Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Art Instinct

In trying to understand the traits that pervade humanity, we often look to the past.  Throughout human evolution we have created more than just objects of necessity, and there are many who have explored this concept deeper.  A book by Denis Dutton combines art and evolutionary science to try to claim that the creative impulse and art itself is not socially constructed, but rather innate.

The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton (left)

Here's a student essay reflecting on some of Dutton's claims:
The Art Instinct: Evolving Creativity

In my own life, I find evidence that the impulse to make things has been a part of me always.  Like most kids, I made little drawings, paintings, ugly things with glue and dried beans, but unlike some, I've continued to explore my world through these small pursuits into adulthood (if you can say that I'm an adult).

I see it in the kindergartners I teach: whenever there's a spare moment in the day, they want to draw, paint, pretend, or build.  The same is true in my life, and I guess Dutton would argue, in all of our lives, if we allow it to manifest.

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