ERIC Number: ED186299
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a New Aesthetic. Occasional Paper No. 12. Curriculum, Media & Instruction.
The essay argues that current artistic practices reflect a dated formalistic aesthetic, and that the hermeneutic-phenomenological position, although superior to the formalist approach, is limited. (Hermeneutics is a study of the methodological principles of interpretation; phenomenology is an ethnographic, historical, and/or crosscultural analysis of a phenomenon.) A new aesthetic direction is proposed. The author identifies three deep anthropological interests which characterize man: the interest in controlling an objectified environmental world; in communication, characterized by the hermeneutic-phenomenological sciences; and in emancipatory self-reflection. An historical overview proves that the development of Western art reflects man's need to control his environment. This"scientific formalistic aesthetic" exists at the expense of the other two interests. Hermeneutics and phenomenology have provided new stimulus for research in art education since the mid 1800s by recognizing man as an historical, cultural, and valuing creature. However, emphasis is given to the selection, mediation, and interpretation of aesthetic information, minimizing man's most important achievement -- the active shaping and modification of himself and the environment. Thus, a new direction, praxiology, is preferred. The approach is characterized by a political and moral commitment which is in a state of constant antagonism with reality. The praxiological artist must be a critical philosopher who creates visual discourse which raises the viewer's sensitivity to the reality of the human environment. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alberta Univ., Edmonton. Faculty of Education.