Trotting Out Our Biases for a Test Drive

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Trotting Out Our Biases for a Test Drive, Ann Grasso Pattern Art

 

Pretty regularly, I wipe down my kitchen counters.
A bit less regularly, I straighten out dresser drawers.
Seldom do I rearrange my bookshelves.
How often do I test my chosen biases?

Creatures of comfort, creatures of habit. We are not prone to opening our “thought closets” for review and realignment.

Having just finished an art series on Begging Bowls and Offering Bowls, I am free to consider “What’s next?”

Is this terror or is this opportunity?

When son older was a little boy, he came into my architectural studio just as I placed a large 24” x 36” paper on the drafting board to begin a new client project. He looked at the paper quizzically and said, “How do you know where to start?” When there is a client (or a commission), facts are gathered that limit options.
However, when creating one’s own art, setting limits is considerably harder.

However, it is one of the many perfect times to open my “thoughts closet.” Taking a magnifying lens to review beliefs in the light of new evidence, changing cultural mores, physical realities and any other number of filters, I hope to release some, then adjust, polish and relish the biases that remain.

Showing 6 comments
  • patsy monk
    Reply

    Sometimes, I wonder WHEN, more than WHERE to start…. Gathering ‘facts’ for me can be an almost overwhelming process….
    and/or …safe procrastination.
    Years ago I completed a quilt for Roots Of Racism, a traveling exhibit by Susan Lumsden. It was an exciting process! Identifying bias in self and others was my goal.
    Always good to do a personal bias check …& then, re-check & correct as needed.

    • blank
      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Recently, I read an article that unfortunately, when our biases are deeply ingrained, we are not able to be aware they ARE biases. Best we can do is be alert, and try.

  • Lisa
    Reply

    Biases are so totally where we can stay safe. And stuck. They aren’t always easy to find – but once they are exposed – its hard to pretend they aren’t there.

    What a great idea to trot them all out and have a look every once in a while. Maybe do a bit of decluttering of the bias cabinet.

    Really excellent article. Has me thinking…

    • blank
      Ann Grasso
      Reply

      Thank you for your thoughts, Lisa. As I said to Patsy below, when our biases are deeply ingrained, we are not able to be aware they are biases until some issue or some person points them out. I tend to think of commercial pilots as male, for example. But recently I became aware that a small percentage of commercial pilots are female and now I am sensitized to this reality.

      • Lisa
        Reply

        Definitely having someone else point them out is often needed. Enter coaching… :):)

        • blank
          Ann Grasso
          Reply

          And likely the reason coaches require rigorous training to know their own biases…

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