Memory and Mystery

My father, Garry Berteig, recently took a trip to China to visit my brother in Beijing. Garry is an artist and an educator of great skill and insight. While there, he had the following insight:

Memory (traditional forms) is undone by Mystery (abstract forms). The next step is to combine the two into new forms in a postmodern sense… unity through diversity.

I believe this can be related to the idea of levels of mastery which I first encountered in Alistair Cockburns excellent book “Agile Software Development”. Since I don’t have the book in front of me, I have to go from memory. First there is rote learning, memorization of predefined forms. Then comes understanding of why the forms are the way they are. Finally comes the wisdom and experience to innovate on the forms.

If anyone else has any ideas about this, I would love to discuss them!


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