the crucial functions of art

One of the crucial functions, personally and socially, is to propose new worlds, different from the ones you know; and this is unsettling enough in itself. But perhaps even more crucially, and potentially more important for society, art can make you pay attention to things you take for granted, make what you think you know to be strange to you, and thereby change your relation to life's actualities and its possibilities. Part of growth is to recognize the profound ways in which your learned feelings for what at first seems alien and beyond you, and your transformed understanding of what has always been at your feet and all around you, can become the most satisfying, intimate parts of your relation to the world, empower you and give the greatest texture and depth to your life. Otherwise you may remain deaf to music that might resonate with you, blind to forms that might become the touchstones of your vision, and pass through your life without living it.  -Kurt Varnedal