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ERIC Number: ED208439
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Artistic Experiment: How and Why Do Artists Do It?
Stockwell, John C.
This paper makes six assertions concerning the artist as experimenter and the means by which artists progress from experiment to experiment. (1) The family resemblances typically cited between the arts and the sciences are trivial, tend to be wish-fulfilling analyses of the common logic of art and science, and promise more than they can deliver. (2) The common denominator that does link art and science is the fact that successive works of the artist are products of experimentation that, as with the scientist's experimental testing of specific hypotheses, represent the undertaking of acts of inquiry. (3) Artistic conceptions, as with scientific hypotheses, are drawn deductively from formal or informal theory. (4) The results of the artist's experimentation reflect in kind upon the artist's theory as does the scientist's confirmation or disconfirmation of hypotheses. (5) The primary focus of evaluation of the artist's work is upon the experimental product itself, the artifact, with limited concern for its theoretic implications. (6) The nature of "progress" in art differs from the nature of "progress" in sciences as a function of the differential focus of critical evaluation: in art the focus is upon the artifact as a unit of achievement, while in science the focus is on the solution of a problem and clarification of theory as the unit of achievement. (RL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Theatre Association (Dallas, TX, August 9-12, 1981).