Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

September 12, 2017
by Alex King
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We All Have Our Reasons

Comic artist Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal talks about art: And the aftercomic, for those of you interested in questions about representation and depiction: And the referenced work, for your viewing pleasure, which has hilariously become Cesena’s profile pic on his Wikipedia page: According to Wikipedia: “It was widely said that when Cesena complained to the Pope, the pontiff joked that his jurisdiction did not extend to hell and the portrait would have to remain.”

April 19, 2017
by rebeccavictoriamillsop
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Workshop: Art, Perception and History

The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved support for the Workshop on Art, Perception, and History, at the University of Toronto, May 5-6, 2017. The Workshop is organized by Sonia Sedivy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto. ASA has awarded up to $4,600 in support, plus an additional $1000 to support attendance at the Workshop by ASA student members. Support is also being provided by several units of the University of Toronto. The workshop is free and open to the public. CONFERENCE WEB SITE NEW! Poster for the Workshop   Speakers at the workshop will include: From Art History Whitney Davis, University of California, Berkeley, Art History http://arthistory.berkeley.edu/person/1639581-whitney-davis Jason Gaiger, University of Oxford, The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art http://www.rsa.ox.ac.uk/people/jason-gaiger Amy Powell, University of California, Irvine, Art History http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5553 Paul G. Smith, University of Warwick, History of Art https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/arthistory/staff/smith/ From Philosophy of Art or … Continue reading

February 8, 2017
by rebeccavictoriamillsop
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ASA Funds Workshop on Art, Perception, and History

The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved support for the Workshop on Art, Perception, and History, at the University of Toronto, May 5-6, 2017. The Workshop is organized by Sonia Sedivy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto. ASA has awarded up to $4,600 in support, plus an additional $1000 to support attendance at the Workshop by ASA student members. Support is also being provided by several units of the University of Toronto. The workshop is free and open to the public. Speakers will include: From Art History Whitney Davis, University of California, Berkeley, Art History http://arthistory.berkeley.edu/person/1639581-whitney-davis Jason Gaiger, University of Oxford, The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art http://www.rsa.ox.ac.uk/people/jason-gaiger Amy Powell, University of California, Irvine, Art History http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5553 Paul G. Smith, University of Warwick, History of Art https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/arthistory/staff/smith/ From Philosophy of Art or Perception Diarmuid Costello, philosophy, University of Warwick http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/philosophy/people/costello/ Robert Hopkins, New York … Continue reading

September 28, 2016
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Spectators and Giants in Rousseau and Víctor Erice

What follows is a guest post by Byron Davies (Harvard). This column is on the 18th century Swiss Francophone philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the contemporary Spanish director Víctor Erice, especially the latter’s films The Spirit of the Beehive and El Sur. It is tempting to think that cinema somehow has a prehistory in philosophy. That is, among those philosophers who pre-date the invention of cinema, there are some whose very spirits seem to inform the medium itself, making their connections to particular films, even if only implicit, seem especially fated or necessary. Strikingly, these are often philosophers somehow opposed to theater and “theatricality,” and known for harshly depicting the effects of sitting isolated in the dark. (The well-worn comparisons between cinema and Plato’s Myth of the Cave come to mind.) Among such philosophers is surely Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an eighteenth-century philosopher who asked what it is to be spectator of, as well as a spectacle for, other persons. For … Continue reading

February 4, 2015
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Why Can’t Painting Just Be Painting

What follows is a guest post by Rebecca Victoria Millsop. Rebecca is a fifth year PhD student at MIT writing her dissertation in the philosophy of art. In the not-so-distant past she worked on issues in philosophy of logic and mathematics and, while she found this incredibly fun, she believes that working on issues in the philosophy of art will make more of an impact on the world. She also lives on a sailboat in Boston Harbor, paints, and volunteers for a non-profit art organization in Boston, HarborArts. It’s been a while since painting was first proclaimed dead (apparently it was French painter Paul Delaroche in 1835), and ever since then there’s been a lot of ink spilled (and words typed) about whether or not it is dead, is dying, or never died in the first place. The consensus has shifted throughout the years, and, at least recently, the jury seems to be … Continue reading