Yep, art needs rules. Play needs rules. Or, put another way, art and play needs structure. Producing meaning is, ultimately, a crafty alchemy of wildness, play, inclusion and exclusion, limits and, hopefully, passion. And there are ways to go about this that we call rules. Some of which are best respected, some stretched and negotiated and, of course, some broken. I learned of Corita Kent's rules from dian marino and found them listed in Learning By Heart (p176). And i think they're pretty cool. They're actually titled "Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules." And, since learning them, i have always combined them in my mind and heart with Bread & Puppet's Cheap Art manifesto (see next post).
Rule I: Find a place you trust and then try trusting it for a while.
Rule 2: General duties of a student: pull everything out of your teacher. Pull everything out of your fellow students.
Rule 3: General duties of a teacher: pull everything out of your students.
Rule 4: Consider everything an experiment.
Rule 5: Be self disciplined. This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be disciplined is to follow in a better way.
Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.
Rule 7: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.
Rule 8: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
Rule 9: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
Rule 10: “We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for x quantities.” John cage
Helpful hints: always be around. Come or go to every- thing. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything it might come in handy later. There should be new rules next week.
From David Mekelburg. Corita
’s Rules & Hints for Students and Teachers. Kent