A POV (point of view), sometimes called a perspective, is an important thing to have. Realistically, it’s pretty much impossible not to have one, but it’s having the right one that’s crucial, both in life and in art. Now, I’m not saying I’ve got it down; it’s actually on my mind because in recent months I’ve been struggling to find the one that works for me. The important thing is that I’m looking. You should be looking too.
Take this sculpture installation for example:
That was a 180 degree tour of (in my humble opinion) some of the coolest art on campus. These hulking slabs of solidity are right there on the grass outside Sam Fox, next to the bus stop. Take a stroll down there sometime! What I find so intriguing about this work is that your viewing experience is refreshed and renewed every time you step ~18 degrees to the left. Here’s a recap of something like my thought process circling around this mass:
“What’s going on here? Oh wait, I can see a relationship between this black squiggly one on the left and this half-sphere on the right! Now it’s even clearer! OH, but look at this new little circle on the side! Woah, zoom out and it looks like that circle is flirting with the giant squiggle-beast! Now I can see a circle festival all the way through! And here it is on the other side! And again! And here’s the squiggle-circle relationship from the opposite side!”
It sounds a little foolish when I put it down in writing, but I’m endeavoring for honesty, embarrassing though it may be. Ignoring for a moment the specific words I used, the point is that every time you view the piece from a new angle, your perspective on the whole work shifts. Maybe you like it best from the North, South, East or West. Maybe you’d like it best from the top looking down or from the bottom looking up. Maybe you don’t like it all, but you’ve got to admit that it’s interesting.
If only gaining new perspectives in life were as easy as stepping a few feet in a different direction. We obviously know that’s not the case, but perhaps we can learn something from the simplicity of perspective acquisition in this particular case, even if it’s only that new perspectives breed new thought. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our own lives, especially within the hallowed halls of a prestigious university; we’re all guilty of this at some point. We’re also constantly being reminded to step outside ourselves and broaden our world view, but how often do we heed such sage advice? Just in case you haven’t heard it in a while, here is your daily (weekly, monthly, yearly) reminder to zoom out, rotate 180 degrees clockwise or counter, try to get a little perspective. It’ll do you some good.