Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

October 18, 2016
by Rebecca Millsop

Kelley Walker & A Manifesto for the Artworld Institution

Perhaps you heard about the recent controversy at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis: Since opening in mid-September at CAM, a solo exhibition of white male artist Kelley Walker has been under fire over a series of works that appropriate images from the Civil Rights Movement and magazine covers of black women streaked with toothpaste and chocolate. After failing to offer adequate explanation for the works during an artist talk at the museum on September 17, both Walker and Uslip—who is said to have had a crucial role in realizing the exhibition—incited criticism from the local community, who found the works malicious in nature. A September 18th letter called for the removal of four offending works; among signees were three black members of the CAM staff. The museum refused to remove the works, and instead added barrier walls and signage to warn museum-goers that Walker’s works “may be difficult for some … Continue reading

October 11, 2016
by Rebecca Millsop

Really, Seriously the Artworld — Frieze London

One of the most artworld-of-artworld events took place last week in London: Frieze. Everyone and anyone wanting to be in-the-know is probably already paying attention. But in case you’re not… Why is Frieze such a big deal? Well, all eyes are on the works of art that sell and flop at this event because all of the most important galleries flaunt and sell the work of the artists that they represent–emerging, successful, and deceased alike. The event is described on their website: Taking place a week earlier this year, Frieze London brings together over 160 of the world’s leading galleries from New York to Berlin and Shanghai to São Paulo, to showcase works by newly discovered artists alongside some of the most respected names in contemporary art. Explore our curated sections – Focus, the definitive destination to discover young talents; Live, creating moments of immersion and interaction with participatory performance works; and new … Continue reading

October 6, 2016
by Rebecca Millsop

MoMA’s Entire Exhibition History is Now Online & It’s Free

  New York City’s Museum of Modern Art is certainly one of the most important and influential art institutions in the USA and the world. MoMA curators throughout the decades have made decisions that have greatly affected the way the artworld and public understand the nature of art. You can now view all materials from all of MoMA’s exhibitions, beginning with their opening in 1929. Check it out for yourself: MoMA’s Entire Exhibition History After, or perhaps before, check out a recent article in The Atlantic by Robinson Meyer, “The Museum of Modern Art’s Miraculous New Online Archive”, discussing the aesthetic and functional changes in exhibition documentation throughout the years.

February 13, 2014
by Aesthetics for Birds

Why Video Games in Art Museums Still Aren’t Art

What follows is a guest post by Brock Rough. Brock is a graduate of Northern Illinois University (2010, MA in Philosophy), and currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park, Department of Philosophy. His research focuses on the art status and ontology of videogames, their role as a test case for theories of art, and the ontology and intersection of games and art. Before pursuing philosophy, Brock spent several years working as a portrait painter. Videogames are a massive cultural phenomenon. They have come far from the early days of Pong, Pac-Man, and Super Mario Bros. to become productions with Hollywood blockbuster-sized budgets and sales records, like the Call of Duty, Madden NFL, and Grand Theft Auto series’. With such popularity, it was inevitable that some would begin to question the art status of, at least some, videogames. And for some, the issue has been put to rest by the recent inclusion of videogames in … Continue reading

December 26, 2013
by Aesthetics for Birds

“Aestheticians and Museums” by Shen-yi Liao

Shen-yi Liao is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Nanyang Technological University and Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at University of Leeds. Right now, he is working with Aaron Meskin on experimental philosophical aesthetics. He has written about imagination, moral persuasion, and centered worlds. Aestheticians and museums do not cross paths as often as you might expect. Sure, there have been some notable interactions. Richard Wollheim‘s Painting as an Art (1987) resulted from his invited lectures at the National Gallery of Art. (Though I am not aware of anything as high-profile since.) Recently, some aestheticians have done an impressive job integrating their research with events at museums. Nola Semczyszyn curated an exhibit on nature, aesthetics, and technology. Christy Mag Uidhir and Cynthia Freeland hosted a conference on printmaking and aesthetics in association with The Museum of Print History. Hans Maes organized a colloquium on the ethics and aesthetics of erotic art … Continue reading