Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tapping Topic: Art

Tapping Topic: ART!

Last Wednesday we veered into a discussion on art when discussing the criteria for civilization, so I decided, why not discuss art?

Is it possible to predicate any sort of definition on art at all? Is art a category among other categories or does it subsume all of these other categories by definition? Is art simply the notion of configuration and definition itself, or does art even move outside of those criteria as well? Can art only be defined through various instantiations of itself? Who is responsible for the meaning of art? Is there a necessary relationship between art and meaning, or does art allow us to slip through categories such as meaning as well? In hermeneutic style philosophy there is a tendency to view the world as a text which the subject, as the reader, interprets. Art in this metaphor has been made a text. What then would the relationship be between the subject as the reader of art, and the art itself as the text? What are the limits of this literary and hermeneutic metaphor with regard to its circumscription of art? Pursuing this line of thought, another widely discussed relationship that is central to understanding how art works, is that relationship between the artist and the art, which brings up questions of authorial intentionality, especially in the realm of text based art. Is art the fundamental form of human expression, or does art even question the boundaries between humans as beings as such, and go beyond the category of humanity? You can probably see the kinds of moves I’m going to make to define art if you’re following the pattern of my questioning. I don’t really want this to turn into a lengthy discussion in which we trace the history of art, unless you are citing a specific piece or movement in order to show how the way someone is predicating things on art might be true or false. I hope this is a fruitful discussion.

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