13 December 2009

in response to Bill

Are there morals and standards within news that should be followed on a daily basis and if so, why?

As a journalism major, I've studied such topics in my classes. Most news stations take a political lean, despite it being against journalism ethics. Whether the news organization is pressured by advertisers, politicians, or other any sort of outside pressure, it usually boils down to money.

I was admittedly naive before I took the journalism ethics class. I truthfully thought that news was gospel, and not to be disputed, but it has become obvious, especially after 9/11, that news has behind-the-scenes motivators.

Fox News boasts an impressive cast that is repeatedly accused of frightening the public and skewing their news to fit a Republican standard. Whether it's Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, or that gem Glenn Beck, Fox News is definitely not "fair and balanced."

Journalists have a "code of ethics" that they're supposed to follow while delivering the news. In a perfect world, the public would be delivered unbiased, ethically sound, complete news stories, but I really don't think that can ever happen. I think that the public should be completely informed, without censorship, but again, I feel as if it's something that once again is merely a wish, and not a possibility in the world that we live in today.

mona lisa's moustache

I read Mona Lisa's Moustache for the book review and the author, Mary Settegast, did not try to answer the question of "what is art", but rather discuss why there isn't a definition and why she doesn't believe that one can ever be reached.

The world has witnessed drastic change within the last hundred years or so. There has been an apparent breakdown of structure and form within every aspect of life. People dress differently, worship differently, and interact differently. Therefore, Settegast finds it obvious and understandable that no solidified definition of art has been obtained because even some of the simplest things in life have no solid definition.

Mary Settegast interweaves art with the breakdown of other aspects of life to explain why it would be difficult and negative to set out to build new boundaries by definition of everything.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s specifically, the boundaries between high culture and pop culture continued to dissolve, as did the boundaries between categories of art. Today’s art world tries to be defined or characterized by the “exuberant use of all modes to explode any and all definitions of a genre”. With virtually no restriction on methods or materials, wacky exploitation of methods and materials, especially with modern art, continue to mock and sabotage any attempt to distinguish art into formal categories, let alone try to find a formalized definition.

None of the revolutionary artists that have come before us originally set out to change the world. They each just simply worked and questioned boundaries to find truth of individuality through their art. With that came artistic change. The dissolution of the boundaries that used to exist in the world is actually opening up opportunity for self-realization. The forms of art that have evolved are a pattern of movement and change that is necessary.

Does anyone agree with Settegast? Does the breakdown of boundaries across the board a valid reason for why art is not definable?

05 December 2009

Candidates for the Presidential Election 2008

Since we were talking about the candidates for art, it turned into who actually was running for President in 2008, so I looked it up since it was interesting.

Obviously, Barack Obama and John McCain for the Democratic and Republican parties respectfully, and Ralph Nader for the Independents, but the rest are quite interesting.

Bob Barr- Libertarian
Cynthia McKinney- Green Party
Chuck Baldwin- Constitution Party
Alan Keyes- American Independent
Gloria La Riva- Socialism & Liberation Party
Brian Moore- Socialist, Vermont Liberty Union
Roger Calero- Socialist Workers
Charles Jay- Boston Tea Party
Thomas Stevens- Objectivist
Gene Amondson- Prohibition Party
Jeffrey Wamboldt- We the People Party
Lanakila Washington- Humanistic Party
Ted Weill/Frank McEnulty- Reform Party
Jerry White/Bill Van Auken- Socialist Equality Party
Cody Judy- Conservative Independent
John Joseph Polachek-New Party
Bradford Lyttle-United States Pacifist Party
... just to name a few.

NOTE: The KKK did not have a candidate, they endorsed John McCain. I'm sure he was thrilled.

1) Given the amount of money and energy it takes to start a campaign, why do you think these people run? Since the odds are against them, what motivates them? Is it just to spread their opinions and hope for a few followers?

Dickie, a disappointment?

I was really excited to read Dickie's explanation of who is entitled to belong in the artworld, but after reading, I was so disappointed and frustrated. I thought that some answers, or maybe just deeper insight, was going to finally surface, but once again, I was left with more questions than answers.
I found that Dickie’s discussion of who belonged in the artworld was quite inclusive. In the book, Dickie first lists: “artists (painters, writers, composers), producers, museum directors, museum-goers, theater-goers, reporters for newspapers, critics for publications of all sorts, art historians, art theorists, philosophers of art, and others.”
I feel as if this list of the worthy people of the art world was a cop-out. It’s as if he didn’t want to offend anyone or leave any of his friends out of consideration. I agree with most, but have a problem with museum-goers, theater-goers, reporters, the inclusion of “all sorts” after critics, and how Dickie slipped in “others” at the end. Sure most museum and theater enthusiasts might be informed enough to be included into the artworld, but I’m not sure all of them belong, at least when you’re thinking of the elite artworld Danto described.
Although Dickie goes on and describes that a theatre-goer must have a broad knowledge and understanding of theatre, I still feel as if all that he listed is too broad. He then goes on to include that “every member who sees himself as a member of the artworld” shall be. There is, understandably, not a governing body that decides who does and does not belong, but Dickie, in my opinion, did not spell out any concrete guidelines for us to consider. He basically includes everyone if they feel so inclined or so worthy of such membership.

1) It seems as if Dickie's article has no concrete answers. Was Dickie aiming to please?

18 November 2009


The “distinguished members of the art world” seems a little elitist of Danto, but it makes sense. Such people have earned their elitism and are deserving of the title.

Is elitism a bad thing, or does it just have a bad connotation? I feel as if the honor society is a elite group full of students who strive to do their best for four years here at the College. Of course, my non-honor student friends think it's a little elite that we get our own study house, and special tassles and ribbons for graduation, but don't we deserve it? They could've joined this elite group too if they wanted.

I believe that being "elite" is just striving to be the best, and achieving it, whether in sports, school, or the "art world". Being elite isn't a bad thing, as long as snobbishness or an air of distasteful arrogance doesn't follow.

Why does being "elite" have negative connotations? Is believing you are "elite" snobby and rude? or is it deserving?

the "is" of artistic identification

Danto introduces a third “is”, the “is” of artistic identification. This is serves as a judgment of distinguishable properties of artwork. This is doesn’t describe the piece, it serves as an evaluation and interpretation.
This “is” of artistic identification is also different in that Danto claims it can only be used by distinguished members of the art world. Distinguished members are those who know not only the history of art, but have also studied art theory. Supposedly, knowledge of art history and theories allow for a more educated judgment of the piece in question. Such judgment can only be passed with proper studying, therefore only by a member of the “art world”.

I have mentioned all along that I don’t feel entitled to pass judgment on art, so maybe Danto has a point with this "art world" business. The only problem I have is how to judge when someone belongs in the “art world” club. Can they be included by only studying art history and theory and be totally inept at creating art themselves? Or vice versa, can they be naturally skilled at art and able to create beautiful art, but have no interest in studying art history and theory?

15 November 2009

Resonse to Fay's blog: solipsism 10.29

Do we all experience art uniquely from one another?

Fay’s blog entry on solipsism is an interesting concept. Of course we all have the idea of what certain feelings are but I strongly believe that no one experiences them all the same. The same goes for art. Everyone can appreciate something, but aside from appreciation, everyone feels differently about it. Love it, hate it, or have no opinion at all, I don’t think it’s possible for everyone to feel the exact same way.I think solipsism is also a good reason of why some things upset others more than someone else, since we all feel differently, and we all have experienced life differently up to that point. Maybe no one really does know how you're feeling when they say they do!