© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arts Makes Education STEAM

A good portion of my librarian career has been in scientific environments -- most recently in STEM education.

Over the last decade, science, technology, engineering and math have been at the top of educational agendas. I get it: We need critical thinkers who can address global challenges and inform government policy. But what about the arts?

There’s been recent momentum behind STEAM – adding arts to STEM -- and this multi-disciplinary approach makes sense to me, logically and intuitively.

So this leads me to phosphenes, those luminous impressions we see with our eyes closed. I just learned what they were called when I saw Laurie Anderson’s documentary, “Heart of a Dog.”

A composer, musician, performance and experimental artist, Anderson has created a sensual montage and simulates phosphenes with footage using drones that reminded me of dreamscapes. She finds a way through art and science to convey fleeting truths and insights into everything from loss, surveillance, and data overload to the love and devotion between humans and animals. “Heart of a Dog” also tells stories from Laurie Anderson’s childhood in Glen Ellyn.

Somehow, this piece of art that incorporates a range of technology is like a deep dive into the human experience and underlying mystery and wonder of it all.

Esteemed scientist Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious … the source of all true art and science.”

If he were on a STEM advisory committee today, I bet he’d definitely be expanding it to STEAM.

I’m Paula Garrett, and that’s my perspective.

Related Stories