This paper explores the use of chemical symbolism in works by the new media artist Sonya Rapoport, with a focus on the pivotal Cobalt series from the late 1970s. These works, drawings on computer printouts generated by research at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, respond to experiments in nuclear chemistry. They mark the beginning of three productive decades in which Rapoport produced a variety of images related to chemistry in her work. She states, “I looked for authentic research projects that (...) were interesting to me, preferably with captivating pictorial subject matter. Then came the creative chaotic process of resolving a cohesive product that combined scientific research with art concept.” Rapoport had an unusual degree of access to scientific materials through her husband, organic chemist Henry Rapoport, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of production, these works were outside mainstream art world interests and they have received little critical attention. This paper examines the development of Rapoport’s images and places her use of chemical references in context in her lifetime of work. (shrink)
This book presents an innovative analysis of the role of imagination as a central concept in both literary and art criticism. Dee Reynolds brings this approach to bear on works by Rimbaud, Mallarme;, Kandinsky, and Mondrian. It allows her to redefine the relationship between Symbolism and abstract art, and to contribute new methodological perspectives to comparative studies of poetry and painting. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a crucial period in the emergence of new modes of representation, (...) and is currently at the forefront of critical enquiry. This is the first book to examine Symbolism and abstraction in this way, and the first to treat these poets and painters together. It is an original contribution to interdisciplinary scholarship in art history, literary history, and comparative aesthetics. (shrink)
A psychoanalytic psychology and art of unconscious emotion -- An inward turn : Vienna 1900 -- Exploring the truths hidden beneath the surface : origins of a scientific medicine -- Viennese artists, writers, and scientists meet in the Zuckerkandl Salon -- Exploring the brain beneath the skull : origins of a scientific psychiatry -- Exploring mind together with the brain : the development of a brain-based psychology -- Exploring mind apart from the brain : origins of a dynamic psychology -- (...) Searching for inner meaning in literature -- The depiction of modern women's sexuality in art -- The depiction of the psyche in art -- The fusion of eroticism, aggression, and anxiety in art -- A cognitive psychology of visual perception and emotional response to art -- Discovering the beholder's share -- Observation is also invention : the brain as a creativity machine -- The emergence of twentieth-century painting -- A biological science of the beholder's visual response to art -- The brain's processing of visual images -- Deconstruction of the visual image: the building blocks of form perception -- Reconstruction of the world we see : vision is information processing -- High-level vision and the brain's perception of face, hands, and body -- Top-down processing of information : using memory to find meaning -- The deconstruction of emotion : the search for emotional primitives -- The artistic depiction of emotion through the face, hands, body, and color -- Unconscious emotions, conscious feelings, and their bodily expression -- A biological science of the beholder's emotional response to art -- Top-down control of cognitive emotional information -- The biological response to beauty and ugliness in art -- The beholder's share : entering the private theater of another's mind -- The biology of the beholder's share : modeling other people's minds -- How the brain regulates emotion and empathy -- An evolving dialogue between visual art and science -- Artistic universals and the austrian expressionists -- The creative brain -- The cognitive unconscious and the creative brain -- Brain circuits for creativity -- Talent, creativity, and brain development -- Knowing ourselves : the new dialogue between art and science. (shrink)
Charles Bernheimer described decadence as a "stimulant that bends thought out of shape, deforming traditional conceptual molds." In this posthumously published work, Bernheimer succeeds in making a critical concept out of this perennially fashionable, rarely understood term. Decadent Subjects is a coherent and moving picture of fin de siècle decadence. Mature, ironic, iconoclastic, and thoughtful, this remarkable collection of essays shows the contradictions of the phenomenon, which is both a condition and a state of mind. In seeking to show why (...) people have failed to give a satisfactory account of the term decadence, Bernheimer argues that we often mistakenly take decadence to represent something concrete, that we see as some sort of agent. His salutary response is to return to those authors and artists whose work constitutes the topos of decadence, rereading key late nineteenth-century authors such as Nietzsche, Zola, Hardy, Wilde, Moreau, and Freud to rediscover the very dynamics of the decadent. Through careful analysis of the literature, art, and music of the fin de siècle including a riveting discussion of the many faces of Salome, Bernheimer leaves us with a fascinating and multidimensional look at decadence, all the more important as we emerge from our own fin de siècle. (shrink)
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in a (...) variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
C. E. Emmer (2008). Crowther and the Kantian Sublime in Art. In Valerio Rohden, Ricardo R. Terra & Guido A. de Almeida (eds.), Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants: Akten des X. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses [Right and Peace in Kant's Philosophy: Proceedings of the 10th International Kant Congress] 5 vols. Walter de Gruyter.score: 66.0
Paul Crowther, in his book, The Kantian Sublime (1989), works to reconstruct Kant's aesthetics in order to make its continued relevance to contemporary aesthetic concerns more visible. The present article remains within the area of Crowther's "cognitive" sublime, to show that there is much space for expanding upon Kantian varieties of the sublime, particularly in art.
Artists inspired by music and musicians -- Composers inspired by art and artists -- Twin talents : artist-musicians and musician-artists -- Musicians pose for the artists : a history of portrait iconography.
Roman Jakobson (1959) reports: “The Russian painter Repin was baffled as to why Sin had been depicted as a woman by German artists: he did not realize that “sin” is feminine in German (die Sünde), but masculine in Russian (грех).” Does the grammatical gender of nouns in an artist’s native language indeed predict the gender of personifications in art? In this paper we analyzed works in the ARTstor database (a digital art library containing over a million images) to measure this (...) correspondence. This analysis provides a measure of artists’ real-world behavior. Our results show a clear correspondence between grammatical gender in language and personified gender in art. Grammatical gender predicted personified gender in 78% of the cases, significantly more often than if the two factors were independent. This analysis offers a new window on an age-old question about the relationship between linguistic structure and patterns in culture and cognition. (shrink)
This paper describes and discusses overlapping interests and concerns of art and bioethics and suggests that bioethics would benefit from opening to contributions from the arts. There is a description of recent events in bioethics that have included art, and trends in art that relate to bioethics. The paper outlines art exhibits and performances within two major international bioethics congress programs alongside a discussion of the work of leading hybrid and bio artists who experiment with material (including their own bodies) (...) at the ambiguous intersections between art, bio art and bioethics. Their work seeks to engage audiences in challenging ethical precepts and assumptions about life and existence. We consider the response of art and social theorists and compare these with the responses of bioethicists to comparable cases in bioethics. We note divergent views within the arts and within bioethics in relation to some pivotal questions including questions about what limits, if any, can apply in particular cases and on what basis. This approach allows for a transfer of information and perspectives, challenges assumptions in both art and bioethics and opens up a space for future exchange and dialogue along the shifting borders between these genres. (shrink)
“Else-where” is a synoptic survey of the representational values given to art, architecture, and cultural production from 2002 through 2011. Written primarily as a critique of what is suppressed in architecture and what is disclosed in art, the essays are informed by the passage out of post-structuralism and its disciplinary analogues toward the real Real (denoted over the course of the studies as the “Real-Irreal” or “Else-where”). While architecture nominally addresses an environmental ethos, it also famously negotiates its own representational (...) values by way of its putative autonomy (autonomy as self-interest, versus selflessness); its main repression in this regard is “landscape,” figure of the Other and figure of the Real. Engaging forms of spectrality, and not necessarily speculative intelligence per se, architecture is also “conscious” of its own complicity in capitalist orders, a complicity that in part underwrites its avant-garde forms of agitation since the onset of modern architecture. As a result, and over the course of the twentieth century, architectural vanguards have successively been depleted such that they return only as reified half-measures in the late-modern production of difference. As such, the essay “Actually Existing Ground” (2008) examines the failed promise of Landscape Urbanism. Since the 1960s, as with the allied arts, architecture has evacuated many of the utopian gestures given to modernism and embraced a form of ultra-contingency in a direct alliance with the post-modern and post-Marxist concession to markets and to cultural production as principal means of establishing formal hegemony. This recourse or surrender to the economic-determinist ethos of post-modernity, regardless of attempts to problematize it and/or critique it through types of what Manfredo Tafuri has called “operative criticism” (works of architecture as criticism), has, arguably, all but failed, and with the suggestive return circa 2011 of new forms of resistance an exit from the accommodating spirit of the times is indicative of the expectation of strenuous, yet highly formal and non-discursive operations within artistic and architectural production. The essays collected in “Else-where” cross various disciplines, inclusive of landscape architecture, architecture, and visual art, to develop a nuanced critique of an emergent formal regard in the arts that is also an invocation of the highest coordinates given to the arts – formal ontology as speculative intelligence itself – or the return of the universal as utopian thought “here-and-now.”. (shrink)
The theory of art in Asia.--Meister Eckhart's view of art.--Reactions to art in India.--Aesthetic of the Śukranītsāra.--Paroksa.--Ábhása.--Origin and use of images in India.--Notes.--Sanskrit glossary.--List of Chinese characters.--Bibliography (p. -245).
Abstract In Gadamer's later writings on art, his investigation into the being of the work exploits the temporal resonance of the concept of performative enactment ( Vollzug ), which displaces the priority of play ( Spiel ) in his earlier account. Drawing upon Heidegger, Gadamer deploys the concepts of tarrying ( Verweilen ) and the while ( die Weile ) to elucidate the temporality of the work of art as an event of being. On the one hand, tarrying describes the (...) temporal structure of the performance that enables the work to come forth. On the other hand, the while characterizes the unique presence of the work that takes place in and through its enactment. Here Gadamer's understanding of art engages his thought about “empty“ and “fulfilled“ time. For, the temporal event of the artwork is such that it interrupts the ordinary experience of passing time and thereby opens up another, more authentic experience of the fullness of time. (shrink)
Although creativity, from Plato onwards, has been recognized as a topic in philosophy, it has been overshadowed by investigations of the meanings and values of works of art. In this new collection of essays a distinguished roster of philosophers of art redress this trend. The subjects discussed include the nature of creativity and the process of artistic creation; the role that creative making should play in our understanding and evaluation of art; relations between concepts of creation and creativity; and ideas (...) of tradition, metaphor, genius, imagination and genre. This is an important collection that will be eagerly sought by philosophers of art as well as theorists in art history, cinema studies and literary criticism. (shrink)
Art has the power to affect our thinking, changing not only the way we view and interact with the world but also how we create it. In Art in Mind , Ernst van Alphen probes this idea of art as a commanding force with the capacity to shape our intellect and intervene in our lives. Rather than interpreting art as merely a reflection of our social experience or a product of history, van Alphen here argues that art is a historical (...) agent, or a cultural creator, that propels thought and experience forward. Examining a broad range of works, van Alphen—a renowned art historian and cultural theorist—demonstrates how art serves a socially constructive function by actually experimenting with the parameters of thought. Employing work from artists as diverse as Picasso, Watteau, Francis Bacon, Marlene Dumas, and Matthew Barney, he shows how art confronts its viewers with the "pain points" of cultural experience-genocide, sexuality, diaspora, and transcultural identity-and thereby transforms the ways in which human existence is conceived. Van Alphen analyzes how art visually "thinks" about these difficult cultural issues, tapping into an understudied interpretation of art as the realm where ideas and values are actively created, given form, and mobilized. In this way, van Alphen's book is a work of art in itself as it educates us in a new mode of thought that will forge equally new approaches and responses to the world. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to identify a functional division of labour in art studies. To that end I have adopted the strategically minimalist approach advocated by Philip McShane in Method in Theology: Revisions and Implementations (2007).
Neither art nor philosophy was kind to beauty during the twentieth century. Much modern art disdains beauty, and many philosophers deeply suspect that beauty merely paints over or distracts us from horrors. Intellectuals consigned the passions of beauty to the margins, replacing them with the anemic and rarefied alternative, "aesthetic pleasure." In Only a Promise of Happiness , Alexander Nehamas reclaims beauty from its critics. He seeks to restore its place in art, to reestablish the connections among art, beauty, and (...) desire, and to show that the values of art, independently of their moral worth, are equally crucial to the rest of life. Nehamas makes his case with characteristic grace, sensitivity, and philosophical depth, supporting his arguments with searching studies of art and literature, high and low, from Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Manet's Olympia to television. Throughout, the discussion of artworks is generously illustrated. Beauty, Nehamas concludes, may depend on appearance, but this does not make it superficial. The perception of beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it. This hope can shape and direct our lives for better or worse. We may discover misery in pursuit of beauty, or find that beauty offers no more than a tantalizing promise of happiness. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress. (shrink)
Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings--making the two realms seem completely opposed. But in Art & Physics, Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions. From teh classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, aritsts have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Money and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and (...) colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughtout history. Provacative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science...and exhilarating history of ideas. (shrink)
Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art Topics addressed include the nature of beauty, aesthetic experience, artistic value, and the nature of our emotional responses to art. Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars, and especially commissioned (...) for the volume. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in aesthetics, while also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (shrink)
Contemplating Art is a compendium of writings from the last ten years by one of the leading figures in aesthetics, Jerrold Levinson. The twenty-four essays range over issues in general aesthetics and those relating to specific arts--in particular music, film, and literature. It will appeal not only to philosophers but also to musicologists, literary theorists, art critics, and reflective lovers of the arts.
This article reviews the various ways in which the later writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein have been employed to address the question “What is Art?”. These include the family resemblance model, the cluster concept model and the form of life model. The article defends a version of the form of life approach. Also, addressed the charge that it would have been more profitable had aestheticians explored what Wittgenstein actually said about art instead of trying to extrapolate from his writings an approach (...) to what Nigel Warburton calls the art question. (shrink)
This essay reconstructs the steps by which Cassirer moved from the philosophy of language in the early 1920s to his more general theory of symbolism. The linguistic turn in philosophy overcame idealism without falling into naturalism or psychologism, but according to Cassirer proclaiming the primacy of language was one-sided. He claimed that language is but one symbolic form among many and, what is more, it is not the most fundamental kind of symbolism. The basic function of symbolism (...) is neither "reference" nor "pure signification," but the unification of sensory phenomena in perception, a function he termed symbolic "Prägnanz." The essay explains how Cassirer argued for a continuity of symbolic processes linking expressive perceptual qualities with scientific theory. (shrink)
What constitutes an event? Propelled by this question, Sounding the Event encounters a variety of theories and a host of issues that have implications for not only conceptions of nature and becoming, subject and substance but also practices of time, art and photography. This book explores dialogue in its writing and as it encounters the philosophical utterances of Michel Serres, Isabelle Stengers, Alfred North Whitehead, Jean-Franbliogçois Lyotard, Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze and Fbliogelix Guattari, and Alain Badiou.
Descriptivism in the ontology of art is the thesis that the correct ontological proposal for a kind of artwork cannot show the nascent ontological conception of such things embedded in our critical and appreciative practices to be substantially mistaken. Descriptivists believe that the kinds of revisionary art ontological proposals propounded by Nelson Goodman, Gregory Currie, Mark Sagoff, and me are methodologically misconceived. In this paper I examine the case that has been made for a local form of descriptivism in the (...) ontology of art: a form that does not quarrel with the possibility of revisionism in matters of ‘fundamental metaphysics’, but which argues that special features of the arts make descriptivism in this particular sphere obligatory. David Davies, Andrew Kania and Stephen Davies are local descriptivists in this sense. I argue that the burden of proof lies with the local descriptivist, but that this burden is too heavy for him to carry. Specifically, it emerges that the only way in which the local descriptivist can motivate his position is by arguing that our artistic practices determine the art ontological facts: a thesis that local descriptivists typically appeal to, but have not been able to argue for successfully. My conclusion is that the methodological debate in the ontology of art should now proceed by focussing on the case for global descriptivism: i.e. that form of descriptivism that opposes the possibility of revisionism in ontological matters across the board. (shrink)