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TOK- Art As An Area of Knowledge

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Dasha Iskakova

on 1 May 2014

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Transcript of TOK- Art As An Area of Knowledge

The Uses of the Arts
personal expression
knowledge claims
Judging Art
performing arts
culinary arts
visual arts
Art and Knowledge
So, What is "art"?
The three most agreed on criteria are:
the artist's intentions
the audience's reaction
the quality of the piece
There are often stereotypes on what ways of knowing are employed in the arts.

Quite frequently, "reason" is excluded.

Reason allows us to make general connections in art with everyday life.
Let's play a game!
Which of the objects in the following three slides could be considered as art pieces ?

The Arts as an Area of Knowledge
Reason is not the only, or the
most important
There are 3 main theories about the nature of art:
1. art as imitation
2. art as communication
3. art as education
by: Adam Mesa, Nadia Ciobanu,
and Dasha Iskakova

The Mona Lisa

This fancy looking cake
A graph on a graphing calculator.
(I cropped the picture a bit)
Feel hungry yet?
I counted 4.
They were:
The Mona Lisa
Cropped version of the Mona Lisa
The cake
The graph on the calculator
Silent vote
We are going to call out numbers, raise your hand if that was the number of times you saw 'art' in the past three slides.


Cover your eyes!!!
How is "cropping" a piece of art, in itself, an art?
This is how.
Personal Expression
Crying Lightly- Patrick Palmer
Mind- Julien Bacelon
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together- Taylor Swift
"We're off to discover new universes"
Knowledge Claims
discreet or overt criticism of society and regimes
artists encouraging the audience to see their point of view/vision
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
1970 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature
Ways of Knowing Employed in The Arts
Interested vs Disinterested Opinions
interested opinions take into account individual taste
disinterested opinions go beyond preferences
Psychological Factors
most people have the same (specific) reactions to different sounds or scenes
Art as imitation
purpose of art is to copy reality
put into question with the invention of the camera
creative reinterpretation

Komar and Melamid
first study on art preferences
polled 1001 average Americans of diverse background
Art as communication
language of art
explore the breath and depth of human experience
"Art can amplify man's short time on this earth by enabling him to receive from another the whole range of someone's lifelong experiences with all their problems, colours and flavours. Art recreates in flesh experiences that have been lived by other men, and enables people to absorb them as if they were their own."
-Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist
Art as education
moral and educative role
influence people's lives
develop ethics
Cultural Differences
artistic tastes of differ greatly around the world
self-expression varies greatly from one culture to another
Nigerian Sculpture (left)
Chinese Sculpture (right)
Knowledge Question
What are the justifications and implications of claiming that there are absolute standards for good art, or that the only standard for good art is individual taste?
Adam's Opinion
I believe that the quality of art is all about the reaction of the audience to the piece of art.

If no one likes a piece of art, they are less likely to recommend it to their friends.
Nadia's Opinion
anything can be good art (depends on perspective and upbringing)
standards are created by culture and society and can be changed at any time

Dasha's Opinion
There ARE absolute standards for good art- such as composition, key or color scheme
The quality of the piece, and the artist's tasteful decisions should define the art's work
Kazimir Malevich
Supremacist Composition (1916)
worth- $60 million USD
Certain ways of knowing:
Sense perception, emotion, memory, and intuition are vital, are in some cases inseparable from the creation of works of art.
Black Square (1915)
worth- approx. $1 million USD
Shaping Art
How will a work of art differ if the artists are using a different language as the medium?
All of the art pieces recently shown were picked by the same person. Does this problematize the whole concept of self-expression? Explain why or why not.
Language Changes How We Think
Why is it so common for governments to spread propaganda through art, the visual arts in particular?
"destroy the old world,
create a new one"
Language expresses the concepts and ideas we are capable of visualizing.

A person would not have an easy time expressing ideas or concepts that do not exist in their own language
In your opinion does someone have the right
to judge another person's art? Explain.
-artist wants to communicate something to the audience
-not "random" or practical
-intention of pleasing or provoking (asthetic)

Criticism of the intention criterion
-intention is not enough to separate trash from art
-"My Bed" by Tracey Emin was exhibited in London in 1999 and bought for $250 000
-not just anybody can be a good artist (must reflect skill)
-talent and training are required
-content and form
-a good art piece should have a balance of both
Criticism of the quality criterion
Kitsch: "A Peaceful Retreat" by Thomas Kinkade
Little technical skill: "Green White" by Ellsworth Kelly (sold for $1.6 million)
-a work of art needs an appreciative audience to complete it
-pointless otherwise (no communication)
"Starry Night" by Vincent Van Gogh
Criticism of the reaction criterion
-general public prefers the familiar to the strange
-many works of art considered great today were considered trash when they first came out
What, in your opinion, is the most reliable criterion for deciding if an object is art?
A Critical Perspective
There are four 'main' perspectives on the arts:
Emphasis on the artist
Emphasis on the artwork itself
Emphasis on the audience
Emphasis on the natural world / context of society.
Emphasis on the Artist
A 'critic' would look at:
Artist's intentions
The artist's own views on their art
The creative process
Pablo Picasso - 1937
Emphasis on the artwork
A 'critic' would look at:
Focus / Centering / Proportions
Tone and color
These compositional rules change for
every area of the arts.
Emphasis on the audience
A 'critic' would look at:
Teach the audience
Emotional Response
Inspire the audience to embrace beliefs
Expose social problems and Injustices
Emphasis on the
Natural World/Context of Society
A 'critic' would look at:
It's role in tradition
It's role as a historical artifact
How well it 'captures' life in a specific time frame.
Become a critic!
Evaluate the artwork below through the four perspectives!
Mr. Sutherland is the 'base' (2) - what does this imply?
What is your opinion? Can there be absolute standards for good art, or does it depend on individual taste?
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