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A van pulled up next to me with some very tired-looking people. At first I thought they were prisoners being transported for morning court dates, until one of them gave me the finger. It was Erik, one of the more contentious contestants. One odd part of watching the show was the way things appeared to unfold slowly, over months.

In reality, nine episodes were shot in rapid succession. Each episode equaled 14 hours of shooting, beginning at 2 p. After the third night of this, I sent a letter of resignation to Bravo. The network made sure the shoots ended at 1 a. At times, it was humiliating, or maybe withering is a better word: During the taping of one episode, the crew chief yelled "Cut," then walked over to me, perched like an infant on a high stool.

10 Works of Art That Made People Really Mad - HISTORY

He nodded toward my crotch. The sequences I hated most were the dramatic second face-offs between judges and artists before winners and losers were announced. Those sometimes took half an hour to shoot because of the complex camera angles, with the makeup team continuously padding out to powder my shiny head just try to be an authority figure after that. Similarly, the critiques or "crits" that last a few minutes on TV went on for hours and were sometimes very emotional. My complaints about the show are garden-variety. A lot of the challenges were inane -- telling an artist to create a work based on an experience in an Audi showroom, or to make "shock art," can only produce stupid results.

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People on my Facebook page invented far better challenges, like "Make a three-minute video-portrait of a fellow contestant" or "a work of art about your future child. If it were up to the network, the outspoken Nao might have stayed; she could have been our Snooki! I wish we had kept John longer; his self-fellating portrait might have been boring, but it required the sort of nerve that can lead to great art.

That is, until we watched the episodes. Learning, for example, how hard Ryan struggled with his work, and hearing that he was an outcast in his religious family, made me regret voting him off the show, even though I knew we had done the right thing.

Work of Art

I ran up against this with one of the guest judges, too. If I could change anything about Work of Art , it would be how the contestants are selected. I wish the judges had picked the competing artists, the way they do on American Idol. This from a TV-biz neophyte who frequently bugged Bravo to add musical challenges, to make it more like Glee. My biggest regret?

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To say that a piece of music expresses melancholy is not to say that it evokes arouses melancholy. To describe a piece of music as expressive of melancholy is to give a reason for listening to it; to describe it as arousing melancholy is to give a reason for avoiding it. Music that is utterly blank expresses nothing, but it may arouse melancholy. Expression, where it exists, is integral to the aesthetic character and merit of whatever possesses it. For similar reasons, expression must not be confused with association, in spite of the reliance on the confusion by many 18th-century empiricists.

The distinction between representation and expression is one of the most important conceptual devices in contemporary philosophy of art. Croce, who introduced it, sought to dismiss representation as aesthetically irrelevant and to elevate expression into the single, true aesthetic function.

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The first, he argued, is descriptive, or conceptual, concerned with classifying objects according to their common properties, and so done to satisfy our curiosity. In understanding expression, our attitude passes from mere curiosity to that immediate awareness of the concrete particular that is the core of aesthetic experience. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

Load Previous Page. The work of art As the above discussion illustrates, it is impossible to advance far into the theory of aesthetic experience without encountering the specific problems posed by the experience of art. If we can acknowledge and honor the art that we perform, if we can stay aware of and develop the skills of art we use daily, if we can borrow appropriate and useful trade secrets from artists, who are the experts and exemplars of this field, we can dramatically enrich the quality of daily life.

The main artistic media music, theatre, dance, visual and literary arts have survived because we thrill to witness what humans can accomplish, what the body can express, what the human voice can do at its best, what subtle truths people can communicate. Masterworks in art invite and reward our best attention; they also enable us to extend the range of our own overlooked artistic competences. But those occasional celebrated masterpieces are merely the tip of the artistic iceberg to which all of us including many fine-but-not-famous artists contribute less visibly and far more frequently.


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When we assume that the work of art exists only in these isolated peaks, we shrug off our birthright. Human bodies do wonderful things all the time, not just when Pilobolus performs, not just for a few days every four years at an Olympics.

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We live in an abundant playhouse of sound that rewards the best hearing we can apply. We need to attend to the artistic experiences throughout our lives, not just at tickets-only events. We all have a natural knowledge of the processes and perspectives that artists use, even if we have not focused our efforts on developing these skills the way artists have.

Yes, maybe you sing like a squawking crow, and you might think contrapposto is an Italian sidedish; but you certainly have expertise about what sounds and tastes and feels good. You may not be trained for center stage leaping, but you have made many beautiful things with that body of yours, like: dives into the deep end and waltzes on the dancefloor; like charades clues and wedding choreography. You have entertained others by performing clever impersonations.