Deep Thought Thursday: Changing the World

Can art change the world?

Why or why not?

How?

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13 comments to Deep Thought Thursday: Changing the World

  • Art can change individual pieces of the world. Each person that is affected by a piece of artwork has their world changed a little bit. Maybe they get into a better mood, or think about something in a different way. Maybe they get so agitated by the work that they decide to do something about it, like make a better work of art, write a letter to the museum, or picket the gallery.
    Changing the world doesn’t have to mean granting world peace or starting World War III. It can mean challenging the way people view their own part of the world, challenging them to improve their life or the lives of those around them. Or it could just mean making a wall look better.

  • I agree whole-heartedly with you Wendy and I love the way you put it! The value of art is in its ability to create change. I think it’s the root definition of art–the definition that encompasses all others!

  • Yes indeed, art can change the world. My husband, who is a painter, and I, who make jewelry, donate from the sale of our artwork to help AIDS orphans and destitute women in Western Kenya. Our philosophy: it doesn’t matter what you give, or how much you give, just give. Through our artwork we are changing the lives of people we have never met and how they think about artists and Americans in general. Nothing feels better than creating art and helping others. ~Meeshka

  • Joseph Campbell said that Artists are the Shamans of our times. Artists have been the Shamans of all times, I propose. 35,000 years of artists. Longer! At what moment did our inventive nature shift magically from tool making to artmaking? From scratching in the dust to making meaning that rocked our world. My children translated every experience they had into art from the age to two to about 10. Naturally.
    I am a mystic, and believe that the vibrational experience of creating changes the world. I have testimonials from buyers who tell me how my art has changed their world. I like it that Meeshka makes a direct action translation by giving of her proceeds, and that Wendy and Gwenn have broad outlooks on change and what art does. Wendy, pleasure from that looking wall has farther reaching impact than you or I can imagine! The role of art to rouse, unite, infuse pride, or rage, or peace is painted across walls throughout the cities of the world. More ART!

  • Both art and artists change the world. How not? Every action has consequences, implications. For good or ill every action touches someone or something and change is effected. And indeed, the change can be positive or negative and often both for different perspectives.

    If you think about it, even a little, you can come up with your own examples.

    We touch each other with our actions and our actions are driven (usually) by thought and emotion. To touch one life is already to change the world.

  • It’s not a question of ‘can it change the world?’, but ‘How will change the world?’
    Change is inevitable. The creation of art, the thought process, the way it affects the artist and consequently everyone who sees it afterwards, creates a ripple of change.

  • Short answer- yes.

    The seed of art is the belief that one can make something better- more rich, more sensuous, more meaningful, more beautiful. We artists show the rest of society the value of taking one’s dreams seriously.

  • Yes. I see it all the time. I work with organizations who use art to share their vision, thank their donors and even raise funds for incredible causes.

  • More examples both positive and negative: WWII posters used by all major participants.

  • Ack! I hit the wrong key. Didn’t mean to send that yet because there’s only the negative example.

    Positive example: any work of art that makes people go “Ahhhhhhh,” in awe.

  • I love the responses to this post. Far from “pie in the sky” romanticism, you folks have clearly and lovingly stated the truth. Thank you so much.

  • Carolyn

    Art has no choice but to change the world. The strongest thing between people is connection, and art is connection – through creating, sharing, viewing, appreciating, commenting. Whether using art to incite emotion, using it to help people feel united, or create dissent, it is incredibly powerful and lasting. That’s why art has made changes in this world throughout history

  • When we create something new – forms, ideas, images – we change the world by providing a new way of seeing/thinking/being….I don’t articulate this too well, but I agree with Jacques Ranciere about art’s ability to redistribute the sensible (what is seen, heard, felt).