Hanching Chung 應增列對教育部的評鑑預算。
The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston is showing its largest exhibition yet, exploring the impact of one small North Carolina liberal arts school.
CULTURAL COMMENTOCTOBER 27, 2015
Learn By Painting
BY LOUIS MENAND
VIEW FULL SCREEN
Anni Albers, “Knot 2” (1947), currently on view in “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 1933–1957,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY TIM NIGHSWANDER / IMAGING4ART. COURTESY THE JOSEF AND ANNI ALBERS FOUNDATION / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY NEW YORK
One thing to keep in mind if you visit (and, if you are in Boston, you should visit) the Institute of Contemporary Art’s huge exhibition “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 1933–1957”—more than two hundred and sixty works by almost a hundred artists, curated by Helen Molesworth, the biggest show the I.C.A. has ever mounted—is that Black Mountain College was not an artists’ community or a writers’ colony, or even an art school. It was a college.
A very small college. Black Mountain was launched in the Depression, and for twenty-four years it led a hand-to-mouth existence in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, outside Asheville, North Carolina. In a good year, enrollment was sixty. When at last the money dried up, the college shut its doors. But to the extent that finances permitted, and depending on who was available to teach, it offered a full liberal education. Students could take courses in science, mathematics, history, economics, languages, and literature.
What made Black Mountain different from other colleges was that the center of the curriculum was art-making. Students studied pretty much whatever they wanted, but everyone was supposed to take a class in some kind of artistic practice—painting, weaving, sculpture, pottery, poetry, architecture, design, dance, music, photography. The goal was not to produce painters, poets, and architects. It was to produce citizens.
Black Mountain was founded by a renegade classics professor named John Andrew Rice, who had been kicked out of Rollins College, in Florida. Rice believed that making something is a different learning experience from remembering something. A lot of education is reception. You listen to an expert explain a subject to you, and then you repeat back what you heard to show that you learned it. Teachers push students to engage actively with the material, but it’s easy to be passive, to absorb the information and check off the box.
Rice thought that this made for bad social habits. Democracy is about making choices, and people need to take ownership of their choices. We don’t want to vote the way someone else tells us to. We want to vote based on beliefs we have chosen for ourselves. Making art is making choices. Art-making is practice democracy.
Rice did not think of art-making as therapy or self-expression. He thought of it as mental training. As anyone who has tried to write a poem knows, the discipline in art-making is exercised from within rather than without. You quickly realize that it’s your own laziness, ignorance, and sloppiness, not somebody else’s bad advice, that are getting in your way. No one can write your poem for you. You have to figure out a way to write it yourself. You have to make a something where there was a nothing.
A lot of Rice’s ideas came from the educational philosophy of John Dewey (although the idea that true learning has to come from within goes back to Plato), and Rice was lucky to find an art teacher who had read Dewey and who thought the same way. This was Josef Albers. Albers had not been so lucky. He was an original member of the Bauhaus school, but when Hitler came to power, in 1933, the Bauhaus closed down rather than accept Nazi professors. Albers’s wife, Anni, was from a prominent Jewish family, and they were understandably anxious to get out of Germany. Rice heard about them from the architect Philip Johnson, and he sent a telegram to Albers inviting him and his wife to come teach at Black Mountain. The reply read: “I speak not one word English.” (Albers had read his Dewey in translation.) Rice told him to come anyway. Albers eventually did learn English, and he and Anni, an accomplished and creative weaver, established the mode of art instruction at Black Mountain. Everything would be hands-on, collaborative, materials-based, and experimental.
Bauhaus was all about abolishing distinctions between craft, or design, and fine art, and Black Mountain was one of the places where this aesthetic entered the world of American art. (Another was the Carnegie Institute of Technology, in Pittsburgh, where Andy Warhol went to college.) Albers’s most famous (although probably not his favorite) student at Black Mountain was Robert Rauschenberg, and Rauschenberg is the presiding spirit at the I.C.A. exhibition. Although goofier than most Black Mountain art—there is an earnestness about a lot of the work; this was schoolwork, after all—putting an automobile tire around a stuffed goat is the essence of Black Mountain practice.
Black Mountain College was a holistic learning environment. Teachers and students worked together; people who came to teach (and who stayed—not everyone found the work conditions to their liking) sat in on one another’s classes and ended up learning as much as the students. When a new building needed to be constructed, students and teachers built it themselves, just as, at the old Dewey School, at the University of Chicago, the children grew their own food and cooked their own meals.
It seems as though half the midcentury American avant-garde came through Black Mountain in one capacity or the other. The I.C.A. exhibition includes works by (besides Rauschenberg and the Alberses) Ruth Asawa, John Cage, John Chamberlain, Robert Creeley, Merce Cunningham, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Robert Duncan, Buckminster Fuller, Shoji Hamada, Lou Harrison, Ray Johnson, Franz Kline, Jacob Lawrence, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Charles Olson, Ben Shahn, David Tudor, and Cy Twombly. Black Mountain produced art of almost every kind.
Did it also produce good citizens? That’s an educational outcome everyone embraces but that’s hard to measure. In the case of Black Mountain, the sample size is miniscule, and most students left before graduating. There is also the self-selection issue. People who choose to attend progressive colleges are already progressive-minded, just as people who want a liberal education are usually already liberal (meaning interested in knowledge for its own sake), and people who prefer vocational or pre-professional education are already headed down those roads. College choice tends to confirm prior effects of socialization. But why keep those things separate? Knowing and doing are two sides of the same activity, which is adapting to our environment. That was Dewey’s point.
People who teach in the traditional liberal-arts fields today are sometimes aghast at the avidity with which undergraduates flock to courses in tech fields, like computer science. Maybe those students see dollar signs in coding. Why shouldn’t they? Right now, tech is where value is being created, as they say. But maybe students are also excited to take courses in which knowing and making are part of the same learning process. Those tech courses are hands-on, collaborative, materials-based (well, virtual materials), and experimental—a digital Black Mountain curriculum. The other liberal-arts fields might take notice. Arts practice should be part of everyone’s education, not just in preschool.
Construction, renovation projects transform campus appearance
Posted October 21, 2015; 03:00 p.m.
by Min Pullan, Office of Communications
Interspersed among Princeton University's historic buildings and grounds are major construction and renovation projects that are gradually changing the appearance of the campus. Most of the projects are based on the University's 10-year Campus Plan, which runs through 2016.
Updates about many of the projects are posted to the Major Projects section of the Facilities website. Information on construction impacts, such as disruptions to traffic, crosswalks and parking, may be found on the Facilities website, along with a map (.pdf) of where work is being done. Updates on the following structures were provided by the Facilities Organization.
Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment: The construction of the Andlinger Center is almost complete and due to open in late fall. The new building, which holds lecture and laboratory classrooms, office space, a lecture hall, conference rooms, and research labs, connects to the Engineering Quadrangle on its north side and Bowen Hall to the east.
The 129,000-square-foot center has been designed to meet LEED Silver standards under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York City, co-led by alumnus Tod Williams, designed the project.
Arts and Transit Project: The Transit portion of the Arts and Transit Project has been completed. This includes the new, modern New Jersey Transit Dinky Station, Wawa convenience store, landscape and parking. A new road has been laid to connect Alexander Street to the north side of the West Garage and to campus, allowing vehicles to enter and exit on the north side of the parking garage in addition to the southern entry and exit.
A nearby bicycle parking shelter has been added. Structural work will continue through the end of the year. The café will be ready by the end of this year for the selected vendor to start work to customize the building. Work on the restaurant addition and renovation has started with the projected completion in 2016. The architect for the station, Wawa, café and restaurant is Rick Joy Architects of Tucson, Arizona.
Work continues on the site's three arts building with the concrete and steel structures being constructed. The arts buildings, designed by Steven Holl Architects, will provide performance, rehearsal, teaching studio and office space for the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Department of Music. They are scheduled to be completed by fall 2017.
Lakeside Graduate Housing: With a capacity for 715 residents, Lakeside Graduate Housing with its 255 apartments and 74 townhouse units was completed before the summer and opened on June 1. The housing units range from one to four bedrooms, and furnished units are available. Located off Faculty Road with views of Lake Carnegie, the complex includes a fitness center and patio for barbecuing, as well as a parking garage with more than 400 spaces for residents. Lakeside has been designed to meet LEED Silver standards. The project team includes the architectural firm Studio Ma of Phoenix and Princeton, and developer American Campus Communities of Austin, Texas.
20 Washington: The 20 Washington Road renovation project began last spring with interior demolition in the 200,000-square-foot former Frick Chemistry Laboratory. Over the summer work continued on the exterior of the building, with window replacement and masonry repairs alongside interior renovations. The project will provide new building systems, lighting, finishes and furniture, two atrium spaces and a new entrance that connects to Scudder Plaza. Completion is expected in fall 2016.
Built in 1929 in the Collegiate Gothic style, 20 Washington Road will be repurposed to centralize economics and international program offices across campus. The architect for the project is Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects of Toronto.
Projects starting this fall
Firestone Library: The phased renovation of Firestone Library includes the completion of the storage areas for Rare Books and Special Collections on the B and C levels and reading rooms on the eastern side of the A and B levels. Project completion is expected in late 2018. The architects for the project are Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects of Los Angeles and Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston.
Merwick Stanworth: The first phase of the Merwick Stanworth complex — a townhouse and apartment community for faculty and staff, with some affordable housing units for local residents — was completed in June, and tenants have begun moving into the 128 units.
The second phase of work on Stanworth has begun with demolition of the old buildings. Construction of the 198 units in this phase is expected to be finished in fall 2016. The complex, designed by Torti Gallas and Partners of Silver Spring, Maryland, is located along Route 206/Bayard Lane.
Murray-Dodge Hall: The Office of Religious Life moved to Green Hall this academic year while Murray-Dodge Hall is renovated to provide accessibility and life-safety improvements. The hall is an interfaith space that was built in the 1880s and houses many of the Office of Religious Life's programs and staff offices. The projected completion date of the renovations is early 2017.
Butler Tract: The Butler Tract buildings, bounded by Harrison Street, Hartley Avenue and Sycamore Road, were constructed in 1947 as temporary housing for returning military personnel. Over the years, they have been modestly upgraded, and some new units were built in the 1980s. Until spring 2015, all units were being used for graduate student housing. Butler Tract was vacated this summer and demolition of the units has started.
Architectural Laboratory: The Architectural Laboratory, used for tectonic testing of structures and for large-scale fabrications, as well as the teaching of construction methods, sits on approximately one acre of Princeton University-owned property, south of Frick Chemistry Building. A replacement building has been planned on the current location. Demolition work is expected to begin soon.
Childcare center: The new center will serve around 150 to 180 children from infants to age 5 and it will be available to children of University faculty, staff and graduate students. The building at 171 Broadmead that houses the center will be closed when the new center opens. Utility relocation work is expected to begin in mid-November and the building construction will start in the spring.