Curiosity as a Function of Information

huberman curve

‘I presume few would argue that the experience of art thrives at the top of the bell curve in a place of speculation (and not consensus), hypotheses (and not conclusions) and belief (and not knowledge). To stay at the top of the bell curve, as Buergel and Noack might say, the best art must make us not understand, which corresponds to a state of sustained curiosity that provokes us to change something about ourselves in an effort to understand. To stay at the top of the bell curve, as our diagram clearly shows us, requires stopping information.

Now more so than ever: the efficiency, quantity and immediacy of information and  information-systems has placed art and the artistic gesture at risk of being identified, categorised, digested, cannibalised and made into information before it has a chance to begin being art. Curiosity is being castrated by information’.

Anthony Huberman, I (not love) Information, Afterall Issue 16 – Autumn/Winter 2007

We found this through Lizzie the Huberman pusher at Tate.  In the context of art school I wonder if it can help us and our students to handle the demand for information and knowledge with care, so as to ensure we’re all surfing at the top of the curve and making great art as a consequence?

In Summer School we are also attempting to stay at the top of the bell curve  – yes? If so, how do we maintain curiosity and avoid ‘understanding’? And how do we justify this? How do we avoid a great big fat belly full of information?

Is the clue in the object?


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