Your CLASS JOURNAL: is a key reference: this is your personal document in which new material from class and your personal passions are more-or-less integrated.  This is yours alone and private, but can be used in multiple class exercises.  If there is ever an open-book quiz, this will be the book.  Please look at how journals and diaries have worked for other people. (e.g., Maria Popova’s 2014 essay at Brain Pickings blog).  

As you settle on a possible subject to emphasize in class presentation and paper, various resources should be explored:

The A&O WEBSITE provides text, selected readings, and discussions. The Art and Organism web pages, like artists and organisms themselves, are a motley, eclectic agglomeration of more-or-less mutually accommodating traits that exist in the service of the overall idea. Each is, like the entire A&O enterprise, a work in progress, with its own history and function. At any given moment web pages are born, manifest more-or-less exuberant growth, then mature, then die. Some leave a legacy manifest in their replacement or reinvention elsewhere. Each seeks to prosper on its own as well as keep the balance or harmony and vigor of the whole project. They respond well to constructive criticism.

The TEXT at the WEBSITE endeavors to be integrative and dynamic, changing often, representing the unique interests of each year’s participating students and new, emerging ideas and research findings.  Pages are less systematic expositions of any topic, but more a series of related notes and talking points 

READINGS are selected from a diverse collection of scientific, artistic, and cultural resources including (for example) the text Human Ethology by I Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1989) Chapter 9.; What is Art For?   An interpretation of the evolutionary significance of art by Ellen Dissanayake (1998) University of Washington Press.  “The Biological Foundation of Aesthetics”  (Edited by I Rentschler, B. Herzberger, and D. Epstein, published by Biurkhauser). And many articles, several on-line presentations.

GOOGLE.  The most visited website in the world began In 1998 when Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin started a search engine with the mission of  organizing “the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”  We now have GOOGLE, a multinational company (valued in the tens of billions of dollars) of the stature of AmazonApple, and Facebook. (WIKIPEDIA on GOOGLE

WIKIPEDIA: a beautifully organized free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. IS WIKIPEDIA  RELIABLE? [read this].  The breadth of input often opens unexpected avenues of thought … BUT it is a beginning at best. READ “RESEARCHING with WIKIPEDIA.”   As a resource, Wikipedia appears often in A&O course notes to represent personalities and terms you might be unfamiliar with. It is a great jumping off point and source of interdisciplinary inspiration.