The Question


Join the Debate

David Smiddy, Artist, 1000Billion Media
Date submitted: 3/16/98

The skilled, competitive, and highly valued worker will possess multiple interpersonal interfaces allowing her to interact with a variety of information sources, cultures, neural networks and access a wide array of cognitive functions. The ability to speak. The ability to analyze. The ability to assess. The ability to create, calculate, and compute with efficiency and with success will demonstrate competence and reward her with a high salary. If that is what she wants. Maybe she will want to be rewarded with benefits, travel time, company stock, more education, cash in hand. To be this worker she will need to have her mind developed and exercised in an environment that provides the cognitive and cultural gymnasium to grow and become strong. Arts? Humanities? An after thought to some. Yet business rides the currents of human energy. Business is a human adventure relying on trust in oneís intuition and analytical prowess. Skills that can be learned through understanding and participating in human drama. Professionals need strong minds and need to be aware of the information that constructs arts and humanities. To be aware of art and humanity is one thing but to be an artist is another. Or is it?

I find it interesting how many computer professionals are also musicians. Are the skills and cognitive spaces for music and computers the same? Or what about the executives who are reading ancient Chinese philosophy as a means to obtain a strategic edge against their competitors? Do they need humanities to enhance their acumen? Or, even more importantly, what skills are necessary to understand, interact and compete with the international marketplace? What kind of a mind does it take to create successful business ventures? What about the culture industries such as publishing, media and entertainment? As more and more businesses utilize media, such as the web, for communicating their existence there is the need for professionals who understand creative processes and artistic mediums.

It would be rewarding if the executive team for GE, Microsoft or Mitsubishi could articulate their rationale, their existence in dance, painting, music or theater. The final product may not succeed at Lincoln Center or the MOMA but the process and what these people would learn about who they are and what it is they are doing would be rewarding and of value to their business.

The practice of making art and understanding art and the humanities is a necessity for professionals who want to succeed and live rich and rewarding lives.

Previous response || Next response