Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Four Quarters of the Earth: A Heuristic-Hermeneutic Approach to World Art
Kathleen I. Kimball
2nd Author
3rd Author
Ph.D. World Art
Number of Pages
Union Institute & University
Thesis Supervisor
Bethe Hagesn
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
John Onians, John Voll
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
World Art
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
world art, consciousness, feng shui, art education
Abstract: 200-500 words
The emerging field of World Art is an appropriate place to ask the research question, “what does it mean to be human in the 21st century?” The urgent need for a pan human narrative and its subsequent common goals derives from our shared habitat degradation, growing population and rapid technologic changes in a global era of instant communications. Art is a hallmark of humans on planet earth: Our pan human neurological framework includes symbolizing capacity; this serves as our individual and collective memory-heritage, the birthright of every human being, and a great hope for our future. This research uses a heuristic hermeneutic theoretical framework and art based research methods. Thus, subjective interpretation unites art history and art making. Together the theories and methods relate the subjective interpretive quality of individual art making experiences with the collective art making histories of the species. World Art has the capacity to become the educational K-12 axis mundi because it capitalizes on brain research about how humans learn, leverages multiple intelligence, supports thematic teacher collaborations and addresses legislative mandates. Part One explores context as a field in which meaning is situated. Here time-space figures establish points of view, including through interspecies and machine communications and Chinese feng shui. Part Two emphasizes visual art symbolization while acknowledging other modalities. Art objects of paper, clay, and available stream (recyclables and the natural world) represent each of the four quarters of the earth: Africa 100,000BCE; Oceania 50,000BCE; Eurasia, 25,000BCE; the Americas, 12,500BCE – present. In the end, to be human in the 21st century is to be a figure individually resonating aesthetic consciousness in the ground of intentional collective empathy.