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Theories about the relationship between Art & Society (Socio-historic dimensions). References to Readings Today: Becker, Howard. “Art Worlds", and Bourdieu, Pierre. "Who Creates the 'Creator'?” & "The Circle of Belief” Inglis, David. “Thinking ‘Art’ Sociologically”

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Theories about the relationship between art society socio historic dimensions

Theories about the relationship between Art & Society(Socio-historic dimensions)

References to Readings Today:

Becker, Howard. “Art Worlds", and

Bourdieu, Pierre. "Who Creates the 'Creator'?” & "The Circle of Belief”

Inglis, David. “Thinking ‘Art’ Sociologically”

Mitchell, W.J.T. “Offending Images..”

Recommended:

Becker “The power of inertia”

Bill Viola “Crossings” (detail)


Course organization
Course Organization

  • Handout 1: Syllabus and Preliminary Reading List

  • Resources (on web)

    • http://webdav.sfu.ca/web/cmns/courses/2011/488

  • note

    • Importance of attendance & participation

    • Proper use of citations to acknowledge sources


Finding out about artistic events issues
Finding out about artistic events & issues

  • Library Resources:

    • Music : http://www.lib.sfu.ca/researchhelp/subjectguides/fpa/music.htm

    • Dance http://www.lib.sfu.ca/researchhelp/subjectguides/fpa/dance.htm

    • Visual Arts http://www.lib.sfu.ca/researchhelp/subjectguides/fpa/visarts.htm


Other sources
Other Sources

Cultural Sections of papers like The Georgia Straight

broader: Sunday New York Times -- Arts and Leisure Section (in library)

Other magazines and journals devoted to the arts

Web sites, blogs etc… showcasing art,

ex. http://www.agitart.org/



Swarm 12 public open house of artist run centres sept 8 9
Swarm 12– Public Open-house of Artist-Run Centres—Sept 8 & 9

http://swarm.paarc.ca/

“The Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres will hold their annual festival, Swarm, to mark the kick-off of Vancouver’s artist-run centre programming season. Two nights full of gallery hopping, public projects, and artist collectives will leave you feeling inspired. Swarm is always a fun party and a great way to connect with our alternative art scene.”


Some common sense approaches to art artist society relations
Some “Common-sense” approaches to Art (Artist)/Society Relations

  • Art as

    • historical record (events, practices, values)-- notion of Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) or mentalities

    • Measure of civilization (with predictable stages of “development”)

    • Predictor or instigator of socio-political or cultural change (theories of the avant-garde)


Some common sense approaches to art society relations
Some “Common-sense” approaches to Art/Society Relations Relations

Art as historical record (events, practices, values)-- notion of Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) or mentalities


Measure of civilization with predictable stages of development
Measure of civilization (with predictable stages of “development”)

Ex. representation of perspective in neo-classical painting. Jacques Louis David c. 1889. The lictors bringing to Brutus the bodies of his sons


Predictor or instigator of change theories of the avant garde
Predictor or instigator of change (theories of the avant-garde)

Pink Bloque (2001-2005) Dancing in Dissent protesting racism & sexism at street danceshttp://www.pinkbloque.org/


Disciplinary differences internal vs external approaches
Disciplinary Differences: Internal vs. External Approaches avant-garde)

  • “internal” (humanities) -- arts outside social processes

    • Artist=solitary creator, exceptional genius (humanistic approach)

    • Arts, aesthetics as “universal”

  • “external” (social sciences & interdisciplinary approaches) --art world(s) socially constructed

    • importance of social context, processes & structures for understanding the production/creation, mediation & reception/consumption of the arts, recognition processes, their uses, functions, meanings


Theories of art and society different intellectual traditions roots
Theories of Art and Society (Different Intellectual Traditions & Roots)

  • Humanistic disciplines (history, literary studies)

    • Formerly --great events, individuals, canons

    • Some interdisciplinary (ex. Cultural studies)

    • Iconographic & formalist frameworks

  • Visual and Performing Arts

    • perspective of art-makers & critics

  • Anthropology

    • functions of the arts & symbolic representations, “others”

    • ex. Religious, ritual

  • Psychology

    • cognition & perception

  • Philosophy

    • Aesthetics, knowledge etc.

  • Sociology & Communications –many approaches (focus of the course)


Some internal debates what is art who are artists
Some “Internal” Debates: “What is Art? Traditions & Roots)Who Are Artists?”

  • emphasis on

    • Gifts, talent, innate characteristics, vision (of Artists)

    • expression of eternal “truths” (artists, publics)

      • Ex. Notion that Greek Aesthetic Values (like Ideals of Beauty& Bodily Proportions) express universals

    • Relations to natural world or “real) through material or embodied practices

      • Mimesis (representation)

      • Imitatio (simulation, copy)


Artists presentations of the relations of their work to social issues institutions
Artists presentations of the relations of their work to social issues & institutions

Three examples:

  • Cai Guo-Qiang interview: Art:21(Art in the 21st Century) PBS

    • If time: Olympic Ceremony Controversy (enhancement of Cai Guo-Qiangs’s Footprints of History” firework performance

      • http://blog.art21.org/2008/08/22/cai-guo-qiang-responds-to-olympics-fireworks-controversy/

  • Olafur Eliasson

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKl0tb3VmfQ

  • Taryn Simon on her creative practices

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKl0tb3VmfQ


Internal approaches
Internal Approaches -- social issues & institutions

  • Systems of ranking art forms:

    • avant-garde vs. traditionalists etc.

    • Subjects or content (ex. French Academy rankings by categories: history of religious, landscape, portrait, still life, genre)

    • Medium (ex. visual arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, performance art, conceptual art etc.)

    • Styles, tastes and genres

    • Socio-political or ideological criteria (art for art’s sake, social realism, arts activism etc.)

  • Canons –essential components of dominant art system, influential artworks that participants must know & understand

  • More recently: place of social & historical processes in defining art & what/who gets included in canons


  • Internal approaches1
    Internal Approaches -- social issues & institutions

    • Genres, stylistic movements, forms of expression

    • Canons –essential components of dominant art system, influential artworks that participants must know & understand

    • More recently: “The New Art History” & cultural studies in the humanities (differs from social scientific interpretations

      • place of social & historical processes in defining art & what/who gets included in canons


    What is art? Who decides? social issues & institutionsEx. Marcel Duchamp--Readymade Sculptures vs. conventional techniques (challenging definitions of what is art and who decides)

    Fountain, original (left) and recreations of lost 1917 “Original”

    Who decides what is art?– the artist, experts, publics??


    Other examples of challenges to the canon authority
    Other Examples of Challenges to “the Canon” & Authority social issues & institutions

    (l.)Leonardo DaVinci’s so-called Mona Lisa c. 1503; (r.) Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q, 1920 for a Paris Dada show.


    Non western cultural traditions
    Non-western cultural traditions social issues & institutions

    (l.)Leonardo DaVinci’s so-called Mona Lisa c. 1503; (r.)Book cover from Cultural Studies for Beginners by Sardar & Van Loon.


    Rethinking institutionalized exclusionary practices differencing the canon
    Rethinking institutionalized exclusionary practices: “Differencing the Canon”

    • Guerilla Girls poster


    References to artistic canons as way of establishing credibility authority within art worlds
    References to Artistic Canons as way of establishing credibility & authority within art worlds

    Jean August Dominique Ingres, Grande Odalisque (1814), oil on canvas.


    Another example

    Manet credibility & authority within art worldsOlympia 1863.

    Another Example


    Yasumasa morimura appropriation art twins
    Yasumasa Morimura—Appropriation art credibility & authority within art worldsTwins


    External approaches to thinking about art society relations
    “External” Approaches to Thinking about Art/Society Relations

    • art should be contextualized (situated in social, political & historic contexts)

    • search for patterns rather than exceptions

      • What do successful artists have in common?

      • What characteristics do fans share?

      • How do artistic institutions or networks function?

      • What do the arts have to do with economics, politics and culture?

      • Can the arts redress injustices, help people recover from trauma, communicate values that change the world?


    External approaches
    External Approaches Relations

    • Often a wider range of art forms studied (not just high culture but also pop culture, folk culture, outsider art, etc..)

    • Stronger focus on institutions & processes of

      • Production-creation

        • (training, collaboration networks etc.)

      • Mediation

        • (gatekeepers, facilitators etc.)

      • Reception, consumption

        • (tastes, audiences, publics, markets)


    Importance of social processes for recognition of the arts & artists: Visitors to the Louvre Museum in front of Mona Lisa (old hanging)


    Artists the arts and society recognition processes
    Artists, the arts and society—Recognition processes artists:

    • Banksy & museums as authorities

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW-rt3jyZU8

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZK7D6WqzR0


    Early social scientific approaches to the study of art society relations
    Early Social Scientific Approaches to the study of Art/Society Relations

    • Art and Society

      • Art History & Criticism (Interpretation of artworks as symbolic forms with cultural meanings) : Erwin Panofsky, Arnold Hauser, Pierre Francastel, John Berger, etc..

        • Marxist Traditions : T. Adorno, W. Benjamin, Heidigger (Francfort School), H. J. Jauss (School of Constance), Janet Wolff, Lucien Goldmann,

    • Art in Society

      • practices & institutions such as patronage, connoisseurship, publics, fans (M. Baxandahl, T.J. Clark etc.)

      • styles as social networks (M. Schapiro, C. Ginzburg)

    • Art as Society


    Variety of external approaches
    Variety of “external” approaches Art/Society Relations

    • Different degrees of importance of “social construction of reality”

    • Debates about symbolic vs. material dimensions

    • Varied assumptions about society & how to study it

    • Examples: two different approaches Becker & Bourdieu


    Pierre bourdieu
    Pierre Bourdieu— Art/Society Relations

    1930-2002

    • Marxist, critical theorist

    • Emphasis on

      • Social and political structures & material conditions as limits to freedom of agency

      • Power relations within the field of artistic production

        • Creation of belief in the power of symbolic goods (art, artistic reputations etc.) and their conversion into economic and socialcapital

        • Core notions: Habitus, field of cultural production (history & position in it), domination, distinction (taste & class), praxis, doxa

      • hierarchical model

      • Relationships marked by class conflict and power struggles


    Howard becker
    Howard Becker Art/Society Relations

    • Symbolic interactionist

      • http://home.earthlink.net/~hsbecker/

    • Early work on labeling theory and social actors(a different way of thinking of agency)

    • Emphasis on

      • Sense-making (interpretive)

      • Human interaction & identity-formation

      • Consensus & conventions

      • Art-making as a collective activity

      • Notion of different types of “art worlds”

    • Strong sociological background but also a performing artist (jazz musician)


    “Many people know that I used to play the piano for a living, in taverns, for dances, weddings, bar mitzvas, Safeway employees Christmas parties, and so on. Here is a picture of the Bobby Laine Trio, circa 1950 (Bobby Laine, tenor; Dominic Jaconetti, drums; Howie Becker, piano), performing at the 504 Club, which was located at 504 W. 63rd St. in Chicago” from Howie Becker’s homepage


    Art political representations
    Art & Political Representations living, in taverns, for dances, weddings, bar mitzvas, Safeway employees Christmas parties, and so on. Here is a picture of the Bobby Laine Trio, circa 1950 (Bobby Laine, tenor; Dominic Jaconetti, drums; Howie Becker, piano), performing at the 504 Club, which was located at 504 W. 63rd St. in Chicago” from Howie Becker’s homepage


    Debates regarding what art is considered to represent
    Debates regarding what art is considered to “represent” living, in taverns, for dances, weddings, bar mitzvas, Safeway employees Christmas parties, and so on. Here is a picture of the Bobby Laine Trio, circa 1950 (Bobby Laine, tenor; Dominic Jaconetti, drums; Howie Becker, piano), performing at the 504 Club, which was located at 504 W. 63rd St. in Chicago” from Howie Becker’s homepage

    • Example related to History of Visual Arts

      • rendering of “reality” (nature), mimesis

      • as world view in a specific place & time

      • as product of solitary genius (Renaissance)

      • made by “system” of production & reception

      • as social process (symbolic & material)


    Critiques of externalist internalist stances
    Critiques of Externalist/Internalist Stances living, in taverns, for dances, weddings, bar mitzvas, Safeway employees Christmas parties, and so on. Here is a picture of the Bobby Laine Trio, circa 1950 (Bobby Laine, tenor; Dominic Jaconetti, drums; Howie Becker, piano), performing at the 504 Club, which was located at 504 W. 63rd St. in Chicago” from Howie Becker’s homepage

    • extreme reductionism vs extreme formalism (Scylla & Charybdis metaphor)

    • reductionism

      • art reduced to social process (ignores specific characteristics of aesthetic forces)

    • Formalism

      • focus on limited range of aesthetic qualities --ignores importance of social processes & context


    Recent controversy over what art represents eu public art project brussels
    Recent Controversy over what art represents (EU public art project--Brussels)

    L-“The sculpture resembles a giant model kit with snap-out pieces.” (CBC)

    R-“Romania is depicted as a vampire theme park.” (CBC)

    See also CBC coverage (link) Jan 14 2009

    British (Telegraph) coverage and video

    Bulgaria as a toilet link


    Theories about changes in ideas about what art represents over time jurt
    Theories about changes in ideas about what art represents over time (Jurt)

    • rendering of “reality” (nature), mimesis, imitatio

    • as world view in a specific place & time

    • as product of solitary genius (Renaissance)

    • Artists’ vision (19th romanticism)

    • made by “system” of production & reception

    • Socio-political processes (symbolic & material)


    Externalist views
    “Externalist” Views over time (Jurt)

    • art should be contextualized (situate in social & historic contexts)

    • search for patterns (regularity) rather than exceptions

      • What do successful artists have in common?

      • What do fans share?

      • How do institutions function?

    • wider range of art forms studied (high culture, pop culture etc..)

    • Stronger focus on institutions & processes of

      • Production-creation

        • (training, collaboration networks etc.)

      • Mediation

        • (gatekeepers, facilitators etc.)

      • Reception, consumption

        • (tastes, audiences, publics, markets)


    Note to users of these outlines
    Note to Users of these Outlines- over time (Jurt)

    • not all material covered in class appears on these outlines-- important examples, demonstrations and discussions aren’t written down here.

    • Classes are efficient ways communicating information and provide you will an opportunity for regular learning. These outlines are provided as a study aid not a replacement for classes.


    If time
    If time…. over time (Jurt)


    Art society example
    Art & Society example over time (Jurt)

    • Videoclip: Excerpt from Cai Guo-Qiang interview: Art:21(Art in the 21st Century) PBS

    • Olympic Ceremony Controversy (enhancement of Guo-Qiangs’s Footprints of History” firework performance

      • http://blog.art21.org/2008/08/22/cai-guo-qiang-responds-to-olympics-fireworks-controversy/


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