I have returned from the first residency of the MFAIA program at Goddard College. For those of you who may be curious what do those above letters mean, it is a Masters of Fine Arts--Interdisciplinary Arts degree. Now you may be wondering what does "Interdisciplinary Arts" mean--first I will promise you that you are not alone in your inquiry, in fact many of the students enrolled in the program are still grappling with how to define it. It is a new word, in fact describing a new discipline, a discipline that takes various disciplines and integrates them in to something new. This is different then simply working in a multidisciplinary fashion or one discipline being inspired by another. It is literally taking the knowledge and making learned in more than one discipline and applying them to another, in order to create a new methodology, or potentially a new aesthetic form--even if it is still created in a discipline. As I think and lean in to interdisciplinary as a term for defining artwork and artists, I am also aware of the word transdisciplinary, which is maybe even more interesting and relevant to me then interdisciplinary. I think of transdisciplinary as "post-discipline" or "no-discipline". This starts with the conversation of what is an artistic discipline, which is the first identifying question you are asked as an artist--"What type of artist are you?" referring to a "painter, sculptor, actor, etc” all of which are discipline categories. This quickly then brings you to your craft, which may be where the word "discipline" originated from, as in that you would demonstrate discipline in learning a craft. But what about artists that have no discipline to craft, are self-taught, intuitive, process oriented, and or outsider artists who make work that they may not even consider "art" who have no references to historical categories of artistic disciplines? What about those who identify as scientists, inventors, gardeners, mothers, and healers who make art, art that is a hybridization of everything they know mixed with inspiration?
I think institutions attempt to help us to understand art, through learning about it categorically in disciplines, which historically was also the way in which art was thought about and created in. However, knowledge grows and language changes to accommodate new ways of understanding. We are at the threshold of new understanding of art, as defined by the artists themselves and experienced by others. As we move forward with our understanding of interdisciplinary art and trans-disciplinary art, language may be clunky, but one must move out of the language that no longer fits the concept, the artist must be free to create new work, new methods and new language to identify it properly.
As I begin my venture in to this program at Goddard, I begin with a few questions, one of which is "How do I identify art and my art?" I will be sharing my findings and process of investigation on a new and specific blog. It is titled Quiddity is Not a Discipline. (I still am working on my first post) This blog will be specific to my studies at Goddard. Occasionally I will probably share posts or reference one of my posts over there, here. I decided to create a separate blog for Goddard because while it is part of my whole experience as an artist, it feels like a specific chapter in my creative life. I am excited to delve in to rigorous inquiry!
For short and easy reading about the concept of transdisciplinary, I found the definition of transdisciplinary interesting on Wikipedia. In some ways this may be the most accurate definition, as Wikipedia allows for collaborative and collective engagement in its definition.
Additionally, I have added a slideshow of my images from Instagram here on this blog. I encourage you to follow me on Instagram @dawnbreezeart. There are so many platforms now for sharing experiences, and Instagram has become a daily opportunity for me to see life as art and share it--it has become part of my daily art practice. In many ways it has become what this blog started out as 7 years ago.
Alas...hmmm, what do you think about interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary art??