Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In geometry they say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you think of those two points as being sequential, one being placed before the other, you can see that the line they form is a vector. It has movement. In the development of anything human, there is vector relationship, and we have a greater understanding of any point in time or space if we also know the path leading to that point.

In Chinese philolosophy, they say that if you want to know how something is going to turn out, look at the origins, the intent and motivation of its beginning.

I have a good friend Hank Kaminsky, an Arkansas sculptor. Our friendship goes back to my earliest days in Arkansas and he was my slightly-older-big-brother-mentor as I began my career in the arts. At the time we met, he was making sand-cast jewelry from bronze, and his old belt buckles are still very prized possessions among many of the early hippies who moved to Eureka Springs in the 1970s. As I knew Hank in those early years he went through a series of apprentices who would work for long enough to think they knew his methods, then break out on their own in competition. They didn't last for long. They lacked the vision and the sense of continuity, the "vector", that would have told them where to go next. The image above is a detail photo of a large work by Hank Kaminsky Peace Prayer Fountain in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

If we simply throw kids in front of computer screens without giving them a sense of the origins of our technology and the purpose of man's engagement in the physical world, I have to ask the question, "will they know where to go next?"

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