Monday, December 1, 2008

Campus Events

John Fitzgerald
IDS Praxis
Campus Events

The Andy Warhol Exhibit was an enjoyable event to attend. There was a live Jazz band in the northwestern wing of the Turchin Center and a DJ playing remixed period themed songs. Energy was bouncing around the room with the music and imagery stirring imaginations. People were flowing around socializing, celebrating, and absorbing the effect of Warhol’s art.

The easily graspable Polaroid photography of well-to-do clients and models were intriguing, and almost nostalgic. Rich women slathered in white makeup and posed in highly dramatic poses, Warhol’s photographic plastic surgery was way ahead of its time reflecting the current usage programs to alter digital photographs to achieve astounding contrast in portrait photography.

The event was interdisciplinary in that it was a social celebration of previously unobservable art being delivered to the public, so that more people can be inspired by the artist’s unique sense and portrayal of ideas. There was a feeling of attending an exhibition with Warhol’s presence that was generated by the atmosphere.

The main connection between this event and my studies are purely the social and inspirational factors. Believing in the interconnectedness of human beings, or Warhol’s famous idea that everyone has 15 minutes of fame resonates with increasing global awareness, and the rapid adoption of new technology. The social aspect of generating the aura of the artist and creating his influence through both the physical art and peoples reactions to it is similar to the philosophical and anthropological focus of my major.

The other event I attended was the Watauga County Farmers Market. The market is an ongoing community gathering on Saturdays through the temperate seasons. Fresh produce and crafts are available from local vendors and crafters. This market is a good way to support local businesses and find high quality produce and crafts at reasonable prices. It’s also a cultural display of the products of the region. Through these physical items and comparing them with mass-produced items we can attempt to attain a better understanding of the real importance of our connection with the environment.

Buying local food and supporting locally owned businesses are two important concepts in promoting sustainability. Purchasing food that has been grown with traditional methods, and has been transported under one hundred miles prevents a lot of energy consumption and helps to establish a fundamental connection between the people inhabiting an area and the products of the land in that area. Supporting local business ensures the continual progress of the area, rather than slowly filtering funds to larger corporations that threaten inter-industry competition and prevent the consumer from having a variety of choices concerning production methods.

The market is also a great place to see friends, enjoy local musicians, pick up some seriously good food, and find some well made handcrafts. All parts of the reason why it exemplifies my studies in connecting the community with the environment, and exposing how fruitful the labors can be.

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