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Sociology of Art

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Created: February 1, 2002
Latest Update: July 10, 2003

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Art as Sociology; Art as Understanding

Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individaul Authors, February 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

This essay is based on Rudolf Arnheim's The Split and the Structure. University of California Press. 1996. ISBN: 0-520-20478-6 (pbk). I just picked it up yesterday, and I couldn't resist sharing some of the phrases that caught my attention.

Already in the Foreward I knew that we needed to include this text in our discussions. Arnheim explains the use of "structure" in the title:

"Since polemical complaints about what is wrong are not my favorite response to the world, most of the essays explore the nature of structure affirmatively: how it comes about, what is the nature of its incentives and objectives, and how it celibrates perfection. I am trying to show how artists grope for structure to shape powerful and enlightening images and how the scientists' search for truth is a search for structure."

Notice that a good writer tells you what he wants to accomplish: "I am trying to show . . ." See Women and AIDS and Africa in which Jolie Gibbs tells us why the topic of AIDS matters to her.

. . .

Then cite section where he tells us that learning is not just a collection of facts, a la trivial pursuit. Cf. to Freire's "banking education."