Florida Southwestern State College The New Society Manifesto Essay


Although you are perhaps not an artist, over this semester you have become a curator of the arts, and in this way, you have consolidated and expressed your aesthetic views and commitments, and/or have discovered and developed them along the way. This licenses you to posit an overarching philosophy regarding your feelings on art and how it communicates about, or connects to, your world. In this assignment, you will unify your semester’s work into a kind of bigger analytic whole.

To begin this assignment, look over the many works you’ve posted and try to find some overarching theme.  Keep in mind that you have considerable leeway and creativity in how you approach this, but it should be something that you can support by citing and discussing the blog entries you’ve posted over the course of the semester. You may not find a theme to connect all of the posts (though it is possible), but you can surely find some theme to connect several of them.

For example, let’s assume that I – a student in online 2020 – am looking over my blog posts, seeking within them patterns or unifying values. I notice that I chose to analyze an abstract painting that’s busy with jagged lines and sharp angles; my playlist features songs like Wham’s “Wake Me up before You Go-Go,” and Eminem’s “Stay Wide Awake”; my photo series features shots of my favorite coffee cups from my considerable home collection. I realize a unifying theme of stimulants/stimulation, thus I write “The Stimulist Manifesto” (note that I make up this term, but one that makes sense in its context, just like Andre Breton did in his “Surrealist Manifesto”–keep in mind, in this assignment you can be creative, have fun, and still be analytical). In classic manifesto-style I might begin such a document, “WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!!!” Or, in another make-believe example, I realize that my scene from the Godfather is one of the many in which the Corleones are discussing the importance of family ties; my public sculpture happens to be of a boy and his dog; I have analyzed the scene in which Hamlet chastises his mother for betraying his late father. Thus, I might see a pattern here and pen, “Manifesto of the Loyalists,” my imaginary movement celebrating art that celebrates commitment between people.

Take time to look over your posts, consider what these say about you and your tastes and interests and try to find the connective tissue that can synthesize them. This may take some time and thought. You don’t need to connect all of the blog posts over the course of the semester, but the more the merrier, and you should reference at least three as examples in your manifesto. It is likely that your first post featuring your own representative work will help guide you toward some unifying theme.

When it is done, your manifesto will have a name that reflects its theme, an introduction that contains a statement of its intent (the chief cultural/artistic value or values that you want to promote). Somewhere within it, there will also be some statement of the things it opposes. It will then go on to show several examples from your blog posts that support your point in some way (this is your evidence). Don’t merely repeat the posts, but instead weave the artifacts and your thoughts about them into the larger structure of your manifesto’s point, showing how they fit into this bigger analytic picture. Again, have fun with this, and be as creative as you’d like; but be sure that you forge a meaningful connection between your posts by recognizing the things you value in your aesthetic experience. You may look over some of the manifesto examples below to see how this has been done in the past.

Although this is the course’s final assignment, a document of this kind is an explanation of you and your thinking, and thus should be able to function as an introduction to your blog, and, if you wish, even serve as the blog’s title. Feel free to post it as the initial introductory statement to your webpage. This posting should be at least 650 words. This assignment will be assessed on its formal clarity, the quality of the writing and editing, its degree of engagement with its topic, its creativity/inventiveness/originality of ideas, and the sophistication of thought it expresses.


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