Sunday, April 26, 2009

WHO does sculpture?

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The cerebellum is largely responsible for coordinating the unconscious aspects of proprioception.

Proprioception (pronounced /ˌproʊpriːəˈsɛpʃən/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shun); from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own" and perception) is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike the six exteroceptive senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing, and balance) by which we perceive the outside world, and interoceptive senses, by which we perceive the pain and the stretching of internal organs, proprioception is a third distinct sensory modality that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other.

Snipped from wikipedia, if you resonate with the above description, then get yourself to the nearest sculpture class. I regularly have students who do very well in sculpture and at the end the semester tell me, "I don't really like it." After I take a breath and I shrug it off, I tell them "well you've had the experience and you'll take away a host of hand skills."

But why don' they like it? It's not me, the projects, or the time, it's none of that. They just may not like the jostling, the lifting, the pulling or pushing, or any of the many movements and disruptions that is part of making sculpture. In a sense, they may not need the extra physical input, or proprioceptive feedback, that is baseline usual in sculpture. The reason is in their brain!

So, who stays? The ones who like the feel of a fire engine siren as the sound reverberates through their guts, the ones who smile when we light the propane burner and the thing goes "boom." That's who.

Is that you?