I talked with Noora about the conditions of art, intercultural/multicultural understanding, and her project of photography of empowerment.
There are two elements of an effective setting to learn/experience/change that are often described by educational scientists, one element to be explicitely created, and one to be implicitely created:
1.) A framing, e.g. by context markers, narratives, cultural contextualisations etc. (see Bateson), to be created or integrated into the setting by the producer/artist/teacher of the project;
2.) and a free space for the user/viewer/learner to apply “closure” on (see McCloud), to fill the gap between the context markers by one’s own interpretation.
There is a third element, probably the most tricky one. Bateson mentions it fleetingly, von Foerster, unfortunately, doesn’t talk about it:
3.) Something that motivates the user/viewer/learner to fill the gap, some incentive for him or her to change a well-known viewpoint and follow the course into uncharted cognitive territory.
Artists, therapists or educators each have a specific advantage touching this element: Aesthetics in art (“I want to experience”), psychological strain for therapists (“I want to change”) or curiosity for educators (“I want to know”).