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ART discussion tonight

From: Jeff G
Sent on: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 8:36 AM

I've updated this Meetup. For more details, see the full listing:

When: Tuesday, August 7,[masked]:15 PM

Where: Au Coquelet,
2000 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94701


Extra credit:-):  bring an actual object de art that will lend focus to some idea (might not turn out to be yours, but so what).  Something you can hold in your hand that everyone can see easily.
I'm expecting a good turnout, which is fine because this topic is particularly "scalable."  Arriving early (or at least on time) will give you a chance to write down some questions on cards, meet people, eat, and claim enough space for all.
The philosophy of art is a slippery theme, but it may be the kind of subject that a loosely-organized group like ours can address productively.  For starters, I'm pretty sure there is no accepted academic stance on what art "is" or what it is "for."  And I suggest you not search for one, because we are more interested in what [i]your[/i] experience of art is than what some "authority" says. 

Perhaps you feel art has a very small place in your life:  you work, then you socialize or watch TV.  But TV is art–perhaps not "high art," but we won't limit ourselves to what has been put on a pedestal.  And time with friends often involves outings to concerts, movies, or stores–all venues where "taste" reigns.  Even in sports and technology, "artfulness" highlights choices as better than merely functional.  Plus you yourself may be a maker of arts (or "crafts").  Are we all not expected to be artistic in creating our Facebook pages?  (Aren't we all supposed to have tattoos, too?) The modern world is inundated with more art than at any other time in history:  surely, we have enough experience to have an opinion about it!

So be alert for examples of art in your everyday life that might be useful to examine closely.  When you find one that doesn't immediately suggest a question, [u]try looking back on our previous themes to see how art may be entangled in them[/u].  Supporting roles are important here.  Over the last few meetings, we have gravitated toward a model where we discuss each attendee's suggested topic to get a stronger feel for what is bugging him/her, which then helps us relate the various topics to one another before making a second pass.  In discussing art, I particularly want to canvass as broad an area as possible:  we are explorers mapping a new territory for philosophy!  So [u]bring multiple topic questions if you can[/u], because interpreting the group's collection is going to reveal a lot of how we feel about art.

As usual, we will start the meeting no later than 7:30, so come early to get your coffee and chat with the new folks.  Also I've tweaked the warm-ups to emphasize fun and brainstorming.

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