Art As Experience: Book Club #2 | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios | Summary and Q&A

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May 14, 2015
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The Art Assignment
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Art As Experience: Book Club #2 | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios

TL;DR

John Dewey's book "Art As Experience" explores the importance of art as an integrated part of human life and its transformative power.

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Key Insights

  • 🏈 John Dewey was an important philosopher in American pragmatism and had a significant impact on education.
  • 🥰 "Art As Experience" argues that art should not be separated from everyday life and that experiencing art is an active process.
  • 🥰 Dewey criticizes the removal of art from communities and its confinement in museums.
  • 🥰 The book explores the transformative power of art and its ability to shape human experiences.
  • 🥰 Dewey's ideas challenge traditional notions of art and its role in society.
  • 🥰 He emphasizes the importance of the esthetic experience and active engagement with art.
  • 🥋 Dewey's philosophy is inclusive of all art forms and does not separate them into distinct categories.

Transcript

OK, folks, I was about 20 pages into our current book club read, John Dewey's "Art As Experience," when I realized that very few of you were actually going to read this book. Yeah, because it is impenetrable. So we're not going to pretend that you actually read this. Instead, this is going to be the most awesome kind of book club where we read the ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the main idea of "Art As Experience" by John Dewey?

The main idea is that art is not just the artwork itself, but the experience and interaction with it. It is about how art integrates into everyday life and the transformative power it holds.

Q: How does Dewey critique the separation of art from everyday life?

Dewey blames imperialism, war, and capitalism for removing art from its communities and putting it in museums. He argues that isolating art in this way makes it less interesting and inaccessible to the majority of people.

Q: How does Dewey define an art experience?

Dewey suggests that an art experience is any experience that has unity and closure. However, he also acknowledges that art can acknowledge the fractured and open-ended nature of human experience.

Q: What does Dewey say about the esthetic and its relationship to art?

Dewey differentiates the esthetic from the artistic. The esthetic refers to the experience of appreciation, perception, and enjoyment of art. It is about the consumer's standpoint rather than the producer's. Art requires receptive engagement, but it is not passive.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • John Dewey was an influential philosopher in American pragmatism, particularly in the field of education.

  • "Art As Experience" was published in 1934 and discusses the role of art and its connection to human life.

  • Dewey argues that art should not be separated from everyday life and that experiencing art is an active and participatory process.

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