ethical question seeks your individual values and beliefs, based on your individual ethics.
Gablik is clearly critical of art that seeks to separate its interests from those of society -- that is, art that seeks artistic or aesthetic value instead of, or at the expense of, social value that art might otherwise achieve. In her book THE RE-ENCHANTMENT OF ART, from which the chapter is drawn, she suggests that art has become disenchanted.
One might ask: How can art solve problems, or at least help? In the chapter that you will read -- called "making art as if the world mattered" -- she discusses art that she thinks does things that she thinks art should do. Namely, art that tries to achieve some social value, not just aesthetic value.
Please consider whether, for you, there is a conflict between those two kinds of value (or the pursuit of them)? That is, what do you think about the idea that art should not just be for its own sake but for society's sake, and that art can be created, and experienced, for the betterment of the world? Dig in to these ideas. Explain your ideas, give examples, make references to the chapter to connect your ideas to things she says.

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Upon reading the chapter, my immediate impression was that Wodiczko, Malpede, Rollins, and others were straying away from art and filling the gap that was left by inactions/shortcomings of the educational system, parents and social services, among others. It was a kind and humane thing to do...

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