Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

December 28, 2019
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Experts Rank the Top 5 in This Decade’s Art

This year marks the end of the second decade of the 2000s. In honor of this, we thought we’d take a look back at our decade with an end-of-year series. The internet loves lists, especially year-end ones, and we’ll feed that love a little bit this December. We’ll be hosting seven lists of expert Decade-Best picks. We’ve done movies, games, writing, TV, and music, and you can look forward to one more surprise list at the end. Our experts include philosophers and other academics whose work concerns these topics, and people working in the relevant media. Up today: art! Okay so obviously movies and music are art, but what we mean by “art” today is arty art, that special kind of artworld art that’s in galleries and art fairs and museums, and attended to by art magazines and news outlets. We’re looking at photography, painting, video art, performance art, and more. … Continue reading

March 27, 2018
by Roy T Cook
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More than Skin Deep with Frank Boardman

Frank Boardman interviewed by Roy Cook for AFB Frank Boardman is is a visiting assistant professor at Worcester State University. Most of his work has been in philosophy, art and rhetoric. He has a completely unwarranted belief that he could also write about parenting, technology or basketball.

January 15, 2018
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Color Vision and Art

What are colors, really? If we see colors differently than bees do, does that mean that colors aren’t real? Should we take into account the fact that some painters are color blind? Issues like this have occupied painters since at least the 20th century. Josef Albers wrote extensively about color theory and his paintings reflect that. Neil Harbisson, a British artist with a severe form of color blindness (achromatopsia, i.e., grayscale vision), thinks that being colorblind has made his art better, and now has implants that (debatably) allow him to hear color. And other stories like this abound. It’s even rumored that Van Gogh was color blind, though the Van Gogh museum disputes that. A recent book, A Naive Realist Theory of Colour by Keith Allen, defends the existence of colors despite all of the worries we might have. In a blog post over at Oxford University Press, Allen writes: One of … Continue reading

October 25, 2017
by Alex King
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“To Open My Legs Is to Open My Mouth”: Sexuality and Art

In September this year, French-Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah De Robertis exposed her vagina in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. A few days ago, she was acquitted of charges of sexual exhibitionism by Paris’s High Court. Why? Because (a) her intent was not sexual in nature, and (b) the “material element of the crime” was missing (= you couldn’t *see* her genitalia because pubic hair obscured it). (Yes, you may giggle now.)

March 29, 2017
by Rebecca Millsop
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ASA Funds Conference on the Philosophy of Portraits

The American Society for Aesthetics Board of Trustees has approved a grant of $3,990 for a conference on “The Philosophy of Portraits” at the University of Maryland, April 7-8, 2018. The conference has been organized by Hans Maes, Senior Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Art and Director of the Aesthetics Research Centre at the University of Kent, and Jerrold Levinson, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland. Confirmed keynote speakers include A.W. Eaton, Cynthia Freeland, and Jenefer Robinson. A call for additional papers for the conference will be announced shortly. ASA is funding two travel grants for ASA student members of $500 each for papers selected for the program. The conference registration fee of $35 will be waived for all ASA members attending the conference.