Why is That Art? Ch 4 Formalism

Here are my answers to the questions in “Why is That Art” Ch 4, Formalism

1. Which of the artists and aestheticians in the chapter would match up best?

I really don’t understand what this question is asking…match up in what way??

2. What are the social advantages and disadvantages of isolating aesthetic values from other kinds of values?

One of the social advantages to isolating aesthetic values from other kinds of values is that it keeps the work of art pure from any inferred views that people may have (ie religious). At the same time, that can also be a disadvantage in removing other values from the piece since it could take away something that the artist felt was important to the piece. Also since values change throughout time, the viewer might be assuming certain values of a certain time period apply to a piece of art when in actuality they might not.

3. Are there benefits and limitations of the concept of “disinterestedness” as a way to view a work of art?

There are benefits and limitations to disinterestedness just like how their are to any concept of viewing art. The concept of disinterestedness is basically viewing a piece of art “for its own sake” and not attaching other meanings or stories to the piece. I think that there are great benefits to this method of viewing work since it allows you to honestly critique the piece without outside emotions changing your perception of it. In contrast, those emotions could allow you to see the piece in a different, better way.

4. Is “aesthetic experience” sufficiently different from other modes of experience to warrant its claims?

“Attitude does not guarantee the experience” (pg 111) meaning that just because one has an aesthetic attitude it does not guarantee that they will have an aesthetic experience every time or any time that they view art. I think that the “aesthetic experience” is indeed a different way to view art (if it does actually happen) but i feel that it is flawed in its approach and should not be applied to all pieces of work.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of viewing the world aesthetically?

The advantage of viewing the world aesthetically is that since everything is seen as art and purely for looks, the actually message of the piece will be lost. The disadvantages to viewing the world aesthetically are greater in my opinion then the advantages. The example given of a photograph of a starving child being viewed merely for the composition of the piece rather then the sad subject matter was right on target for showing why all works should not be view aesthetically. Some works of art are meant to give a message and if view aesthetically the message would be lost and the piece would be pointless.

6. What might “progress” in art mean?

Progress in art can mean many things. I interpret it as the evolution of thought and acceptance in what and how a piece of work is viewed and categorized and accepted as art.

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