ART & ORGANISM
Questions of INTENTION arise because many aesthetically interesting products are INCIDENTAL to some other action an individual is motivated to express.
We tend to refer to deliberate acts or objects that aim to provide information to another individual as WORKS OF ART, while aesthetically interesting phenomena that or unintended or incidental are ARTIFACTS. Since peoples motives and the usefulness of their actions are not always apparent, even to the person doing it, the lines between ART and ARTIFACT are not easily determined.
Incidental (collateral or “unintended”) consequences are of great interest in EVOLUTIONARY theory because it is often the raw material from which other adaptive functions become significant.
- For example, an animal’s autonomic nervous system may respond to a stressor by contracting surface muscles that might protect it from trauma (to conserve energy or minimize blood loss in the event of a wound).
- A mild example is frisson (goose-bumps)– when some of these muscles, the pilomotors around the base of hair or feathers are contracted, the appearance of the animal changes. IF that change provides an advantage (say in chasing off predators or attracting mates) it may become more prominant in subsequent generations. voilà! the peacock’s tail !
What is an “aesthetic experience?”
[i] Lucy Hartley (2015) Review of Feeling Beauty: The Neuroscience of Aesthetic Experience by G. Gabrielle Starr. (Cambridge,MA:MIT Press, 2013. p xv) Modern Philology, Vol. 112, No. 4 (May 2015), pp. E280-E283 http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/679474 Accessed: 12-07-2017 14:33 UTC [saved at C:\Users\Greenberg\Dropbox\NEW NOTES\A&O\A&O – review of FEELING BEAUTY .docx ]
Communication–transfer of information–occurs both within and between LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION that can be described both within and between individuals.. That is, from cells to civilizations, there is a constant flow of energy that (arguably) serves to satisfy BIOLOGICAL NEEDS. The level of organization we emphasize is that of the INDIVIDUAL, flanked by ORGANS that enable behavior at a “lower” level and COMMUNITY in which actions are potentially relevant to other individuals as we pursue the interlocked needs to “know and be known.”
With respect to communication within an individual…
With respect to communication between individuals…
And of poetry,
“I believe poetry is also a bridge between solitudes. At its best, it transports us — through the nonlinear and irresistible persuasion of music and metaphor — into a state of receptive empathy, the closest thing we can get to truly understanding what it’s like to see the world as someone else does, to live inside another’s skin.” (excerpted from “How poetry can help us say the unsayable” by Elizabeth Austen in the Seattle Times May 10, 2015)
(Quoted from Greenberg et al 2017, The Art and Science of Teaching.) A stimulus is special because of the selective attention of the artist and the selective attention of the observer. They necessary collaborate in every work of art” (Adapted from Greenberg et al. 2017)
Can we say that art has meaning?
SPEAKING ABOUT ART:
- AESTHETICS – elements of art A&O gateway site to attributes of art, problems of beauty, and DEEP connections.