Category Archives: Discussions

Brian Boyd – On The Origin of Stories

On the Origin of Stories attempts an evolutionary explanation of the appearance of art—and, more specifically, of the utility of fiction. From its title (with its obvious echo of Darwin) to its readings of The Odyssey and Horton Hears a Who!, Boyd’s book argues that the evolution of the brain (itself a development of some significance to the world) has slowly and fitfully managed to produce a species of primate whose members habitually try to entertain and edify one another by making stuff up.” – from ‘The Play’s the Thing: a review of On The Origin of Stories’, Michael Bérubé

[intro from ON THE ORIGIN OF STORIES: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction. Brian Boyd. xiv + 540 pp. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.

Chris Bucklow and Philip Guston

Update: Chris Bucklow discussed the reading with Art 261/361 via a Skype chat from Frome, England.

Philip Guston – Source 1976

The Urban Landscape class is going to discuss Chris Bucklow’s writing and thoughts about Philip Guston’s later work, as in Bucklow’s “Eplilogue”, from What is in the Dwat: the universe of Guston’s final decade.

The discussion leaders offer these prompts:

  • What does it mean to deeply internalize the work of another artist/writer/person? How and why does Guston deeply identify with Franz Kafka and Piero della Francesca? Maybe people in the class have experienced this type of intense identification with another. Describe that experience and its impact.
  • Bucklow often references the remoteness and solitude of Guston. How is this linked to our role in society? (As artists, photographers, students/employees/professors, citizens of society)?
  • Bucklow also references Guston’s “tempt[ation] into knowing” (160). His primary focus for his knowing was himself/ self-knowlege. How might this inform his work? How might our self understanding inform our work?

We will also be considering motif and obsession in the work of Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore – Heart of Palm Beach Motel, Palm Beach, Florida
Date 1977

Stephen Shore: Causeway Inn, Tempa, Florida
Date 1977