Fostering Critical Response to Complex Experience

Fostering Critical Response to Complex Experience (downloadable pdf) from the Artful Manager by Andrew Taylor on ArtsJournal.


In brief (a two-sided PDF describing the protocol is available for the details), the facilitator welcomes the group and introduces the process, explaining that ”we can better understand any complex work or experience when we slow down and first pay attention to what we notice, remember, feel, and wonder about it.” And then the prompting questions begin:

1. What did you notice? (10 minutes) Encouraging participants to share what they saw or heard during the experience, without judgment. If judgment emerges, the facilitator asks for the evidence upon which that judgment was based: ”What did you see that makes you say that?”

2. What did it remind you of? (10 minutes) Encouraging participants to share how they can connect the work to their own life, what they recalled when they experienced it.

3. How did you or do you feel? (10 minutes) Sharing what feelings the work evoked in them, or continues to evoke.

4. What questions does it raise? (10 minutes) What does the experience make you wonder about?

5. Speculate (10 minutes) Asking the group to speculate about what the work helps them to understand, or what they think was the artist’s intent.

6. Respond/Discuss/Reflect (10-20 minutes) Opening the conversation for more general discussions, connections, reflections.

All in, the process takes 70-85 minutes, which in our demonstration went by quickly.

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