Middlebury
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FYSE1345

Art of Contemplation

The Art of Contemplation
What would it be like to attend to oneself, to others, and to the world with the concentration and insight of a Zen-inspired poet? How does a forest, a river, a neighborhood, or a city feel to an artist or writer in open attentiveness to the immediate environment? This course invites students to experience contemplative knowing of self and surroundings through practices of meditation, observation, journaling, photographing, and sketching. We will define contemplative knowing through our own critical engagement with essays, poems, installations, and films arising from meditative practices in ancient and modern times. Our study begins with Japanese literary and visual artists Saigyo, Basho, Buson, and Ozu. We will then explore recent examples of contemplative engagement in works by international artists Andy Goldsworthy, Olafur Eliasson, Tabaimo, and Maya Lin. We conclude with a problematical question: does contemplative observation open us to compassion for others? To probe this issue we will examine works by street photographer JR and documentary filmmaker Zana Briski. 3 hrs. sem/disc.
Subject:
First Year Seminar
Department:
First-Year Seminar Program
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
AAL ART CW

Sections

Fall 2011

FYSE1345A-F11 Seminar (Cavanaugh)