Defining Art, A Dialogue in Letters (Vol. 2)
The Muse Dialogue launches its second season with a dialogue on defining art. How do we define art? Do we need to define it at all? To address these questions we are venturing on a new format for TMD, a dialogue in letters. Andrew Swensen and Alexandra Holness take up the question, and we hope you enjoy following along.
Letter I: The Journey Begins
Andrew opens the dialogue with a plea for why we need to define art, along with all the complex notions in the human experience.
Alex contemplates the ineffable nature of art. We rightly regard art as special and precious.
Andrew discusses the function of art as a “thing.” Even if we can not always put our hands on it, art still exists as something distinct from all other experiences.
Letter IV: Defining Art as a Personal Privilege
Alex argues that defining art ultimately falls to the receiver, as a privilege of their experience of the art work.