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2015 Conference Chairs Message | Finearts conference

ICOAH 2015

ICOAH 2015 Conference Chair

Transformation vs. adaptation—

How do the Arts and Humanities change us? How do they change our environment?

When have you looked at something humans have made—a song, a movement, a formation, a color, a setting, an idea—and had your conception of community, time, and space change? How did your own mental lens form, reform, and transform because of it? How did that experience alter your actions and refine your community?

Art is learning. Art is a catalyst for changes in our thinking that are reified through artifacts. These artifacts (whether language, music, sculpture, ritual, organizations, buildings, landscapes, movements, or digital transmissions) in turn distribute our thoughts across place, across time, across language, and across people. By creating knowledge, we transform our context, and allow others around us to transform. And in transforming, we leave our old form behind.

Transformation is about constructing a lens for looking out on reality. On the other hand, adaptation is about situating ourselves within an extensive ecology, a system where every action we take affects the world around us. In appropriating new knowledge, we become part of a new ecosystem of people, ideas, powers, and artifacts. And when we improve ourselves to fit that environment, we adapt. We adapt to survive, and our ideas adapt to survive. Our actions improve. Our words improve. Our thoughts improve. Our motives improve…. And in improving, they endure.

In a world where our own personal ecologies extend to include all, where our actions can change climates, virtual spaces, and our interactions with others—it is more important than ever that we change, improve, and learn.

So come share with us how your ecology has transformed and adapted through the creations of humanity. Come transform with us, adapt with us, and learn with us. And then, be prepared to extend your learning deep into your own communities, artifacts, and ecosystems.

Sincerely Yours,
Dr. David S. Porcaro
ICOAH 2015.

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