Friday, October 31, 2008
A Note to The Conceptual Aesthetic
If a requirement of art is the aesthetic experience then certainly it is understood that art theorists and philosophers have attempted to define this experience. My concern here is not to elaborate on this definition, only to note that in my perception of the times of which I am a part, and perhaps throughout the past, that certain men and women have taken pleasure in the experience of conceptualization. This emotional response to the formulation of concepts and the process of conceptualization I consider to be at some level an aesthetic experience as well as inherently human. Considering this I am turned to recognize a vast arena of activity that may well be removed from the field of visual aesthetics but stands to elucidate the overwhelming interest in certain areas of the arts, namely the conceptual arts and the portion of visual arts extending into history that supply the viewer with some concept-knowledge that desires to be contemplated and resolved, such as a problem is to be solved. This domain of the aesthetic experience I refer to as the ‘conceptual aesthetic’ and attribute some portion of its attractiveness and existence to the region of the human mind that profits from learning and knowledge. It can certainly be ruled by the assumed extension of the philosophy of aesthetics that man has an innate desire to learn and that this can be represented in and throughout the experience of art. I cannot act as the voice for another man but I can certainly profess my own experience of this attraction. I have for some time now, so far into my history that I cannot recall its origin, taken pleasure and perhaps even pain form my own insatiable desire for this experience; the experience of the conceptual aesthetic. I profess here only that I recognize this experience of conceptual engagement as being bound to the idea of the aesthetic experience as I know it to exist. I also find it helpful in finding validity in the practice of art, as well as the source of some valuable function, which I will hardly describe here, that facilitates in my own experience of learning and of the purely emotional response of reverence towards the greater aesthetic experience of art and life.