Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Final Thoughts.

"If I were forced to state what I take to be the most general underlying theme of the present book, it would be this ability to communicate" (Scharfstein 432).

In the last selection we read of Open Aesthetics, Scharfstein seems to contradict himself.  By making seven points as too support his idea of a universal aesthetics, Scharfstein points out several inconsistencies across cultures as to where values are placed.  For instance Scharfstein says that the literary arts are considered the most esteemed, excluding non-Islamic Africa and the Western world.  That made me consider as to whether the idea of a universal aesthetic was really possible.  However the above quote and the ideas laid out in Scharfstein's section "Final thoughts," led me to believe that those points lay out how different cultures go about communicating ideas about spirituality, individuality, and the intellectual capacity of people, as well as the general beliefs and values of a culture or nation as a whole.  In this regard, I believe Scharfstein to generally follow a central tenet of traditionalists as Coomeraswamy spends a large portion of time also talks about this central traditionalist motif of communication.

In relation to Coomeraswamy's article, and the discussion that was led today concerning the defunding of orchaestras around the United States, what is the current standing of art today?  Both in the article shared by Prof. Langguth, the writing of Coomeraswamy, and even the commentary of Robert Hughes, modern art is criticized by these men as lacking communicative properties.  Rather modern art, serves to evoke a reaction of emotion rather than a thought out response or a conversation between the viewers.  Although this is not always the case, what is the ratio of what can be considered as true art, versus the reactionary modes of what some argue to be the imitations of art.

Furthermore, the article further demonstrates the devaluing of art that isn't profitable, which is true.  Prior to college, I had only been to the Cincinnati Art Museum once and my exposure to other visual art institutions was very limited.  I was never educated as to the importance of classical music.  If I was to listen to the piece of Beethoven today, I would never be able to distinguish it as his work.  I am only now coming to a fuller appreciation of art.  Since last year, I have been to the Cincinnati Art Museum several times, and always look forward to visits there, as well as any art gallery or other artistic institution.  Yet how can we further the education of the general public of the resources of growing in aesthetic appreciation?  Whenever I have gone to the CAM, I find the majority of exhibit empty, and I am usually rushed while I am there.  I have never been able to wander through the museum aimlessly, or sit don't and enjoy the music provided by a quartet of classical players.  What do we nee to change about the current society in which we live to be more fully dedicated or involved in the arts?

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