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Archive for November, 2012

Defining Art, Letter IV

If Cezanne paints a tree in a forest but no one is there to receive it, is it art?

TMD returns to its dialogue in letters, concerning the troubling subject of defining art. Alex returns in this installment with advocacy on behalf of the aesthetic receiver. When we contemplate the challenges of defining art, one surely concerns the role of the receiver. Aesthetic reception varies widely by personality, place and time. Alex speaks out on behalf of us as we encounter the work of art: Is it not our privilege to define what is and is not art?

Click here to read her answer in “Letter IV: Defining Art as a Personal Privilege.”

Intrinsic Impact Research: A New Frontier in Making the Case for the Arts

Arts managers, administrators and educators often justify the importance of the arts through “extrinsic” consequences. Study of music helps to improve math performance, for example, or galleries and arts communities help in economic and community development initiatives. Yet we should always remember that the first consequence of art is intrinsic. In other words, before art affects our math scores or our communities, it affects us in some inner space.

A group of graduate researchers conducted a case study in intrinsic impact at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art. One of those involved in the research, Jessica Ryan, composes our next installment of The Muse Dialogue: “Intrinsic Impact Research: A New Frontier in Making the Case for the Arts.” In it she summarizes their research and their findings.

Click here to read this exploration of museum visitors and the consequence of the visual arts.

Artistic Borrowing and the Anxiety of Influence

ImageJillian Brinberg contemplates the role of influence on arts creation. We all know that artists interact with their predecessors. On the small scale, that interaction may be a brief direct allusion to another work. More broadly, it might be the adaptation of an existing work, sampling a piece of music for a new work, or rethinking the staging of a play to a different time period. Brinberg explores the line when an adaptation crosses the lines of some individuals’ aesthetic sensibilities, and her case in mind is the recent production of Porgy and Bess. As she writes, the ethics of borrowing are “blurred,” and she searches to find where the line is before one goes too far.

Join her as she considers Artistic Borrowing and the Anxiety of Influence (click link to view full article).


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