A&O – What’s New in May


What’s new May 2018

Another ART & ORGANISM 2018 Spring Seminar is behind me; students did some very exciting work but I’ll get their permission before sharing it.   BUT life and reading and other adventures continue, and here is of some of what stood out for me in recent weeks.  More details are at the website.


  1. ECOLOGY. Some new links were set up to enhance A&O’s DEEP connections in ECOLOGY :
  • We are already familiar with power of place to affect how a work of art may be viewed (the cluttered garage versus the museum pedestal)  but two new resources came to my attention
    • The Tate Gallery deployed an advertising campaign that utilized the power of the backstory: the experiences and feelings of the artist : Power of the Backstory 

As for the influence of conspecifics we are already familiar with memes and fashion.  We consciously or nonconsciously are alerted to a work of art by the behavior of others:


2. Outsider / Outlier Art. There is also an engaging new essay in the New York Review about recent shows of “Outsider Art” The awkward term always bothered me, and someone introduced the term “Outlier Art” with the effect of reinforcing our theme of behavior being on a continuum.

3. Epilepsy is intrinsically fascinating (leading to split-brain research and case studies of unique auras) and tells us much about brain funtion relative to varying experiences and states of consciousness.   Read a  recent review emphasizing ECSTATIC epilepsy ( https://neilgreenberg.com/ao-reading-excerpts-from-ecstatic-epilepsy/ )

4. What is Art?  A more technical article on how we may define the object of study in aesthetics.   The author takes a philosophical approach to look at works of art in terms of extension (examples) and intension (essence). (Read https://neilgreenberg.com/ao-reading-empirical-aesthetics-research-by-hayn-leichsenring-2017/ )

5. Art and Science:  it is interesting to see Claude Bernard, John Constable, and Emile Zola on the same page: https://neilgreenberg.com/ao-art-as-a-science/




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