Artistic Judgement sketches a framework for an account of art suitable to philosophical aesthetics. It stresses differences between artworks and other things; and locates the understanding of artworks both in a narrative of the history of art and in the institutional practices of the art world. Hence its distinctiveness lies in its strong account of the difference between, on the one hand, the judgement and appreciation of art and, on the other, the judgement and appreciation of all the other things in which we take an aesthetic interest. For only by acknowledging this contrast can one do justice to the importance regularly ascribed to art. The contrast is explained by appealing to an occasion-sensitive account of understanding, drawn from Charles Travis directly, but with Gordon Baker (and Wittgenstein) as also proximate rather than remote. On this basis, it argues, first, that we need to offer accounts of key topics only as far as questions might be raised in respect of them (hence, not exceptionlessly); and, second, that we should therefore defend the view that the meaning of artworks can be changed by later events (the historical character of art, or forward retroactivism) and that art has an institutional character, understood broadly on the lines of Terry Diffey's Republic of Art. Besides providing a general framework, Artistic Judgement also explores the applications of the ideas to specific artworks or classes of them.
Historical and didactic essay engineer Arnold Regel.
Artistic Lives examines cultural production as a non-standard, self-directed, and frequently unpaid activity, which is susceptible to developments that affect the availability of unstructured time. It engages with discourses which have historically had little to do with the arts, including urban sociology and social policy research, to explore the social conditions and identities of ordinary artists, revealing the importance of the cost of living or access to housing, benefits or employment in determining who is able to become an artist or sustain an artistic career. The book thus challenges recent policy discourses that celebrate the ability of cultural producers to create something from nothing, and, more generally, the myth of creativity as an individual phenomenon, divorced from social context. Presenting rich interview material with artists and arts professionals in London and Berlin, together with ethnographic descriptions, Artistic Lives engages with debates surrounding Post-Fordism, gentrification and the nature of authorship, to raise challenging questions about the function of culture and the role of cultural producers within contemporary capitalism. An empirically grounded exploration of the identity of the modern artist and his or her ability to make a living in neoliberal societies, Artistic Lives will be of interest to students and scholars researching urban studies, the sociology of art and creative cultures, social stratification and social policy.
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