Teaching a new inclusiveness at The School

Teaching a new inclusiveness at The School

Feedback is what you get when a system’s output is looped through its input, as when Jimi Hendrix, closing out the Woodstock music festival in 1969, used an electric guitar with an overdriven amplifier to turn a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” into a dizzying tone poem of anguish and destruction. Although the gesture was received at the time as a protest — of the Vietnam War, of racial inequality, of everything wrong with America — Hendrix, himself a U.S. Army vet, was cagey about his intentions. It would probably be truer to borrow some contemporary art jargon and call what he did to the national anthem “complicating” it. Of course protest was a part of it. But it was the tension between his protest and the song’s usual bombast, which he also captured, that really summed up his historical moment and made the rendition iconic. If we’re going to make museums genuinely representative — and, more broadly, make progress as a divid
Feedback is what you get when a system’s output is looped through its input, as when Jimi Hendrix, closing out the Woodstock music festival in 1969, used an electric guitar with an overdriven amplifier to turn a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” into a dizzying tone poem of anguish and destruction. Although the gesture was received at the time as a protest — of the Vietnam War, of racial inequality, of everything wrong with America — Hendrix, himself a U.S. Army vet, was cagey about his intentions. It would probably be truer to borrow some contemporary art jargon and call what he did to the national anthem “complicating” it. Of course protest was a part of it. But it was the tension between his protest and the song’s usual bombast, which he also captured, that really summed up his historical moment and made the rendition iconic. If we’re going to make museums genuinely representative — and, more broadly, make progress as a divid