Do we need aesthetic Art?
The importance of aesthetics which estimate the value of art works should be judged by looking at every circumstance around the art work involves, such as difference of generations, politics, characters of the artist, etc. The value of art work sometimes be criticised more after the artist died, like Van Gogh, or Monet. These early modernist, especially Van Gogh's works had not enough statement to support their work as later critics document them during his life time. This fact can be one of evidence that criticism and the value of art work does not synchronise with the society at same time. The art work was not valuable, but they are valuable now. Some art work contains negligible context at that point, but if some social change emerged, critics would sniff around the work and give proper context for the art work and society. So answering whether we need aesthetic would be ambiguous. The criticism are ambiguous, so many great critiques support importance of aesthetic art, and so many great critiques support anti-aesthetic or non-aesthetic art, and these critiques sometimes become nonsense and against each critiques by different generations, so it depends on the historical analysing. This is why judging decision is enormously difficult to define, because so many sensational mind have proposed such incompatible answer over the western history.
One of the reasons that we end puzzled,as Socrates always had so, about thinking about these problems, is that, all kind of information medium cannot be perceived as information emitter does in their original intention, yet our brain develops differently by different life style. There is no utterance, however absurd on the face of it, no utterance however sane and sensible in its context or absurd in its context. But surely, you may object, there are some utterances for which no context could possibly be found which would make them sensible, some utterance, no matter under what circumstances they occurred, which could possibly be anything other than common sense.(1968 Harold. O)We are using many information medium like, conversation, music, film, novel, etc. to communicate, but these are impossible to transmit exactly same as the original information. These mediums have same branch, if we confirm the factor that these creative activity were from creator's internal pictures and sounds, in other words, the pictures they see in the brain screen. To express the picture, we have to choose the medium, we can translate the picture in language, make a film of what you've seen inside of brain, draw it,or paint it. But the receptor of information and emitter of information would be never be same. As Tolstoy says in his on life, °»the only thing we are sure, is our own reason.°… Human have no more than one individual receptor of information and it is identical tool to communicate to society, thus it is impossible to make sure that communication was successful or not. It is impossible to confirm or test the picture you see is correct picture as information emitter saw in his/her brain. This problem enlarge the difficulty of judging the importance of aesthetic in art, because we are not sure what aesthetics. The difficulty To explore this subject is almost same as other metaphysical activity.
The web based encyclopedia, wikipedia can be always updated by anyone who has information, so it is very reliable to see present information. The answer in wikipedia is; Aesthetics(also spelled esthetics) is a branch of philosophy called value theory or axiology, which is the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgements of sentiment or taste. Aesthetics is closely associated with the philosophy of art. (wikipedia, 29th December 2006) Now we know the simplest definition of aesthetics, but it does not answer whether we need it now.
Who actually start denying aesthetic. As a art history, cubists, dadaists, and many art movements after modernism movement struggled against the concept that the beauty is no longer important to consider, like Arhur Danto documented as °»Beauty had disappeared not only from the advanced art of the 1960's but from the advanced philosophy of art of that decade as well.°…(Arthur Danto 2003)
However we might be able to view the aesthetic theory and importance for art on this particular place, by exploring classic meaning of each epoch, but decision for only present. From one of the writing of Plato(B.C.428-348),symposium(201c-212a), we can see some part of ancient aesthetic idea, for example, he wrote °»Beauty, then, is the destiny or goddess of parturition who presides at birth, and therefore, when approaching beauty, the procreating power is propitious, and expansive, and of benign, and bears and produces fruit: at the sight of ugliness she frowns and contracts and has a sense of pain, and turns away, and shrivels up, and not without a pang refrains from procreation.(Plato,abstract from, what is art 1968) A recent biophysical explains why we feel ugly. It is coursed by knowledge of danger in life, especially things course disease. Mouldy bread is ugly because people know it course stomach-ache or rats carry epidemic germs. We may determine ugliness is opposite feeling of beauty. Beautiful is a quality of a person, object, place, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, affirmation, meaning, or goodness. The subjective experience of °»beauty°… often involves the interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature. This leads to a psychological state of attraction and positive emotions.(wikipedia 29th December 2006) Plato had idea that beautiful objects incorporated proportion, harmony, and unity among their parts, but he also denied art as beauty, because his philosophy idea, which means there is true existence behind physical world, can not perceived by eyes, but self reason, so the beauty you perceive from eyes is incomplete beauty. The Greek culture of time Plato was living prospered, thus many philosopher begun to consider about these problems.
When Modernism appeared later 17th in western countries, many Western philosopher has experience the beauty more. For Edmund Burke(1728-97), whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling.(Edmund Burke, 1756)but when danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and are simply terrible; but at certain distances, and with certain modifications, they may be, and they are, delightful, as we every day experience.(Edmund Burke, 1756) Also °» weird fiction novel master°…, Howard Phillips Lovecraft(1890-1937) once wrote °»The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear of unknown.°… As he said, and as he wrote weird tales, truly the fear had strong emotional reaction. He is also a pioneer of idea of Zombie that dead body revive.
Providence has so ordered it, that a state of rest and inaction, however it may flatter our indolence, should be productive of many inconveniences; that it should generate such disorders, as may force us to have recourse to some labour, as a thing absolutely requisite to make us pass our lives with tolerable satisfaction; for the nature of rest is to suffer all the parts of our bodies to fall relaxation, that not only disables the members from performing their functions, but takes away the vigorous tone of fibre which is requisite for carrying on the natural and necessary secretions.(Edmund Burke, 1756) His idea explains why we feel delight of sublime. There is related theory of sublime in old Japanese culture, the story telling, called °» Rakugo °». Rakugo is a kind of performance,usually a man sit on a stage alone and keep telling stories, some story has 1 our long, and they are only allowed to use a napkin and a fan. No one know exactly when Rakugo became famous, because all story are told from master by word of mouth. There is very basic of story construction, usually said, as °»Rakugo is tension and relax°….
For Immanuel Kant(1724-1804), beauty is a subjective, but The beautiful is that which, apart from a concept, pleases universally. He solved the question of aesthetic judgements as Beauty is the form of finality in an object, so far as perceived in it apart from the representation of an end. The beauty is the solution of differentiation, so can not be any smaller, but possible to integrate to many other matters. He also made remarkable document that unveil difference between beautiful and sublime on his The critique of aesthetic judgement 1970. The beautiful and the sublime agree on the point of pleasing on their own account. But the beautiful in a question of the form of the object, and this consists in limitation, whereas the sublime is to be found in an object even devoid of form, so far as it immediately involves, or else by its presence provokes, a representation of limitlessness, yet with a super added thought of its totality.(23. The critique of aesthetic judgement 1970)
The aesthetic seems largely important for the philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, or Edmund Burke, on the other hand, For Leo Tolstoy(1828-1910) ended this question as, audience actually decides whether art or non-art, but not by the creator's intention. In his theory, even art work does not contain any aesthetic, beauty, or sublime, the work can be art, in another words, anything can be art if audience admit it as art. Art, like speech, is a means of communication, and therefore of progress, i.e. Of the movement of humanity forward towards perfection. Speech renders accessible to men of the last generations, all the knowledge discovered by the experience and reflection, both of preceding generations and of the best and foremost men of their own times; art renders accessible to men of latest generations all the feelings experienced by their predecessors, and those also which are being felt by their best and foremost contemporaries.(What is art 1898)
We have experienced many aesthetic art like medieval art, now then, what kind of art have we experienced without aesthetics can be found? Dadaism, conceptual art , or Feminism art might be very early movement which is not considering aesthetics, especially Dadaism, they rejected the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. So they were refusing to contain aesthetics into their works. If art were to have at least an implicit or latent message, Dada strove to have no meaning °Ĺ interpretation of Dada is dependent entirely on the viewer. If art is to appeal to sensibilities, Dada is to offend. It is perhaps then ironic that Dada became an influential movement in modern art. Dada became a commentary on order and the carnage they believed it wreaked. Through this rejection of traditional culture and aesthetics they hoped to destroy traditional culture and aesthetics.(wikipedia 29th December 2006) As Dada have wished, the contemporary art became aesthetics as no longer need as central purpose of art.
A London based Israeli artist Karen Russo once showed her video work The point of Departure(2006) were shown in the One in the Other Gallery from 30th November 2006 to 7th January 2007. The film begins from filming a sculpture in a museum in central Paris, and after that, the journey starts through the underground floors of the museum. It is not ordinary underground floor, but mythic catacomb tunnels. The floor was labyrinthine-like so you feel some kind of sublime. Karen were inspired by Romantics' concept of mines, caves and underground spaces as living entitles, to examine the parallel world above the underground and surface of the city.
To conclude, as Karen creates works contains some aesthetics, the idea is still used as one part of fine art, in spite of Dada have broken the traditional art. Each artist have different approach to their works, so whether using aesthetics or not is all depends on the artist. If the Tolstoy's idea, which is the art is decided by audience, is truth, artist have to accept it even they were overestimated. This labour needs contribution of society. If artists' purpose was something to do with sensory, then the artist need aesthetics in his/her art, on the other hand, other artist just want to tell information without anything about sensory, then aesthetics no longer have value on his/her art.
Harold Osborne, 1968, Aesthetics in the Modern World, Thames and Hudson, London.
Alexander Sesonske, 1965, WHAT IS ART aesthetic theory from Plato to Tolstoy, Oxford University Press, New York(contains Plato, Symposium 201c-212a, Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement,1790,Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful,1759, Leo Tolstoy, What is Art, 1898)
Arthur Danto,The Abuse of Beauty, 2003.
wikipedia, 29th December 2006, 'aesthetic' available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetic
wikipedia, 29th December 2006, 'beauty' available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty
wikipedia, 29th December 2006, 'sublime' available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sublime_%28philosophy%29
Point of Departure, 2006, Photography: Ohad Milstein, Noaz Deshe, Editing: Tim Rogg, Sound design and sound editing: Joel Cahen, Picture grading: Noaz Deshe.
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