Quotes by
John Rosenthal

No matter how brilliantly Science has understood the mechanics of the material world, it is a remarkably ineffective tool for deciphering the mysteries of human misery. Even with thousands of "experts" telling us what's wrong, and measuring it, self-knowledge is on the decline. In America, the most technologically advanced country on earth, one has to be oblivious not to hear a din of sorrow and private disappointment just below the gabble of our TV’s and the hum of our personal computers. Where is the expertise that can explain us to ourselves? The scientific method is inadequate for such revelations. No matter how many developmental models we formulate to explain why and when we do things, no matter how extensive the revealed neurochemical connections, psycho-biology must always collaborate with human freedom - the curse of dealing with a creature for whom visual symbols, art and language, are a defining characteristic. Such a collaboration entails nothing less than a deeper respect for the singularity of our lives, a recognition of those immensely specific contingencies that belong only to our own individual experience. In other words, the business of art - the inner gaze, and those strategies for sharpening its clarity. Who else but the artist, insisting upon the primacy of individual experience, can reclaim the private territory ceded to experts - to those well-meaning and well-socialized professionals who created the idea of normal people just when the corporations need

Newsletter, Institute of the Arts, Duke University