Art as an Invitation to World-Traveling: A Psycho-Theoretical Approach to Understanding Neuro-atypicality
Caring for others is hard work, it takes time, it takes emotional labor, and ultimately it is not immediately apparent how caring for others helps ourselves, so why should we do it? In caring for others, we become an active participant in the world of another, and we must take this active role because we already have an emotional investment in the wellbeing of the other. We must care for others because we already care about them. This concept of caring for others is addressed in Art as an invitation to world-traveling: a psycho-analytic approach to Understanding neuro-atypicality as well as a corresponding gallery featuring the artwork analyzed within the written work. In this work the act of World-Sharing is discussed, an idea brought to us by the philosopher Maria Lugones. The idea is that we create worlds by having relationships with others. We have worlds that we live in with our family, our workplace, our circles of friends, and smaller worlds between us and those we are closest to and ourselves. We are world-travelers, evidenced by our ability to empathize with others, and through this thesis we can become able to use art as a means of world-traveling. Art has a unique way of creating a way with which we can understand the other without the use of words, as verbal language isn't the only path to world-traveling. In the first section of this work, there is an introduction. In sections two through four the philosophical importance of expressive and empathetic communication, the psychological standpoint including how neuro-atypical people are already attempting to share their world with others by utilizing therapy, and an analysis of artwork by neuro-atypical artists are discussed. Section two utilizes the concept of world-sharing brought to us by Maria Lugones, the concept of therapy as a way to care for others and develop relationships, as well as the importance of love as it related to caring by Carol Gilligan, the way that language can be used to form these relationships by Hans-Georg Gadamer, and the way that language lends itself to communication and the creation of worlds by Georges Gusdorf. In this section the importance of the social majority, or those who hold social power, to travel to the world to the minority, because the minority in order to exist in society already travels to the world of the majority is discussed. In the third section how neuro-atypical people attempt to travel to the world of the majority by utilizing therapy and at times the importance of artwork in that therapy is discussed as well as the art therapy called SEAT which utilizes viewing the patients as artists first in order to have a more dynamic and influential intervention.