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TOK: Art as an AOK

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on 24 November 2014

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Transcript of TOK: Art as an AOK

Personal Connection
Reason for Choosing: first abstract artwork I encountered in middle school

Why Do I Like It?:
Very unique & unconventional
Not beautiful
Has intellectual message
Aristotle: art that shows terrible things is valuable. It allows catharsis (we release
our emotions) and it lets us experience indirectly (vicariously) a range of situations

Plato: art should be ethical. Unethical art that is disgusting or shows bad moral behavior should be banned.

Another Art
Applying the Definition
Can they be seen as expression of creative skill?

Is it fair to call some works as "art"?
Or are they just some pieces of "junk"?
So... Is that an art or just a beauty?
Some people: YES!
Expresses the artist's intention

Other people: THAT'S NO NO!
Irreverence to art
TOK: Art as an AOK

TOK ART Case Study
Name: Fountain (1917)

Artist: Marcel Duchamp

What is this..?:
A porcelain urinal signed "R.Mutt" and titled Fountain
First displayed in Alfred Stieglitz's studio
Associated with Dadaism

Definition of Beauty
Objective approach: beauty is in the object itself and judgments about it may be objectively valid (Shared)

Subjective approach: beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes – it is just what pleases the observer (Personal)
Jeong-Won Tak
Different Kinds of Art

Art: very subjective
Different opinions on "art"
Other Kinds of Art

the expression of creative skill through a visual medium such as painting or sculpture.

the product of such a process; paintings, drawings, and sculpture collectively.

the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, and drama.

subjects of study primarily concerned with human culture (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects)
Definition of Art?
Jackson Pollock's Art
<Convergence - Jackson Pollock>
<Convergence - Random Baby>
This is also called an "art" piece
Another "Art" Piece...
Objective (Shared) View
Subjective (Personal) View
Area of Knowing

Ethical relativism
: no kind of action that is
always, everywhere and for everyone right or wrong

People's beliefs, attitudes, tastes, etc. are significantly affected by their culture - and people in different cultures have very different beliefs, attitudes, tastes, etc.

Ethical universalism
: some (at least one) kind of action that is always, everywhere and for everyone right or wrong.

Relativism VS Universalism
Way of Knowing

Does this art provoke people's "emotions"?

Are emotions important to your understanding of the subject?
Rationalization: "Fountain" is just a toilet and its an insult to art
Fallacious Reasoning & Generalization

Intellectual (involving contemplation)

"The artist is a not great creator—Duchamp went shopping at a plumbing store. The artwork is not a special object—it was mass-produced in a factory. The experience of art is not exciting and ennobling—at best it is puzzling and mostly leaves one with a sense of distaste. But over and above that, Duchamp did not select just any ready-made object to display. In selecting the urinal, his message was clear: Art is something you piss on." -
philosopher Stephen Hicks
by Du Champs

Readymades art work

Attack on the iconic Mona Lisa and traditional art, thus promoting the Dadaism
Full transcript