RE: [-empyre-] Re: Method Manifesto

In message <> "Jim Andrews" <>
> > > But my initial reaction to your point, jsa, is that nobody really knows what art
> > is. And that
> > > isn't a matter of rectifiable ignorance, but something else in the nature of art.
> > >
> > > ja
> >
> > Yes, I probably agree. The definition of art is the bugbear of anglo-american
> > philosophical aesthetics, which is where it should stay.
> Well if you agree with that, jsa, then I fear for your position in the above to which I said I
> would reply later. For if you agree that nobody really knows what art is, then it is also true
> that institutional and historical judgements about what art is have no more ontological
> authority than your or my feelings and ideas about what art is. Though they may seem to. And may
> be taken more seriously by most people than your or my feelings and ideas about what art is.
> Because the institutional and historical judgements about the art of the past are presumably
> informed with a collective wisdom and experience of a gamut of art and ideas that an individual
> cannot possibly encompass.
> Yet there is also the Terry Eagleton notion that the history of art is the history of barbarism,
> and that institutional and historical judgements about art are a history not primarily of
> enlightened critical judgement but reflect power struggles for influence where the prize has
> typically gone to s/he who validates the world view of those with art clout.
> In any case, if no one really knows what art is, then what is taken for art is not a matter of
> ontological acuity but of a whole range of other considerations, none of which are necessarily
> more valid than your or my feelings and ideas about art. And in this sense (and in others), yes,
> "an individual can determine what is art" with as much authority as anybody or anything else.
> "We continue to think to continue."
> Joseph Keppler
> ja

I wasn't thinking about the ontology of art. It seems to me that one can lack
an ontological definition of art and still operate a discourse in which certain
objects are regarded as art by a community (lets call it the art world), which 
is our current situation. It is the definitional posture itself, this desire to 
ontologise the work of art that is problematic, in that it necessarily 
presupposes a position outside the moving discourses that we are embedded in.
I never said that the authorisation of particular art-objects by social and 
institutional structures comprises an ontology of art.

In a sense we don't really disagree. But I would say that the individual's 
conferral of arthood upon some object only works in relation to other things.
It doesn't happen purely as a function of the individual declaration. It is not 
that art is what I say it is, but rather that art happens as a function of my 
relation to the other.




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