Artistic practices are ways that human beings try to make sense of the world, of nature and of what we do and say with one another. So, in order to understand something about artistic practices, we will have to think about how such practices differ from other ways that human beings make sense of their world – such as religion, education, science or philosophy. And in thinking about what makes artistic practices distinctive, we will of course have to think not only about what such practices ‘mean’ but also about how their meaning is related to their material conditions – stone, paint, sound, film, the human body or the printed word; and to what effect human beings have transformed these conditions in ‘artistic’ ways through socially and historically specific forms of painting, dance, music, poetry, drama, photography and film. All of which is to say: We will be asking not only what art is (or, what the ‘arts’ are), but also why we care about art, if we still do? We will discuss texts by Plato, Schiller, Hegel, Nietzsche, Lukács, Benjamin, Adorno, Merleau-Ponty, Bazin, and others.
Students must register for both the lecture and discussion section of this course.
Course Open to: Majors Only
Open to Undergraduate students.