A description of the curriculum from kindergarten to grade twelve. A monthly outline of grades eleven and twelve

Download 81.87 Kb.
Size81.87 Kb.


Title: Global Economic Consolidation and Visionary Revolts

Time Period: 1850 to 2000

Archetypal Ideas: Speed and Transformation

In the Ninth Grade, the archetypal idea is Space, the expansion and articulation into the new world space in the voyages of discovery. In the Tenth Grade, the archetypal idea is Time, the story of the individuals rise from rags to riches, from Old World to New, from oppression to revolutionary liberation. In the Eleventh Grade, the archetypal idea is Speed, or the wedding of time to space in the acceleration of culture in modernization through the instrumentalities of the new cultural vehicles of the world-city and the world war. In both of these large scale organizations of culture, the new transportational vehicles of railroad, automobile, truck, tank, airplane, jet, and rocket have enormous impact on traditional cultures and religious world views, and these react to modernization in visionary movements of mythopoeic prophecy and fundamentalist resacralization.

Theme: The conflict between the Mechanists and the Mystics in the articulation of values for a new world civilization.
Threads for interweaving Grades Nine, Ten, and Eleven:

1. War as an oxymoronic organization.
Following up on Grade Tens study of war as a construction of destruction that, paradoxically, does not destroy its own structure but does generate transcultural exchanges, we can reflect on the Anglo-Dutch conflicts of the seventeenth century. In this era, conflict, competition, and transnational investment brought about a shift of the economic capital of Europe from Amsterdam to London, and Dutch capital provided much of the investments that enabled Britain to construct the roads and canals that facilitated its Industrial Revolution. In much the same way, the American and Japanese competition and conflict in the Pacific interlocked the two nation-states and brought about the emergence of a new postwar global economy in which the bulk of American trade shifted from Europe to the Pacific Rim.

2. The Role of the World-City in the Development of Civilization.
In the Tenth Grade, we looked at London as a world-city that celebrated a new consciousness of itself in the Crystal Palace and the Great Exhibition of 1851. When Walter Benjamin described Paris as the capital city of the nineteenth century, he was, as a cultural critic, thinking more of architecture, art, literature, and science than economics and industry. This shift in the definition of civilization from industrial infrastructure to ideological suprastructure is empowered by the new world-city, an ecology of consciousness in which people do not simply share an ideology but participate in a culture in which architecture, painting, photography, poetry, technologies of transport and communication, novels and works of science all interact in a process of emergence. This civilization of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is decidedly novel and not simply a growth in size of the civilization of the seventeenth century.

Suggested Projects for Integrated Studies:
1. Following up on my suggestion that we consider Descartess Discourse on Method as a picaresque

narrative in which the soldier of fortune momentarily

escapes the horrors of war and reflects on the role of human error in the search for truth, I suggest that for our thread on war, we consider the expressions of World War One in the war lyrics of Wilfrid Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, or Virginia Woolfs study of shell-shock and polite society in Mrs. Dalloway.

2. One of our threads stitching together Grades Nine, Ten, and Eleven can be Economies of Addiction. Since drug-use is a life-and-death choice that confronts teenagers, a historical study of this problem should get them where they live. Our year begins with the Opium Wars in which England sought to balance its craving for tea by selling opium to the Chinesethis to avoid the enormous balance of payments problem caused by the Chinese refusal to buy mass-produced English factory goods and their insistence on payment in gold. The Opium War provides us with an occasion to reflect back on the relationship between sugar and slavery in the plantations of the seventeenth and eighteenth century economies, and forward to the manner in which our contemporary American economy is structured on tobacco use and conflict with Latin America concerning the growth of coca and cannabis. Recent debates about the medicinal use of cannabis and the horrendous social costs of considering alcohol and tobacco as socially acceptable provide an occasion to reflect on the social construction of an interdicted substance.

3. To build upon the Tenth Grades studies of opera and Mozarts Magic Flute, I suggest we study the architectural statement of the Paris Opera and, perhaps, Puccinis Tosca as a meditation on love and death, reaction and revolution.

4. As a tie-in with literature, I suggest we offer a

reading of Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness as a study of imperialism and the shadow-side of this civilizational process that is our major focus for the year. For an urban study of Haussmanns Paris, we can look at poems about the city, such as Baudelaires Le Cygne, or Paul Verlaines La Bonne Chanson, in which he speaks of Le bruit des cabarets, la fange des trottoirs, or Rimbauds Lorgie Parisienne ou Paris se Repeuple.

5. Another possible project is to study the nature of perception in both painting and photography, Monet and Atget, and what each has to say about the social consciousness of urbanization in the Paris of the second half of the nineteenth century.

6. A project in which mathematics, engineering, and architectural history can be brought to throw light on modern architecture could involve the examination of the structure and values of a particular building. I would suggest a comparative approach that analyzes the Crystal Palace of London, the Paris Opera, the Eiffel Tower, and the railroad stationLa Gare Saint Lazareas the new technological cathedrals.

7. One of the threads for the entire year of the Eleventh Grade is the nativistic or millenarian movement. It might prove interesting to student to contrast contemporary modes of channeling and millenial prophecy with those involved in the Taiping Rebellion or the Ghost Dance. Since one of the focuses I will be proposing for Grade Twelve is the study of psychology, the study of these millenarian and mystical movements could give us a chance to introduce psychological ideas in the character analysis of a prophetic leader, a Hung

Hsiu-chuÙn or a Louis Riel.
Suggested Tie-ins with Science

Theme: Evolution and the Transformation of Life

Core Disciplines: Biology, Genetics, Thermodynamics and Engineering.

The Transformation of the understanding of time, with its new reading of fossils and geological landscapes, leads to new theories of development that culminate in Darwinian evolution and the birth of the new science of genetics with Gregor Mendel and William Bateson. This wedding of an expanded conception of space to an expanded sense of time leads to an experience of acceleration--of space wed to time--in a process of modernization that transforms industrial civilization and creates a break between modernizing and traditional societies. New institutions like the Ecole Polytechnique and MIT are created to become the driving engines for the emergence of the modern industrial nation-state. Evolution as the narrative of time becomes conscious of itself, and its first articulation is in Imperialism that sees savagery at one end of the continuum in the Belgium Congo and European science and civilization at the other.
SEPTEMBER: Global Economic Consolidation and Visionary Revolt

The Opium Wars and the Taiping Revolt in China, 1850 to1864. The expansion of Western industrial civilization and the collapse of traditional agricultural civilization. The Opium Wars and the forceful openingof China. The Taiping Revolt should be studied as the archetype of the nativistic movement in which the Mystics reject the threat of technological innovation and seek to resacralize culture in a visionary revolution in which top becomes bottom, and bottom becomes top.
OCTOBER: Modernization versus Traditional Civilization.
1. The Meiji Restoration in Japan (1853). The forceful opening of Japan by the American navy compared to the forceful opening of China by the British during the Opium Wars. The impact of the West on Japan and the reconstruction of traditional Japanese society.

2. Haussmanns Reconstruction of medieval Paris. Parallel to the Meiji reconstruction of medieval Japan, is Louis Napoleon and Baron Haussmans reconstruction of medieval Paris. During the revolutions of 1848, Louis Napoleon lived in exile in England and was deeply impressed by the power of London as the new world city. In the coup in which he insinuates himself into power, Louis Napoleon seeks to have Paris catch up and pass London to become a new kind of cultural world-city and he empowers Baron Haussmann with the authority to tear down medieval Paris and reconstruct Paris as a new space for the monumental celebration of power. What is brought forth is a new landscape of the city as a monument in which the middle ages are erased and a new past is constructed, an urban theme-park of patriotism and national glory in which the aristocratic past becomes the backdrop for a new and radically bourgeois present of luxury apartments.

As a broadening of our studies of social conflict in the clash of traditional and industrial societies, we can consider the class warfare of the Paris Commune (1871). When the Communards shoot the hands off the clocks in Paris, there is a millenarian aspect to their sense that they have reached the end-time of an apocalypse and its revelation of a new world-order. The violent massacres of the poor in East Paris show that the juggernaut that is rolling over the lower classes, whether in Paris or Ireland, is not all that different from the collision of cultures in the colonization of the American West and South Africa.

Coeval with this urban and middle class transformation of society is a new articulation of the role of memory in the formation of human identity in the works of Bergson and Proust, and the role of perception in the formation of location and identity in the impressionist painters Manet and Monet, and the early photographers such as Marville and Atget. The train station now becomes the new cathedral that celebrates the new collective ritual of speed and movement. The city itself becomes a vehicle of human cultural evolution and Paris as a complex-dynamical system of bankers and architects, poets and painters, scientists and philosophers becomes the pre-eminent cultural world-city for the new global economy of the Gold Standard of the last third of the nineteenth century.


3. The American Civil War. The consolidation of the industrial nation-state, the rise of the imperial presidency under Lincoln; the industrialization of warfare and its consequent deprofessionalization in which footsoldier replaces warrior and civilian populations become victimized and integrated into the theatre of war.

4. The railroad and telegraph and the expansion of the United States into a continental industrial nation state. The military elimination of the native American peoples.

5. The Mystics versus the Mechanists. The Ghost Dance (1870-1890) in the United States and Louis Riels Revolt of the Metis in Canada (1869-1885) are examples of nativistic movements in which religious vision challenges technological and economic consolidation. A global approach to the conflict between imperialistic and nativistic movements can be emphasized by noting that the Canadian Mounted Police that is used to

suppress the revolt of the MÝtis was modeled upon the Peelers, the police force created by the English to control the Irish. The Land War of the Irish against the English is also another example of the collision of cultures, and the dependency of Gladstone upon the votes of the Irish MPs placed a check upon imperial expansion into Africa

6. The Climax of Imperialism and the Appropriation of Africa (1876-1902). The high medieval civilizations of Africa had been successfully able to resist European conquest, but under the impact of the nineteenth century European industrial revolution and expansion, Africa begins to cave in and be carved out as colonies for the imperialist states of Western Europe. The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 parallels the American-Indian wars in the United States, and the prophetic movement of the Mahdi (1881-1898) in the Sudan parallels the Ghost Dance in America; in both continents, tribe confronts empire in a conflict of Mystics and Mechanists, a conflict in which the resacralization of space conflicts with the mechanization of space and time in the world market. It will be important for students to realize that these nineteenth-century conflicts, such as that between General Gordon and the Mahdi, are still taking place around the world in Islamic fundamentalist movements that the technological West labels terrorism but the traditionalist Middle East calls holy war or jihad.

Month devoted to minicourses.
February: The Re-Visioning of Time and Space in the New Global Civilization: the Climax of Materialistic Imperialism and the Paradoxical Disintegration of Victorian Materialism in the Emergence of Modernism.
The scientific-materialist image of space as an empty void in which forces and bodies move and collide generates a new world space in which industrial nation-states expand and then collide with one another, e.g., Britain, the U.S.A., Germany, France, and Russia. The Darwinian revisioning of sacral time also generates a new vision of evolution and progress in which it is the Manifest Destiny of the Great White Race to overwhelm and lead the darker peoples of the Earth. Racism becomes the apologetics for a new system of domination, a mythology of progress in which historical time becomes the lifting up of the chosen elect and the sluggards who resist this technological apotheosis become demonized as barbarians and savages. The ideal vision is revealed in the statue at the entrance to New Yorks Museum of Natural History: Teddy Roosevelt is the White Man on a horse leading us into a future in which the Redman, the barbarian, and the Blackman, the savage, follow him dutifully on foot.

This new process of globalization in the industrial marketplace no longer requires agricultural slavery for its foundation, but it does require a system of collectivization in which the laboring classes are seen as the internal other, an internal source of unrest and barbarism. From the Enclosure Acts to the Highland Clearances to the Irish Famine to the American-Indian wars to the Paris Commune, the way of Progress had been consistently advanced in the shift from medieval to modern. Those who stand in the way of progress are not seen as philosophers, but as subhuman vestiges of a dark age. In London, the illustrated newspapers, caricature the Irish as apes and degenerate humans, as the missing link of evolution. In America, the Irish struggle to integrate by becoming white and shifting the finger to the Afro-American as the real nigger of immigrant America. This demonization first extended to the Irish by Cromwell in the seventeenth century is extended to the native American peoples, then the Mexicans, the Chinese, and any non-white peoples, be they Hawaiian or Phillipino. This racist imperialism reaches its peak in the Spanish-American War and the American take-over of Hawaii and the Phillipines. But this expansion of the industrial nation-states means that sooner or later, as America, Asia, and Africa have been appropriated into the new world economy, the new industrial nation-states will collide with one another. In the Russo-Japanese War, (1904-05), Japan seeks to stop European expansion, and the United States with Theodore Roosevelt tries to broker a peace so as to place itself in the position of the architect of the new world space of the Pacific Rim.

As the smug confidence of the economic leaders of imperialism moves towards its denouement in World War I, the intellectuals begin to undermine materialism in the cultural formation we now call modernism. With the articulation of the unconscious with Freud, (Studies in Hysteria, 1895), and PoincarÝs revelation of the chaotic behavior of the solar system in 1899, followed by quantum mechanics with Max Planck (1902), Cubism with Braque and Picasso (1904) and Special Relativity with Einstein (1905), the confident world of the Victorians collapses and its national fragments crash into one another in the First World War.
MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY: World Wars and Nativistic Revolts
In order not to drown in an ocean of data as one endeavors to present World War I, the Irish, Mexican, and Russian Revolutions, the Depression, World War II, Indian Independence, the Chinese Revolution, the Korean War, African and Asian decolonialization, the Cuban Revolution, the Viet Nam War, the countercultural explosions of 1967 and 68, the electronic globalization of the economy, the break-up of the Soviet Empire, the Gulf War, and the explosion of a Serbian nativistic movement based upon blood identity, sacralized space, and a violent demonization of the Other, I suggest we move up to a more satellite-like vision of the events on planet Earth from 1914 to 2000. A historian whose focus is on Africa and Asia may wish to concentrate on the rise and fall of the Western Empires and the era of colonial liberation and wars of national independence. A historian whose focus is on war and revolutions, may wish to concentrate on the battles of World Wars One and Two and the Russian and Chinese Revolutions. An anthropologist may wish to focus on nativistic, millenarian, and revolutionary movements, such as I have suggested. A historian in Urban Studies or Economic History may choose to concentrate on the development of the city and the new global economy.

For the sake of fashioning some sort of coherent narrative for this mass of material, I propose that we see the period as expressing two opposed and countervaling forces. The Yang vortex of this global dynamical attractor is a centrifugal force moving outward in military and economic competition for global resources fundamental to technological superiority. Thus, when Churchill shifts the British Admiralty from coal-fired ships to lighter and faster oil driven fleets, England can no longer depend on its own national supplies of coal, but must look to the Middle East and Indonesia for oil. This oil-generated increase in speed for navies is also duplicated in the new personal vehicle of the automobile, and so the rubber meets the road in a new demand for Malayasian resources. Suddenly, Japan Inc., Anglo-Dutch Petroleum, and Standard Oil find themselves in a struggle for control of the global resources upon which their national economies depend in Malayasia, Indonesia, and the Middle East. The projection of economic power is thus linked to a world navy, and World Wars One and Two are really chapters in a single story. Central to this story, however, is a social evolution in which science and technology bring into being a new "national security state" of nuclear weapons and secret management. In compensation for this antipopulist movement, a new consumer society is brought into being as credit is extended to the working classes and suburban society expands. Through the new culture of television, from Senator McCarthy to President Kennedy, government becomes more a condition of informational management as elections become media events analagous to public sports and entertainment.

The Yin force of this global dynamical attractor is an opposed and countervaling force, a centripedal movement toward inner identity and mythologized locality. Most often this force sets itself in opposition to the extroverted forces of the global economy by going back to the preindustrial economy in a mythological resacralization of the peasant. The Irish and Mexican Revolutions led by Padraic Pearse and Emiliano Zapata are clear examples of this, but so is Lenins mystification of the peasant and the factory worker, or Gandhis mythological celebration of cottage industries and the spinning wheel. Jomo Kenyatas expulsion of the White Man and his celebration of the nativistic values of the Kikuyu tribesmen are similar to Padraic Pearses rejection of the Sasenach and his idealization of the Gaeltacht peasant. And on it goes to Mao and Castros peasantry encircling the decadent cities of capitalism and corruption.

Elements of nativistic movements can also be combined in the formation of political ideologies for industrial societies. Germany, after the Treaty of Versailles, felt that its culture was at the edge of extinction and exploded in the nativistic movement of National Socialism, with its hatred of foreigners, its demonization of the Jews, and its mythologizing of Das Volk in a nativist vision of Blut und Boden. As World War II progressed, Nazi Germanys mythology served as camouflage for more ordinary forms of capitalist expansion for its large corporations and their need to secure natural resources for their continued growth, and these contradictions between nationalism and global capitalism are nicely caricatured in Thomas Pynchons award-winning novel, Gravitys Rainbow, and are now resurfacing in the examination of the role of General Motors and its German affiliates in Nazi Germany. How the mythologies of Cuchulain and Siegfried compare and contrast in the cases of the Irish Revolt of 1916 and the National Socialist movement in Germany would itself make an interesting study of the roles of myth and media in the construction of national identity

In the interval between World Wars One and Two, the global economy contracted and restructured itself as the capital of the world economy shifted from London to New York. This restructuring is called the Great Depression, and in his efforts to save American capitalism, F.D.R. was not fully successful until he put America on a war-time economy. This extension of credit to the manufacturers was continued through the extension of the war into the Cold War, with its stimulation of the new aerospace industries. This new postindustrial economy was created by massive intrusion of Big Government into the private sector, but almost by accident, in the case of the G. I. Bill, the United States Government stumbled upon the idea of extending credit to the consumers and not just the factory producers, and these new forms of support for higher education and the purchase of homes shaped the new world of the suburbs in the Baby Boom. When the National Defense Act put the construction of the Interstate Highway system also on the Federal tab, the wedding of suburban tracts to highways created the new culture of the automobile and the shopping mall. With a continuing extension of credit and indebtedness to consumers, credit cards, television, movies, and theme park images of history all interacted to bring forth a whole new postindustrial society.

JUNE: Conclusion: Global Conflict and the Emergence of Planetary Culture.
In his essay on The Planetization of Mankind in 1945, Teilhard de Chardin noticed that:

Every new war, embarked upon by the nations for the purpose of detaching themselves from one another, merely results in their being bound and mingled together in a more inextricable knot. The more we seek to thrust each other away, the more do we interpenetrate.

And so after World War II, Detroit automotive factories end up in Japan and Japanese Zen Buddhist monasteries end up in California.

In the countercultural movements of 1968, these Yin and Yang forces collide in America and Western Europe and bring both France and the United States to the edge of civil wars. In industrial society, the displaced agricultural laborers were gathered into factories, looked at one another and recognized themselves as the new working class. In the informational society of the age of television, the young were collectivized in suburbs and public universities, looked around and recognized themselves in the generation gap as the new counterculture. In the War in Viet Nam, the United States sought to extend the colonial policies of the French and contain Chinese expansion by controlling Japans economic dependency on Malaysian and Indonesian oil and resources, and thus the U.S.A. expressed the Yang force in a straightforward manner. But the informational proletariat of the young in the U.S. and Western Europe exploded in a new expression of identity, interiority, and mystification of a romantic past in the commune and hippie costume. Folk music was electronically retrieved through the figures of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and the Depression of Woody Guthrie became a pastoral artifact in the affluent consumer culture of the sixties.

This first wave of the counterculture in the 1960s expressed a revolutionary and Dionysian consciousness in a mystical shift from the territorial nation-state to the extraterrestrial noetic polity, and this found public artistic expression in drugs, global pop music, and many works of popular science fiction concerned with fears of extraterrestrial invasion.

The second wave of the counterculture that came out of Silicon Valley in California in the 1980s, expressed a more Apollonian consciousness of reimbodiment in new informational corporations and new forms of Artificial Intelligence. Here we see a shift from the consciousness of an autonomous self within a biological evolutionary body to more distributive lattices of multidimensional mind in which new media constellate new forms of the extensive phase-space of consciousness through personal computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. Thus in the exchange of opposites that is characteristic of conflict as well as diploid sexual reproduction, the exteriority of the Yang force crosses with the interiority of the Yin force in a form of planetary cellular mitosis that seems about to give brith to a new kind of life in which natural and artificial are more intimately bound together in Artificial Life and electronic organisms.

Before the outbreak of World War I, psychoanalysis, quantum mechanics, cubism, and special relativity began to express an intellectual shift away from the pious certainties of the bourgeois world view. In 1972, a new planetary culture began to express itself in contradistinction to the internationalism that had been dominant in the era of World War II and the Cold War. James Lovelock published his first paper on the Gaia Theory that expressed a new way of looking at planetary dynamics and Jay Forester and the Meadows at MIT published their first efforts at understanding the relationship between the global economy and the global ecology in Limits to Growth. New forms of mathematics, first in catastrophe theory and then in chaos dynamics, began to express the shift from linear systems of cause and effect to emergent states and complex dynamical systems. The politics of nation-states are still struggling to understand this cultural transformation in which the interiority of the Yin force expresses itself in the planetization of the esoteric in popular movements of

mysticism and meditation, while the Yang force expresses itself in a global economy of GATT and NAFTA. As the ozone hole and the Green House Effect begin to transform global weather patterns, the relationship between the global economy and the global ecology is becoming more apparent, and also, quite apparently, not under the control of the globalist managers. We can call this shift from a collection of competing industrial nation-states to a planetary culture, the shift from a global economy (Clinton et alia) to a planetary ecumene. To date, no political leader sees or understands this cultural transformation, so, in the words of the ancient Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times! we seem to be really in for it.

A Brief Outline of Grade Twelve
The first semester of Grade Twelve will be devoted to the Senior Thesis or Project. The second semester will be devoted to a Senior Seminar in which students will gather in small discussion groups under the supervision of a faculty member where they will learn how to present a report on research and lead a discussion among their colleagues.

Grade Twelve will be devoted to a recapitulation of the entire spiral of cultural history in a course devoted to the theme of Art and the Evolution of Consciousness. This course will bring anthropology and art history together to look, not at events in history, but at the quantum steps of history.

Outline of the Twelth Grade Art History Course
Title: Art and the Evolution of Consciousness
Theme: Art as Expressive of the Transformations of Life

Time Period: From Origins of Universe to Origins of the Electronic Noosphere

I. Art and the Origins of Light, "Let there be Light."
The course will begin with a general consideration of the nature of perception and will open with a consideration of contemporary artists of light and laser, such as Otto Piene, and will go on to explore some theoretical ideas such as the nature of color and form as expressed by artists themselves.

II. Art and the Origins of Life
Art is not simply a leisure activity but is something much more basic to the nature of life itself. For instance, bacteria form Gothic Rose Windows in petrie dishes; spirochetes entrain their flagella in wave motions that enable them to form patterns of self-organization from noise and complete tasks that are basic to survival, such as passing food particles along a membrane. As patterned information against a background of noise, art is an ontological strategy and not simply a copy of some economic activity that is supposed to be "more real." This section can intersect nicely with the work of Lynn Margulis on the origins of life, and Francisco Varelas work on Cognition and the Realization of the Living in the twelth grade science course.
III. Art and the Origins of Culture
Historical evidence of human culture shows up in the discovery of prehistoric tools and settlements, but the organization of space and time with structures is not exclusive to human activity. Ant and termite communities build structures and towers, bees uses dances to communicate the location of food, crickets use songs in courtship, whales appear to sing and repeat melodies in a musical tradition, crows love to collect bright and shiny objects; wolves howl in response to human music; chimps have rituals; all of these naturalactivities are solid foundational steps toward the prehistoric human cultural activity of territory markings, bone carvings, petroglyphs, and cave paintings. Once again, this section can offer an opportunity to intersect with the science courses of Merlin Donalds work on the "Origins of Mind."
IV. Art and the Origins of Human Settlements
The Hominization of the Primates can be considered the first transformation of human culture that establishes the evolutionary vehicle of the human body with its encephelation, upright posture, and shift from oestrus to menstruation and opennesss to sexualtiy at all seasons. Symbolization can be considered the second great transformation with its associated origins of language and art and notation. In this section, we will take a special look at the Ice Age settlement of Dolni Vestonice and the development of the tradition of cave painting that culminates in Lascaux. Agriculturalization, with its shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture and village and town settlements, can be considered the third great transformation. Here we will consider the art and architecture of the neolithic town of ‡atal Höyök in Anatolia, as well as Neolthic Lepenski Vir. The visual organization of towns and villages will once again be looked at as examples of art as a basic organization of life.
V. Art and the Origins of Civilization
Civilization is the fourth great transformation. In this section, the course will focus on the City in History, from 3500 BCE to 1500 CE. The evolution of consciousness can be seen to be advanced by the vehicle of the city. But all cities are not the same, so I suggest we consider the religious ceremonial center, the imperial city, and the capitalistic commercial metropolis. The early Sumerian cities and the Mesoamerican cities, San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan and Teotihuacan, are examples of the first type. Babylon, Persepolis, Peking, and Rome are examples of the second type. Venice, Amsterdam, and London are examples of the trading city, although London combines elements of the drama of the imperial city with the chaotic abandon of the capitalistic trading city.
VI. Art and the Origins of Industrialization
Industrialization is the fifth great transformation. The roots of industrialization, as pointed out by the great cultural historian Fernand Braudel, go back to the Renaissance and precede by centuries the Industrial Revolution of eighteenth century England. Consequently, in this unit, we shall take a look at science and technology in art and commerce from Da Vinci up to the Crystal Palace in London in 1851. Our study will consider art as expressive of the shift from medieval empires to modern states; that is, the shift from traditional feudal societies, hierarchally organized around priests and knights and economically based on land ownership and imperial tribute, to a new global civilization in which commercial classes through trade and interest-generating loans create new forms of wealth, material accumulation in architecture and art, and economic power and then use these to restructure feudal kingdoms into industrial nation-states in which the businessman, the scientist, and the artist take on a charisma and power once reserved to high priests, princes and knights.

VII. From Arts as Collectibles to Art as Economy
From the Medicis to J.P. Morgan, capitalism and art are not strange bedfellows but man and wife. The classical look-alikes of bank and museum contain the spirit of the age, but in our time, the museum has grown into an entertainment industry and for cities such as New York and Paris into a tourist economy of enormous importance.
VIII. Art and the Origins of Planetization
Planetization is the sixth great transformation of human culture, the transformation we are experiencing in our own historical period, from 1945 to the present. The world now seems to be experiencing a shift from a world economy of competing and polluting industrial nation-states to a global ecology of noetic polities, an ecumene, in which consciousness itself is becoming a symbiotic architecture of organisms and cybernetic machines. This is a new world of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life, but also a world in which technology and ecology enter into a more participatory relationship in which pollution is mined as a natural resource in an intentionally cultured bacterial system of living machines and electronic organisms. Here, science fact and science fiction can be examined to open our imaginations to the future and the possibilities of multidimensional modes of consciousness, mystical and mathematical, as well as novel cultural phenomena such as environmental art, the electronic retrieval of shamanism in popular fascination with Tibetan and Native American cultures, the shamanic qualities of performance art, the articulation of cities as vast public sculptures or body-politics, and the body itself as sculpture and tatooed canvas in a personal implosion and appropriation of the artificial into the natural.
IX. Art and the Origins of ARTificial Intelligence and ARTificial Life.
With the invention of new nanotechnologies, constructions can become atomic and invisible and thus hold out the possibility of a coming etherealization of architecture. For the conclusion of our year-long exploration of the evolution of consciousness, our art history and sciences courses will intersect in a study of the arts of the global electronic noosphere, allowing us to bring in artists and scientists of the avant garde of the world into which the students are graduating.
Suggested Tie-in with the Twelth Grade Science Course
Theme: Living in the Universe


1. Aim of the Course

Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Contemporary science, in its attempt to answer these questions, provides a story about the cosmos as rich in meaning and symbol as any of the traditional myths of cosmic origins: we descend not only from earlier primates, from worms that populated the Earth 540 million years ago, and from the Earths primeval bacteria, but ultimately from exploding stars in the depths of time.
The aim of this course is to explore what science tells us about our origins and evolutionary transformations through time, from the beginning of the universe 15 billion years ago to the origins of life on Earth 3.5 billion years ago; from the appearance of animals with nervous systems 540 million years ago to the emergence of hominid primates 5 million years ago; from the formation of the human mind 200,000

years ago to the electronically wrought transformations of human consciousness presently underway.
2. Organization

The key organizing concept of this course is the contemporary scientific concept of emergence. Although scientists often speak of emergent properties, it is preferable to speak of emergent domainsnew domains of phenomena that arise from pre-existing elements, such as the emergent domain of cellular life, which arose some 3.5 billion years ago on Earth from pre-existing molecular building blocks, or the emergent domain of sentient animal life, which arose from pre-existing multicellular organisms.
The year-long curriculum is divided into five major units, each of which incorporates laboratory components:
2. The Cosmos

Astrophysics lab

3. Life

Biochemistry lab

4. The Brain

Neurobiology lab

5. The Human Mind and Consciousness

Cognitive science lab

6. The Electronic Noosphere

Computer science/artificial intelligence lab

This spiral curriculum began with creation epics and narratives concerned with the origins of the universe, of life, and of consciousness; it ends with the contemporary emergence of consciousness studies in cognitive science and philosophy. And so, in the turning of the spiral, in our end is also our beginning.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page