Saturday, April 19, 2008

What they don't teach you in high school - oh, they do teach that.

Last week I was struck with a revelation that isn't so much a revelation as a realization, one which I've had in the past, but this time it was particularly profound. Once again, I found myself acutely aware of how valuable the Pythagorean Theorum has proven to be in my life. Not on a daily basis, but frequent enough (ie, more than once) to be surprising to me, and perhaps utterly nonshocking to my fifteen year old self. I remember being somewhat interested in the rational nature of the laws of geometry in high school, but I generally struggled with it as I recall. In general, my tolerance for math subjects was low, as was the bar I set for myself for achievement in those classes. It was thrilling when I was able to grasp a concept and solve a problem. So now, periodically, I experience that same sense of accomplishment in surmounting some logistical hurdle in some building a sculptural element in the studio, or as with last week, calculating the placement of two wall anchors from which a screen for a video projection was to hang, bisecting the corner of a gallery.
Greater self esteem through achievement in basic math. That's what it's all about. Even for an artist.
Looking back, I would never imagine the range of knowledge and skill sets that are drawn upon, however infrequently, in the practice of making my art. That's what I'd like to have been made aware of at the time - that those subjects I couldn't wait to get out of would have value in pursuing that one subject I felt I had a passion for.

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