FUNCSHUIONAL ART: East Marries West – North and South – A New Planetary Genre

FUNCSHUIONAL ART:East Marries West – North and South – A New Planetary Genre

© Bonnie Ora Sherk 2003-11

Funcshuional Art is a term that I coined, relatively recently (2003), to describe a new genre of art that I have been developing for several decades. It combines the Functionalism of the West with the sensitivity toward ecological alignment, natural systems, and spirituality of the East, known as Feng Shui. It also embraces the diversity of cultures from the North and South as well as East and West.

Funcshuional Art is a new transformative planetary art form that incorporates and acknowledges culture as part of nature and includes all of us – including diverse species.

We rejoice in similarities and diversities. We are the same, but different.

Funcshuional Art is also practical and helps us to make needed ecological, physical change in communities and schools so our environments and lives are more vibrant, healthy, expressive, authentic, and beautiful.

It is art, but also functions as community and economic development, and provides multiple educational opportunities for all ages, while helping to solve local environmental and social problems.

Funcshuional Art is Systemic Design. It embodies creating Whole Experiences: An Environment(s) integrated with Activity(s) within a Place:Performance Art has evolved to become Community Programs, or Interdisciplinary, Hands-On, Standards-Based Curricula.

It is art that promotes learning, becoming more whole, and helping us to evolve, fulfilling our potential as humans.

We can also call it Funshuional as in FUN, or Funcshuionual, as in SENSUAL, with all puns intended !

The Life Frame and A Living Library offer good examples.

Crossroads Community (the farm), a pioneering urban agriculture, arts, and environmental education center that transformed acres of derelict land adjacent to, and incorporating a freeway interchange, that also became a new San Francisco park (Potrero del Sol), was an early Life Frame. I was the Founding Director/President from 1974-80 and made the original drawings for the park.

The Life Frame, another term that I coined, is an inclusive framework for diversity:  biological, cultural, technological.The Life Frame literally frames life so we can see it and experience it more profoundly.

A Living Library is also a Life Frame, and embodies this spirit and actuality.A.L.L. for short, provides a powerful framework, and easily incorporates systems, phenonmena, and cultures, demonstrating interconnectedness between biological, cultural, and technological systems.

Funcshuional Art is Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden.

It is participatory and relevant, helping us to reconnect with each other and understand where we live and who we are.

Please read the piece below that I wrote, published in a United Nations Centerpoint Now NGO/DPI Journal for two Conferences on Human Rights and Disarmament: (2008, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France – 2009, Mexico City, Mexico), that further describes these ideas. 

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