Papers, Pieces, Proceedingsworks, publications etc by members of the ArtSense team
Daniel von Sturmer’s Cataract at the Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.
Image source: http://annaschwartzgallery.com/exhibitions/cataract/
Daniel von Sturmer at the Anna Schwartz Gallery
In CATARACT, 81 screens presented as a singular object, play short videos of small-scale ‘events’. A combination of impromptu recordings and staged scenarios, the work presents a dynamic array of moments that document everyday physical processes and occurrences: spinning, falling, breaking, burning, growing, slowing, starting, stopping… the world is full of happenings, but it is only through selective attention that meaning is found.
Wittgenstein stated that the world divides into facts. Our propositions about the world rest on the facts that we hold to be true, yet in perception we can only focus on a small number of concurrent events before we begin selecting through our own prejudice. We attend to what we deem worthy of attention. Read against or beside a multitude of other images, significance can be magnified or nullified by context. Things happen, all at once. Not a cacophony but a cataclysm.
CATARACT constructs an experience where the viewer is presented with a proposition about the world as a complex, synthesised totality, through its assemblage of discrete, atomised moments. The work emphasises the limitations of our cognitive perception – things are more readily either/or, this or that – rather than accepted as discursive, rhizomic, and refracted. Instead, CATARACT presents a series of unfolding contradictions and juxtapositions as a dynamic field of relations in time, space and perception.
– Daniel von Sturmer, 2019
Jennifer A. McMahon is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She is the author of Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy (Routledge 2014) and Aesthetics and Material Beauty: Aesthetics Naturalized (Routledge 2007).
Social Aesthetics and Moral Judgment: Pleasure, Reflection and Accountability
Edited by Jennifer A McMahon
This edited collection sets forth a new understanding of aesthetic-moral judgment organized around three key concepts: pleasure, reflection and accountability. The overarching theme is that art is not merely a representation or expression like any other, but that it promotes shared moral understanding and helps us engage in meaning-making.
This volume offers an alternative to brain-centric and realist approaches to aesthetics. It features original essays from a number of leading philosophers of art and aesthetics, including Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Garrett Cullity, Cynthia Freeland, Ivan Gaskell, Paul Guyer, Jane Kneller, Keith Lehrer, Mohan Matthen, Jennifer McMahon, Bence Nanay, Robert Sinnerbrink and Nancy Sherman.
Part I of the book analyses the elements of aesthetic experience—pleasure, colour, preference and imagination—with the individual as part of a particular cultural context and network of other minds. The essays in Part II explain how it is possible for cultural learning to impact these elements through reflection, emotional expression and consensus building. Finally, Part III looks at the moral and political implications of social aesthetics and aesthetic pluralism. The essays in this last part converge on the role of dissonance, difference and diversity in promoting cultural understanding and advancement.
Social Aesthetics and Moral Judgment will appeal to philosophers of art and aesthetics, as well as scholars in other disciplines interested in issues related to art and cultural exchange.Published by Routledge, 2018.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
From Pleasures to Principles Jennifer A. McMahon
Part I: Aesthetic Elements: Pleasure, Colour, Preference & Imagination
- Aesthetic Hedonism Mohan Matthen
- Art and Philosophy of Colour Cynthia Freeland
- Aesthetic Naivety Bence Nanay
- Imagination Jennifer A. McMahon
Part II: Aesthetic Experience: Critique, Expression & Reflection
- Art, Exemplars and Consensus Keith Lehrer
- Objectivity & Shared Experience: Art & Morality Garrett Cullity
- Reflections on Emotional Expression: Dancers & Soldiers Sharing the Dance Floor Nancy Sherman
- Twofoldness, Threefoldness & Aesthetic Pluralism Paul Guyer
Part III: Aesthetic Judgment: Dissonance, Difference and Diversity
- Aesthetic Judgment & the Transcultural Apprehension of Material Things Ivan Gaskell
- For an Audience? Inalienable Objects & Aesthetics Elizabeth Burns Coleman
- Perception, Imagination, Emotion: Exploring Cinematic Experience Robert Sinnerbrink
- Aesthetics and Communication Jane Kneller
A New Question about Colour
Abstract: Philosophers of art have advanced our understanding of the role of color in realistic representation in painting. This article addresses a new question about how color functions expressively in art. I sketch some ways to answer this question, using examples of paintings by Mark Rothko and light art installation works by James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson.
Note that Cynthia acknowledges ArtSense ARC grant support in the final footnote.
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75:3 Summer 2017: 231-48.
Call for Open Commentaries
Australasian Philosophical Review
The Australasian Philosophical Review (APR) is the Australasian Association of Philosophy’s (AAP’s) new open peer commentary journal. It publishes invited target articles by authors from all areas of philosophy, together with invited and open peer commentaries on those invited target articles, and authors’ responses to those commentaries.
Each issue has a different curator, chosen by a committee of the AAP; the curator is responsible for the choice of the authors of the invited target article and the invited commentaries. Volume 1, Issue 1, featuring work by members of the ArtSense project team, has been curated by Jenny McMahon.
Volume 1, Issue 1
Curator: Jennifer McMahon
Theme : Aesthetic Pleasure
Target Author : Mohan Matthen
Target Article : The Pleasure of Art
Invited commentaries from:
Cynthia A. Freeland, Paul Guyer & Robert Sinnerbrink
To view the target article & invited commentaries for future issues, register with APR as an open peer commentator.
APR 1:1 was published online on 26th March 2017. Hard copy to follow.
All libraries which presently subscribe to the Australasian Journal of Philosophy will automatically receive the APR.
Immediate Judgment and Non-Cognitive Ideas:
The Pervasive & Persistent in the Misreading of Kant’s Aesthetic Formalism
Jennifer A. McMahon, 2017
Introduction : Three Apparent Dichotomies
The key concept in Kant’s aesthetics is “aesthetic reflective judgment,” a critique of which is found in Part 1 of the Critique of the Power of Judgment (1790). It is a critique inasmuch as Kant unravels previous assumptions regarding aesthetic perception. For Kant, the comparative edge of a “judgment” implicates communicability which in turn gives it a public face; yet “reflection” points to autonomy and the “aesthetic” shifts the emphasis away from objective properties to the subjective response evoked by the object. Contrary to the view he had inherited, Kant did not treat aesthetic judgments as confused perceptions or inferior cognitions, but rather put them in a category of their own.
For Kant, aesthetic reflective judgments implicated not only the processes involved in understanding the empirical world but also the processes involved in ascribing ideas or meaning to experience (which go beyond what is given in perception/cognition). This “going beyond cognition” may have been referred to by Kant as non-cognitive, but it is conditioned on a way of cognizing the object. Kant describes the features of such judgments in the Analytic of the Beautiful before addressing their possibility in subtle ways throughout the Deduction of Pure Aesthetic Judgments.
Kant’s critique gives rise to three apparent dichotomies between immediate intuition and prior learning; autonomy and communicability; and non-cognitive response and aesthetic ideas. An interpretation of Kant’s theory can be deemed correct to the degree that it succeeds in showing that the contradictions are only apparent. I will argue that the resulting positive account of Kant’s aesthetic theory offers an understanding of aesthetic reflective judgment that is quite different from the standard formalism that the critics of formalism usually target and by which they misrepresent Kant’s aesthetic theory.
At times throughout this chapter I refer to Kant’s formalism, but I mean something quite different by this than what is meant by “standard formalism.” The latter is the representation given Kant’s formalism by its contemporary critics and is the typical account of formalism found in the art theory and philosophy of art literature, as will be demonstrated.
- Three Apparent Dichotomies
- Intuition: Immediate judgment & prior learning
- The “form of purposiveness”: Autonomy & communicability
- Disinterest: Non-cognitive engagement and aesthetic ideas
- A positive account: Public sentiment to parallel public reason
The Space of Reception: Framing Autonomy and Collaboration
Jennifer A. McMahon and Carol Ann Gilchrist, 2017
The Drag (2015)
Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro
Read Hesse McGraw Review
In Jenner, Felicity (ed) (2015) People Like Us. Exhibition Catalogue: Art Gallery of NSW
by Hesse McGraw
Collaboration between philosophers and artists
Newcastle, Australia, September 2015
Curated by Jenny McMahon (Philosophy, Adelaide) and Sean Lowry (Creative Arts, Newcastle), a panel of philosophers provided commentary on performances/presentations by nineteen artists/musicians/actors over a two day Symposium presented by the School of Creative Arts, University of Newcastle.
We identified an interface between philosophy and art by considering what constitutes the bare essentials of creative practice.
Elizabeth Coleman (Monash)
David Macarthur (Sydney)
James Phillips (UNSW)
Daniel von Sturmer (Monash)
Jenny McMahon (Adelaide)
Jennifer A. McMahon, Elizabeth Burns Coleman, David Macarthur, James Phillips & Daniel von Sturmer.
“Between Philosophy and Art: A Collaboration at The Lock-Up, Newcastle”,
Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 5: 2/3 pp. 135-150. http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=202/