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Art Theory Talk:
Two Cultures Synthesis
of Art and Science
Houston TX, August 26, 2021
Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlo...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
What is the role of art?
1
 Inspire our possible futures
Romance of the Sea Romance of the Road Ro...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 2
Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human
endeavor of progress, self-understanding, and...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
 Aesthetic Resources are
frameworks, concepts, and
modes of expression in art,
literature, and phi...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
1. Periodizations (slide 8)
 Art history periodizations at a glance
and the key principles they em...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Agenda
 Art Periodizations (1800-present)
 Philosophy of Art
 Conclusion and Implications
Remedi...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Foucault’s Epistemes
 Episteme: knowledge representation model
 Renaissance Age (1300-1650): rese...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Radical Aesthetics: Geometric Perspective
 Breaks the fourth wall
 Spectators are in the
picture ...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Aesthetic Periodizations
 Modern Age (1800-present)
 1800-1900
 Romanticism 1800-1850 – individu...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Romanticism 1850-1900
9
 Individualism, glorification of nature
and the past, reaction to modernit...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Realism 1850-1860
10
The Butcher's Shop,
Annibale Carracci, 1580
Iron and Coal, William
Bell Scott,...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Impressionism 1870-1900
11
 Visible brush strokes, light and the
passage of time
 Literary impres...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Post-impressionism 1880-1900
12
 Sharper images, geometric expression
A Sunday Afternoon on the Is...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Expressionism 1900-1930
13
 Express the vibrancy of
inner experience
 Moods, ideas, emotional
mea...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Cubism 1907-1930
14
 Geometric forms, association of
modern life and mechanization
 Objects broke...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Surrealism 1924-1930s
15
 Juxtaposition of dream and
reality in an absolute reality
(surreality) (...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Surrealism: Dali
16
Mae West room,
Dali museum
The Persistence of Memory, 1931
Lobster Telephone (1...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Abstract Expressionism 1940-1950
17
 Artistic censorship (McCarthy era)
contra vibrancy of Harlem ...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Minimalism & Modernism 1960-1970
 Art stripped to its essentials
 Medium purification
 An artwor...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 19
Conceptualism 1960+ (political)
We can make rain but no one came to ask, The Atlas Group, 2004
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Conceptualism 1960+ (political)
 Iconic work of social
criticism, challenging the
concept of art, ...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Conceptualism 1960+ (geometric)
 Emphasis on the concept and ideas involved in the
work before the...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Post-conceptualism 1970+
22
Soliloquy, Kenny Goldsmith, 1996
Index to the Report: Deciphering Chrom...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Digital Art 1990+
 Interactive production
 Principles
 Found materials
 Digital domain
 Inform...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Mimicry and Reference
Travelers Caught in a Sudden Breeze
at Ejiri, Katsushika Hokusai, 1832
24
A S...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
25
Napoleon’s March (Campaign of 1812), Edward Tufte, 1970-90
Information Visualization as Art
 In...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
26
Data as Art
Data as Culture, Stanza, 2012
Listening Post: Real-Time Data Responsive
Environment,...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
27
Medical Biology
Biomimicry
BioArt: Biology as Art
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
28
BioArt: Sustainable Urban Agriculture
The Algae Opera, Agri, 2012,
Victoria & Albert Museum, Lon...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
29
Transhuman Aesthetics
Primo Posthuman,
Natasha Vita-More,
2012
 Posthuman Imaginaries
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Avant-garde: in any Era
30
 Experimental, radical,
unorthodox with respect to
art, culture, or soc...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 31
White Painting, Robert Rauschenberg, 1951
Avant-garde Music and Art
4’33”, John Cage, 1952
Perfo...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Themes
 Matisse: retinal art (art for the eye)
 Duchamp: conceptual art (art for the brain)
32
Fo...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Summary of Aesthetic Periodizations
Romanticism
1800-1850
Realism
1850-1860
Impressionism
1870-1900...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Agenda
 Art Periodizations (1800-present)
 Philosophy of Art
 Conclusion and Implications
Remedi...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
What is Art?
 Why do we go to see art exhibitions,
galleries, operas, symphonies,
concerts, bands,...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
 We exercise our freedom by making an aesthetic
judgment to attribute meaning to something new
36
...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Kantian Neuroscience: study supports theory
 Being told that an image is an artwork down-regulates...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Hegel
 Art is pressing our self-concept (individual
and collective) into materials
 Examples: pyr...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Who are we now?
Modern self-conceptualization
Cortical Brain
Scans
Personalized Medicine Imaginarie...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
What counts as a Work of Art?
 Venue: if displayed in a gallery, it is art
 Relation of form and ...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Form-Content relation
 Form, content, materials, and technique
 Adorno: novel materials manipulat...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Other Definitions of Art
 Definitions (critical, philosophical, commercial)
 Art is an intended o...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 43
Buddhist Monk Philosopher Chef
Jeong Kwan, 2015
Molecular Gastronomy
Aesthetic Nourishment
 Min...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Music and Math
 Mozart
 Expansionary thematic content
 One minute variational expansion into 10 ...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Philosophy of Theater
 Philosophers say catharsis and mimesis
 Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Nietzsche
...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
 New concepts arise in the cinema
 Cinema 1: The movement-image
 The presentation of movement it...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
The Novel
Additional Source: Fforde, J. (2003). The Well of Lost Plots. London: Penguin Books.
Oral...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Agenda
 Art Periodizations (1800-present)
 Philosophy of Art
 Conclusion and Implications
Remedi...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 49
Montparnasse, Andreas Gursky, 1995
Wheatfields with Crows, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890
Modernity
Is t...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory 50
Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human
endeavor of progress, self-understanding, an...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Summary
 Broad contribution of aesthetic resources
 Art provides a venue to explore our self-
con...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Risks
 Philosophical, conceptual, aesthetic
resources may not have universal
application or releva...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Implication
Two Cultures Synthesis
 Aesthetic resources: rapprochement
in the “Two Cultures” probl...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Example: Moby-Dick (1851)
54
 Singular genre of poetry and praxis
 Captures the heart and the int...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Moby-Dick: Poetry and Praxis
55
 Praxis: previously representation only by myth
 Though elephants...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Propose
Kantian Theory of Aesthetic Knowing
56
Understanding
Imagination
Sensibility
Imagination
Ae...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Philosophical Contribution of Aesthetics
 Van Gogh “is an artist and a thinker, every one of his
w...
Houston TX, August 26, 2021
Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga
Melanie Swan, PhD
Thank you!
Questions?
Art Theory Talk...
The Power of Arizona,
Winston Harrell Jr., 2015
Digital Mona
Lisa, Lilian
Schwartz, 1985
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus...
26 Aug 2021
Art Theory
Famous Paintings
60
Girl with a Pearl Earring,
Vermeer, 1665
Girl with a Pear Earring
…and the not
...
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Art Theory: Two Cultures Synthesis of Art and Science

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Thesis: Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human endeavor of progress, self-understanding, and science, beyond the immediate experience of art. Aesthetic Resources are frameworks, concepts, and modes of expression in art, literature, and philosophy that capture the imagination and the intellect through the senses. The role of art is to inspire the future: the romance of the sea, the open road, space.

The arts are a hallmark of civilization, but can their benefit be crystallized as aesthetic resources that can be mobilized to new situations? How can aesthetic resources help in moments of crisis?
A worldwide social identity crisis has been provoked by pandemic recovery, politics, equity, and environmental sustainability. Philosophical and aesthetic resources can help. Understanding art as a reflection of who we are as individuals and groups, this talk explores conceptualizations of art, with examples, in different periodizations from the 1800s to the present. A marquis definition as to what constitutes an artwork is Adorno’s, for whom the work must promulgate its own natural law and engage in novel materials manipulation. For many theorists, art is the pressing of our self-concept into concrete materiality (whether pyramids, sculpture, or painting). What do contemporary periodizations of art mean to our current and forward-looking self-concept? Recent eras include the neo-avant-gardes of 1945, the conceptual art of the 1960s, and post-conceptual art starting in the 1970s, produced generatively with found materials, the digital domain, and audience interactivity. What is the now-current idea of art? Is today’s Baudelairian flâneur and Balzacian modern hero incarnated in the quantum aesthetic imaginary and the digital cryptocitizen? Far from an “end of art” thesis sometimes attributed to Hegel, aesthetic practices are more relevant than ever. Individually and societally, we are reinventing creative energy and productive imagination in venues from science, technology, health, and biology to the arts.

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Art Theory: Two Cultures Synthesis of Art and Science

  1. 1. Art Theory Talk: Two Cultures Synthesis of Art and Science Houston TX, August 26, 2021 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga Melanie Swan, PhD
  2. 2. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory What is the role of art? 1  Inspire our possible futures Romance of the Sea Romance of the Road Romance of Space Melville 1851 Kerouac 1957 Musk-Bezos-Branson 2000-2050e Baleinier au Mouillage (Whaler at anchor), Henri Durand-Brager, 1814-79 Whole Earth Catalog, sign off issue, Stewart Brand, 1971 100th Mission Launch, SpaceX, Florida SpaceCoast, April 2021
  3. 3. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 2 Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human endeavor of progress, self-understanding, and science, beyond the immediate experience of art Thesis
  4. 4. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory  Aesthetic Resources are frameworks, concepts, and modes of expression in art, literature, and philosophy that capture the imagination and the intellect through the senses Parc Luma, Arles FR, Frank Gerhy 2021 Entanglement Renormalization, Guifre Vidal, 2007 Abstract Painting, Gerhard Richter, 2005 Definition Twelve-tone music, Schoenberg, 1913 3
  5. 5. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 1. Periodizations (slide 8)  Art history periodizations at a glance and the key principles they embody 2. Form and Content  Exploration of interrelation of form and content, and technique and materials 3. Originality  Ability to assess novelty and create and articulate new ideas 4. Context  See things in the larger context of the ideas they are supporting and opposing The Creation of Adam, Michelangelo, 1508-12 Harlem Renaissance, Sarah Jenkins, 2014 List of Aesthetic Resources 4
  6. 6. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Agenda  Art Periodizations (1800-present)  Philosophy of Art  Conclusion and Implications Remedios Varo, 1955 Tapestry Weavers of the World 5 The Alchemist
  7. 7. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Foucault’s Epistemes  Episteme: knowledge representation model  Renaissance Age (1300-1650): resemblance  Classical Age (1650-1800): abstract idea  Modern Age (1800-present): role of the human  Knowledge-power is a social construct orchestrated in the background Historical Era Episteme (Knowledge Paradigm) Concrete-to-Abstract Progression 1 Renaissance Age (1300-1650) Resemblance: recapitulation, similitude between representation and represented Literal 2 Classical Age (1650-1800) Abstract idea: the mental representation of a phenomenon (with semblance or not) Object is abstracted 3 Modern Age (1800-present) Human-determined: constitutive role of human in knowledge representation Agent is abstracted 4 Contemporary Age (1950-present) Digital Episteme: high-intensity information climate, unclear “truth” status of information Object and agent are abstracted Source: Foucault, M. (1970). The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Les Mots et les choses). New York: Routledge. 6 Birthday Book Printing, Walk of Ideas, Berlin, 2006
  8. 8. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Radical Aesthetics: Geometric Perspective  Breaks the fourth wall  Spectators are in the picture (mirror)  Artist is in the picture  “Royal portrait”  King and Queen (mirror)  Princess and retinue  Size differentials  Geometry of Space  Top half is dark  Light and reflection  Rear exit Source: Foucault, M. (1970). The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences (Les Mots et les choses). New York: Routledge. 7 Las Meninas, Velasquez, 1656
  9. 9. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Aesthetic Periodizations  Modern Age (1800-present)  1800-1900  Romanticism 1800-1850 – individualism  Realism 1850-1860 – accurate representation  Impressionism & Post-impressionism 1870-1900 – play of light  1900-1950  Expressionism 1900-1930 – internal sense of meaning  Cubism 1907-1930 – geometric form  Surrealism 1924-1930 – mix of reality and absurdity  1950-present  Abstract Expressionism 1940-1950 – rebellion  Minimalism & Modernism 1960-1970 – purification  Conceptualism 1960+ & Post-conceptualism 1970+ – idea-message Source: Nici, J.B. (2015). Barron’s AP Art History. 3rd Edition. New York: Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. Mountain in Saint-Rémy, Vincent van Gogh, 1889 8
  10. 10. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Romanticism 1850-1900 9  Individualism, glorification of nature and the past, reaction to modernity  Reaction to Age of Enlightenment social political norms and Industrial Revolution scientific rationalization of nature  Escapism: anything but here and now Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, Caspar David Friedrich, 1818 The Fighting Téméraire, J.M.W. Turner, 1839 The Bard, Thomas Jones, 1774 Faust, Goethe, 1808
  11. 11. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Realism 1850-1860 10 The Butcher's Shop, Annibale Carracci, 1580 Iron and Coal, William Bell Scott, 1855-1860 Woman Cleaning Turnips, Jean- Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, 1738 The Luxembourg Gardens, Albert Edelfelt, 1887  Accurate representation, naturalism, mimesis; ordinary subject matter, everyday activities, movement J’accuse, Zola, Dreyfus Affair, 13 January 1898 Nana, Zola, 1880
  12. 12. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Impressionism 1870-1900 11  Visible brush strokes, light and the passage of time  Literary impressionism: character’s inner life (Joseph Conrad, Stephen Crane) Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876 Water Lilies, Claude Monet, 1916 Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers, Edgar Degas, 1878 Haystacks (sunset), Claude Monet, 1890-1891
  13. 13. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Post-impressionism 1880-1900 12  Sharper images, geometric expression A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat, 1884-1886 The Card Players, Paul Cézanne, 1894-1895 The Midday Nap, Paul Gauguin, 1894 Boulevard Montmartre, Camille Pissarro, 1897 Jardin à Sainte-Adresse, Claude Monet, 1867 Cypresses, Vincent van Gogh, 1889
  14. 14. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Expressionism 1900-1930 13  Express the vibrancy of inner experience  Moods, ideas, emotional meaning, as opposed to physical reality  Subjective representation of the world View of Toledo, El Greco, 1595/1610 Der Blaue Reiter, Wassily Kandinsky, 1903 The Scream, Edward Munch, 1893 The Nietzsche Stone (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), 1885 The Large Blue Horses, Franz Marc, 1911 The Ego and the Id, Sigmund Freud, 1923 Memory, the Heart, Frida Kahlo, 1937 Cool Jazz, Sarah Jenkins, 2016 Detroit Industry, Diego Rivera, 1932-33
  15. 15. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Cubism 1907-1930 14  Geometric forms, association of modern life and mechanization  Objects broken up and reassembled in abstract form from multiple view points Violin and Candlestick, Georges Braque, 1910 Woman with a Horse, Jean Metzinger, 1911-1912 Nude Model in the Studio, Fernand Léger, 1912-1913 Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Pablo Picasso, 1907 Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, Marcel Duchamp, 1912
  16. 16. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Surrealism 1924-1930s 15  Juxtaposition of dream and reality in an absolute reality (surreality) (Breton)  Activate the unconscious mind through illogical imagery Indefinite Divisibility, Yves Tanguy, 1942 This is not a pipe, René Magritte, 1929 The Red Tower, Giorgio de Chirico, 1913 The Elephant Celebes, Max Ernst, 1921 Surrealist Manifesto, André Breton, 1924 The Library of Babel, Jorge Luis Borges, 1941 (magical realism)
  17. 17. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Surrealism: Dali 16 Mae West room, Dali museum The Persistence of Memory, 1931 Lobster Telephone (1938) Apotheosis of Homer, 1944-1945 Agnostic Symbol (1932) (spoon across the desert) Ice Cream Van, 1970
  18. 18. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Abstract Expressionism 1940-1950 17  Artistic censorship (McCarthy era) contra vibrancy of Harlem renaissance and Mexican muralists  Intense, rebellious, idiosyncratic, nihilistic  Painting is 2D giving the illusion of 3D; sculpture actually is 3D Cubi VI, David Smith, 1963 Onement 1, Barnett Newman, 1948 (Zip painting) Detail of Figure, Richard Stankiewicz, 1956 Number One, Jackson Pollock, 1949 Zip painting: zips define the spatial structure of the painting, simultaneously dividing and uniting the composition of variegated color fields
  19. 19. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Minimalism & Modernism 1960-1970  Art stripped to its essentials  Medium purification  An artwork adhering to the specific stylistic properties of its medium (Lessing, 1776) Ryōan-ji dry garden, Morigami Shouyo, 2015 Untitled, Donald Judd, 1969 Free Ride, Tony Smith, 1962 Black Square, Kazimir Malevich, 1915 18
  20. 20. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 19 Conceptualism 1960+ (political) We can make rain but no one came to ask, The Atlas Group, 2004
  21. 21. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Conceptualism 1960+ (political)  Iconic work of social criticism, challenging the concept of art, and presenting a new way of seeing everyday life  Collective production P.I.G.S. (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) Burning EURO zone financial crisis, Claire Fontaine, 2014 The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Damien Hirst, 1991 Gwangju Folly II, Raqs Media Collective, 2012 Wu Ming author collective (formerly Luther Blissett), 2000 The Fabric Workshop, Renee Green, 1992 20
  22. 22. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Conceptualism 1960+ (geometric)  Emphasis on the concept and ideas involved in the work before the aesthetics and materials 21 Modular Cube, Sol LeWitt, 1969 and Wall Drawings, 1968-2007 Lebanon, John Hoyland, 2007 Cedars, Walter Yarwood, 1962 (Painters Eleven) Gagosian, Henry Moore, 2012 (contrast of space and solid)
  23. 23. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Post-conceptualism 1970+ 22 Soliloquy, Kenny Goldsmith, 1996 Index to the Report: Deciphering Chromosome 16, Sarah Jacobs, 2006 Reading as Art, George Perec, 1974 Source: Andersson, Andrea, Ed. (2018). Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art. Toronto CA: University of Toronto Press.  Extending conceptual art  Properties  Digital production  Ephemerality  Immersion  Textuality
  24. 24. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Digital Art 1990+  Interactive production  Principles  Found materials  Digital domain  Information  Transhumanism  Global awareness 23
  25. 25. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Mimicry and Reference Travelers Caught in a Sudden Breeze at Ejiri, Katsushika Hokusai, 1832 24 A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai), Jeff Wall, 1993  What constitutes novelty?
  26. 26. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 25 Napoleon’s March (Campaign of 1812), Edward Tufte, 1970-90 Information Visualization as Art  Information display, data-rich illustration, information design, visual literacy, data communication
  27. 27. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 26 Data as Art Data as Culture, Stanza, 2012 Listening Post: Real-Time Data Responsive Environment, Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin, 2001 Data-Tron-1, Ryoji Ikeda, 2010 (Transmediale)
  28. 28. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 27 Medical Biology Biomimicry BioArt: Biology as Art
  29. 29. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 28 BioArt: Sustainable Urban Agriculture The Algae Opera, Agri, 2012, Victoria & Albert Museum, London  Interactive performance and audience consumption piece  Deep lung capacity of opera singer is perfect morphology for producing CO2 to feed algae in a real-time experiment  Social commentary  Produced by Agri, a collaborative arts group examining the future of agriculture
  30. 30. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 29 Transhuman Aesthetics Primo Posthuman, Natasha Vita-More, 2012  Posthuman Imaginaries
  31. 31. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Avant-garde: in any Era 30  Experimental, radical, unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society  Aesthetically innovative and pushing limits of acceptability Vocal Recording Artist, Bjork Diary of a Shinjuku Burglar, Tadanori Yokoo, 1968 Cut Piece, Yoko Ono, 1965
  32. 32. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 31 White Painting, Robert Rauschenberg, 1951 Avant-garde Music and Art 4’33”, John Cage, 1952 Performed in the absence of deliberate sound; the content of the composition is not four minutes and 33 seconds of silence, but the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during the performance Set décor for John Cage performance of Theater Piece No. 1, 1951 A series of modular canvases, painted entirely in white, which reflect changes in light and the chance effects of shadows in the surrounding space
  33. 33. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Themes  Matisse: retinal art (art for the eye)  Duchamp: conceptual art (art for the brain) 32 Fountain, Duchamp, 1917 The Copper Drinking Fountain, Chardin, 1734 Redemptions, Claire Fontaine, 2013
  34. 34. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Summary of Aesthetic Periodizations Romanticism 1800-1850 Realism 1850-1860 Impressionism 1870-1900 Expressionism 1900-1930 Cubism 1907-1930 Surrealism 1924-1930 Abstract Expressionism 1940-1950 1940-1990 Minimalism 1960-1970 Conceptualism 1960+ 1900-1950 1800-1900 1990-present Data Art Digital Art BioArt 33
  35. 35. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Agenda  Art Periodizations (1800-present)  Philosophy of Art  Conclusion and Implications Remedios Varo, 1955 Tapestry Weavers of the World 34 The Alchemist
  36. 36. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory What is Art?  Why do we go to see art exhibitions, galleries, operas, symphonies, concerts, bands, shows?  We are seeking  …an encounter with the new  …an experience of freedom 35 Henri Matisse by Henri Matisse
  37. 37. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory  We exercise our freedom by making an aesthetic judgment to attribute meaning to something new 36 Source: Kant, Immanuel. (2007). Critique of Judgment (Analytic of the Beautiful). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.  Determinate judgment  Routine intuition of a familiar object subsumed under an existing concept  Aesthetic (reflective) judgment  The artwork (or the unknown) requires reflection and the derivation of a new concept Kant’s Aesthetic Judgment “What is that?” “Oh, it’s a chair” (I barely noticed) vs. the everyday
  38. 38. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Kantian Neuroscience: study supports theory  Being told that an image is an artwork down-regulates (subdues) emotional response  Tendency to “distance” ourselves from the image  Critique of Judgment: detached aesthetic judgment 37 Source: van Dongen et al. (2016). Implicit emotion regulation in the context of viewing artworks. Brain and Cognition. 107:48-54.
  39. 39. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Hegel  Art is pressing our self-concept (individual and collective) into materials  Examples: pyramids, Parthenon, skyscrapers, sculpture, snow forts  Prominent in times of crisis and reinvention 38 Parthenon, Athens, 460-406 BCE Khafre’s Pyramid and Great Sphinx of Giza (2500 BCE) Empire State Building, New York City, 1931 Snow Fort
  40. 40. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Who are we now? Modern self-conceptualization Cortical Brain Scans Personalized Medicine Imaginaries DNA: CRISPR Gene Editing and mRNA Delivery Quantum Neuroscience 39 Nuclear Medicine and Nanorobots Planetary-scale Imaginaries The Global Citizen (internet) The CryptoCitizen (blockchains) The Quantum Citizen (q-networks) Quantum Aesthetic Imaginaries
  41. 41. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory What counts as a Work of Art?  Venue: if displayed in a gallery, it is art  Relation of form and content  Winkelmann: focus on content  Lessing: at least 50% is form  Adorno: “art…is simply identical with form”  Adorno: An artwork has its own law of form (relation between its elements; a principle of self-legislation (freedom), vs. externally-imposed rules)  The autonomous artwork produces meaning out of itself (by acting as a free subject with its own laws) 40 Sources: Adorno. (1997). Aesthetic Theory; Deleuze. (2000). Proust and Signs. Play, Beckett, 1963 Readymade, Duchamp, 1917
  42. 42. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Form-Content relation  Form, content, materials, and technique  Adorno: novel materials manipulation  Cannot simply transfer the practice to a new venue, need a new reflection with the materials  Rorty: invent new forms (example: Derrida)  Joan Didion: form-content-technique  “A hill is a transitional accommodation to stress, and ego may be a similar accommodation. A waterfall is a self-correcting maladjustment of stream to structure” (Democracy, 1984, p. 18)  Adam Smith: “esprit systematique” - systemic spirit  Mallarmé: the form is the message  Schoenberg, John Cage, Brian Eno (audio ambiances and soundscapes); McLuhan: “the medium is the message” 41 Yellow, Red, Blue, Kandinsky, 1925 Contingency in time and space Source (Adam Smith): Phillipson, N. (2010). Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.
  43. 43. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Other Definitions of Art  Definitions (critical, philosophical, commercial)  Art is an intended object (not just appearing by hazard in nature) – Roger Fry, An Essay in Aesthetics  Art is a way of creating and expressing the element of truth in a culture – Heidegger  Art is making worlds – Brian Eno, sonic landscape creator, 2021  Rorty: invent new genres  Example: foreign policy fiction (Didion)  Art disturbs the slavery of custom, the tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine - Oscar Wilde 42 Schoenberg atonal Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. Shoes, Van Gogh, discussed by Heidegger in The Origin of the Work of Art
  44. 44. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 43 Buddhist Monk Philosopher Chef Jeong Kwan, 2015 Molecular Gastronomy Aesthetic Nourishment  Mindful presence: food as art
  45. 45. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Music and Math  Mozart  Expansionary thematic content  One minute variational expansion into 10 minutes  Minor repetitions (4-10 note sequences)  Beethoven  Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: group theory space group (crystallography) symmetry transformations  Bach  Complex inversions  Modulated pattern  Reversals 44 Source: Bailey, D.H. (2021). Bach as mathematician. Math Scholar. https://mathscholar.org/2021/06/bach-as-mathematician/ Bach, First sonata for solo violin, BWV 1001, 1717-23 Bach, Fugue #16, Book I, The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 861. The third bar of the bass clef is an inversion of the main theme in the first two bars, itself constituting a second theme
  46. 46. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Philosophy of Theater  Philosophers say catharsis and mimesis  Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Nietzsche  Playwrights and dramaturgists say  The representation of drama on a stage  The world is a stage, life is a role  Seneca, Machiavelli, Lessing, Schiller, Rousseau, Sartre, Camus  Aim is to explore in theatrical contexts  Truth, reality, representation, action and consequences, living the right kind of life  What is theater as an art form?  Relation between text and performance 45 Source: Stern, T. (2013). Theatre and Philosophy. European Journal of Philosophy. 21(1):158-67. Tartuffe (Imposter), Molière, 1664 Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead The Plague, Camus, 1947 Expression of freedom in how we react to “the plague”
  47. 47. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory  New concepts arise in the cinema  Cinema 1: The movement-image  The presentation of movement itself, seeing the change in the whole from multiple views is the flow of movement  Example: Frenzy, Hitchcock, 1972  Cinema 2: The time-image  The image of time, no longer spatialized, involuntary memory triggers  The world as it is and as screened  The difference “is that the screened world does not exist,” but film “depends on our understanding” of the limitations of the two-dimensional medium (p. 78) Philosophy of Cinema Sources: Deleuze, Gilles. (1986). Cinema 1: The-Movement-Image. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, Gilles. (1989). Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Cavell, Stanley. (1971). The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. 46 Deleuze Cavell
  48. 48. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory The Novel Additional Source: Fforde, J. (2003). The Well of Lost Plots. London: Penguin Books. OralTrad, CaveDaubPro, GreecianUrn, ClayTablet, VellumPlus, Scroll, and then Bool (p. 112) 12-episode streaming video Early “Novel” 17,300 years ago  Meta-genre for narrative and story-telling Contemporary “Novel” The “Novel” “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Tale of Two Cities, Dickens, 1859 Painting, Scrolls 47
  49. 49. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Agenda  Art Periodizations (1800-present)  Philosophy of Art  Conclusion and Implications Remedios Varo, 1955 Tapestry Weavers of the World 48 The Alchemist
  50. 50. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 49 Montparnasse, Andreas Gursky, 1995 Wheatfields with Crows, Vincent Van Gogh, 1890 Modernity Is the paper enough to hold us? Lianne Charlie, 1990, Yukon First Nations Self-governance Initiative Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1985 Hysterical Realism Magical Realism White Teeth, Zadie Smith, 2000
  51. 51. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory 50 Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human endeavor of progress, self-understanding, and science, beyond the immediate experience of art Thesis
  52. 52. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Summary  Broad contribution of aesthetic resources  Art provides a venue to explore our self- concept as individuals and societies  Thematic shifts in aesthetics 1800-present  Beauty -> Concept  Exteriority -> Interiority  Representation -> Meaning  Philosophy of art  Aesthetic resources aid in developing narratives especially in times of crisis  Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modes that do not have to land in logic and cognition 51 Material (SG) I, Yinka Shonibare, 2019 Blue Monochrome, Yves Klein, 1961
  53. 53. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Risks  Philosophical, conceptual, aesthetic resources may not have universal application or relevance  Aesthetics are not the first-line application for urgent, concrete, material and immediate impact in real-world problem-solving  But they may help  Aesthetic resources  Oblique, difficult to mobilize  Arbitrary, multiple arrangements  Subjective view expressing 52 In-Appropriate #1, Frank Buffalo Hyde, 2013 Guernica, Picasso, 1937 Easter Island, Moai, 1200
  54. 54. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Implication Two Cultures Synthesis  Aesthetic resources: rapprochement in the “Two Cultures” problem  CP Snow 1959: separate cultures of the sciences and the humanities, necessary integration for modern problem-solving and national competitiveness  Catherine the Great  Educated persons are trained in art and science (Memoir, 1729-1796)  Founded the Smolny Institute, 1764, per the ideas of Locke and Voltaire, noticing the contribution of educated women to Enlightenment culture and knowledge 53 Source: Catherine the Great. (2005). The Memoirs of Catherine the Great. Trans. Mark Cruse, Hilde Hoogenboom. New York: Modern Library. The Smolny Institute, 1764 (first European state higher education institution for women) The Thinker, Rodin, 1879-89
  55. 55. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Example: Moby-Dick (1851) 54  Singular genre of poetry and praxis  Captures the heart and the intellect through the imagination  Melville:  Praxis: “The whaling voyage is a strange sort of a book; blubber is blubber tho’ you may get oil out of it”  Poetry: “The book is a romance of adventure, founded upon wild legends in the Southern Sperm Whale Fisheries” Sources: Oriental Repose. Baleinier au Mouillage (Whaler at anchor) colored lithograph drawn by Jean-Baptiste-Henri Durand-Brager (1814-1879), Garneray’s Sperm Whaling Scene: Peche du Cachalot. Cachalot Fishery. Aquatint by Ambroise Louis Garneray (1783-1857).
  56. 56. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Moby-Dick: Poetry and Praxis 55  Praxis: previously representation only by myth  Though elephants have stood for their full-lengths, the living Leviathan has never yet floated for his portrait  The living whale, in his full majesty, is only seen at sea in unfathomable waters; the vast bulk of him out of sight  The only way to derive a tolerable idea of his living contour is by going a whaling yourself Source: Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851, Chapters 55 and 56: “Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales” and “Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales, and the True Pictures of Whaling Scenes”  Poetry: A portentous, black mass of something hovering in a nameless yeast. A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly…
  57. 57. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Propose Kantian Theory of Aesthetic Knowing 56 Understanding Imagination Sensibility Imagination Aesthetics Object Recognition Aesthetic Knowing  Kant must integrate diverse temporal regimes  Intermediary faculty of imagination needed to join diverse temporal regimes in both cognition (sensibility and understanding - Critique of Pure Reason) and aesthetics (verbal and visual; image and text - Critique of Judgment)  Derive Kantian Theory of Aesthetic Knowing  Extend Critique of Pure Reason with additional two-stem theory of knowing: relies on aesthetics and intellect  An emotionally-installed understanding is a superior form of intellectual understanding (poetry and praxis) Intellect Imagination Visual (image, painting) Ekphrasis Verbal (text, musical work) Eternal Perdurant Snapshot Perdurant Perdurant Snapshot Perdurant Perdurant Snapshot Temporal Regime Faculties Domain Knowing has both an aesthetic and a cognitive aspect Sources: Swan, M. (2020). Kant and Hegel's Philosophical Thirds: A New Perspective on Explaining Appearances. Swan, M. (2020). Philosophy of Time: Perspectives in Science and Aesthetics.
  58. 58. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Philosophical Contribution of Aesthetics  Van Gogh “is an artist and a thinker, every one of his works contains an idea that flashes on the eye of the viewer” – E. Bernard (painter colleague)  The Bedroom: “Looking at the painting should rest the mind, or rather the imagination” – Van Gogh  Starry Night: dusk, twilight, and night provides comfort and peace from the commotion of the day Source: Heiligman, (2017). Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. Starry Night, 1889 The Bedroom, 1888 57
  59. 59. Houston TX, August 26, 2021 Slides: http://slideshare.net/LaBlogga Melanie Swan, PhD Thank you! Questions? Art Theory Talk: Two Cultures Synthesis of Art and Science
  60. 60. The Power of Arizona, Winston Harrell Jr., 2015 Digital Mona Lisa, Lilian Schwartz, 1985 Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Bruegel the Elder, 1560 Laocoön and His Sons, (found) Vatican, 1506 Lascaux, France, 17,000 y.a. Virtual Choir 3, Water Night, Eric Whitacre, 2012 Bach, First sonata for solo violin, BWV 1001, 1717-23
  61. 61. 26 Aug 2021 Art Theory Famous Paintings 60 Girl with a Pearl Earring, Vermeer, 1665 Girl with a Pear Earring …and the not so well known

Thesis: Aesthetic resources contribute broadly to the human endeavor of progress, self-understanding, and science, beyond the immediate experience of art. Aesthetic Resources are frameworks, concepts, and modes of expression in art, literature, and philosophy that capture the imagination and the intellect through the senses. The role of art is to inspire the future: the romance of the sea, the open road, space. The arts are a hallmark of civilization, but can their benefit be crystallized as aesthetic resources that can be mobilized to new situations? How can aesthetic resources help in moments of crisis? A worldwide social identity crisis has been provoked by pandemic recovery, politics, equity, and environmental sustainability. Philosophical and aesthetic resources can help. Understanding art as a reflection of who we are as individuals and groups, this talk explores conceptualizations of art, with examples, in different periodizations from the 1800s to the present. A marquis definition as to what constitutes an artwork is Adorno’s, for whom the work must promulgate its own natural law and engage in novel materials manipulation. For many theorists, art is the pressing of our self-concept into concrete materiality (whether pyramids, sculpture, or painting). What do contemporary periodizations of art mean to our current and forward-looking self-concept? Recent eras include the neo-avant-gardes of 1945, the conceptual art of the 1960s, and post-conceptual art starting in the 1970s, produced generatively with found materials, the digital domain, and audience interactivity. What is the now-current idea of art? Is today’s Baudelairian flâneur and Balzacian modern hero incarnated in the quantum aesthetic imaginary and the digital cryptocitizen? Far from an “end of art” thesis sometimes attributed to Hegel, aesthetic practices are more relevant than ever. Individually and societally, we are reinventing creative energy and productive imagination in venues from science, technology, health, and biology to the arts.

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