Background to the company of ideas
The 50-hectare Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park (JRSP) is home to over 95 of Jeffrey Rubinoff's sculptures, representing four decades of artistic effort. The Park is dedicated "... to advance education in the arts by preserving the sculpture collection created by Jeffrey Rubinoff and making it available for the enjoyment and education of art students and the general public."
Rubinoff's work is ambitious and unique in its time in that it claims art to be a vehicle for the evolution of mind, and argues that as such it must deliver penetrating insights that form the basis for ideas of central concern to humanity. Rubinoff has realized a substantial body of insights in the evolution of the sculpture, among which, the insight "The End of the Age of Agriculture" may yield important questions about the evolutionary path of human culture.
It is through the insights that Rubinoff demonstrates his ideal of artistic engagement with the issues at the centre of human endeavour, and it is this deeper dimension of his work that is the foundation of the claim of importance for the advancement of education in the arts. Since these insights form the context within which the work becomes meaningful, it is imperative that the general public and artists and art educators understand them if the work is to be fully appreciated.
To this end the JRSP hosts annual Company of Ideas (COI) Forums, to which it invites scholarly collaborators who are asked to explicate and extend specific insights within their specialties. This is an example of the kind of scholarly contribution we intend to set at the core of our program for the advancement of education in the arts.
In the spring of 2008, the Inaugural Company of Ideas Forum formally introduced the work and the insights of Jeffrey Rubinoff to a wider public and to art students for the first time. That was followed in the summer of 2008 by an intensive workshop for arts students and art educators to discuss the 'Inherent Value of Art at the End of the Age of Agriculture,' an explication of Rubinoff's insights by Activities Director Karun Koernig. In the spring of 2009, several other practicing scholars at the PhD level were invited to a Forum aimed at explicating several of the concepts surrounding concept of the End of the Age of Agriculture. In 2010, the Company of Ideas program will begin a multiyear series of Forums to address the issues at the centre of the idea of the End of the Age of Agriculture, namely the advent of nuclear weapons and nuclear power, the changes to the rewards of war to the warrior class, and the changes to human culture this situation both exhibits and demands.