Abstract: This paper is inspired by the manuscript of Philip Kitcher’s forthcoming book Deaths in Venice: The Cases of Gustav von Aschenbach, in which he offers a brilliant, philosophically inspired reading of Thomas Mann’s novel, as well as his views on the relationship between literature and philosophy. One of Kitcher’s claims, which is my starting point, is that philosophy can be done not only by philosophers but also within some art forms, such as literature and music. Within the literary text, Kitcher claims, philosophy lies in the showing and the text can influence the way readers think and perceive the world. Due to this claim, I see Kitcher as pertaining to the group of literary cognitivists. He offers some powerful arguments in support of the cognitive value of literature, although his approach is substantially different from the arguments usually put forward in defence of literary cognitivism. In this paper, my aim is twofold: firstly, I want to analyse the relationship between philosophy and literature with the aim of showing that despite some overlap between the two disciplines, we have to keep them separate. Secondly, I want to explore what ramifications this has for literary cognitivism.
Arts2014, 3(4), 394-406; doi:10.3390/arts3040394 - published 11 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper addresses auto-destructive artworks by Jean Tinguely, Homage to New York (1960) and Study for an End of the World No. 2 (1962), to explore a changing consciousness of time in a period of technological transition from modern industrial machines towards the domestication of televisual devices. One effect of these is works is a contribution to a turbulent consciousness of time by orchestrating new perceptions of temporality with mechanical and tele-communicational media. Tinguely’s kineticism is useful for articulating how different technologies can be used to rationalize time in different ways and highlight an incompatibility between the expression of time as an unfolding duration with mechanical media, and the temporal demands of televisual broadcast media.
Arts2014, 3(4), 367-393; doi:10.3390/arts3040367 - published 11 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Affordances necessary for the making of hand traces in the form of stencils and prints—primarily the availability of pigment and a suitable surface—bear on our understanding of their emergence as early exograms. Matters relating to the question of how pigment was/is applied, the placement and embellishment of images, the procurement and preparation of ochre, and the selecting and priming of surfaces, are discussed here—as well as the intriguing occurrence of variant hands. Advantage is taken of Australia’s position as a zone of ongoing hand-marking practice to suggest what can be learned from ethnography. Finally, avenues for future research are proposed with a view to opening out a discussion of external information storage possibilities in relation to hand traces.
Arts2014, 3(4), 350-366; doi:10.3390/arts3040350 - published 14 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In some discourses on sustainability, modernism in architecture is blamed for its technocratic beliefs that supposedly generated a lot of the social and environmental problems the world is facing today. At the same time, many architectural critics seem to be convinced that the present call for sustainability with its “green buildings”, is but another screen behind which well-known old power structures hide. In this paper, we react to these viewpoints in different ways. First we clarify the issues that are haunting current architectural discourses by unraveling the logics behind the viewpoints of the critics of the “environmental doctrine” on the one hand and the technical environmentalists on the other hand. We will offer, secondly, a new framing to these debates by relying upon the modal sphere theory of the Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. This new framing will allow us to reconnect, thirdly, with the discourse of modernism, which, we will argue, is all too often conflated with a technocratic paradigm—a partial, incomplete and even misleading representation. In conclusion, we present a different framing of modernism, which allows understanding of it as a multilayered and multifaceted response to the challenges of modernity, a response that formulated a series of ideals that are not so far removed from the ideals formulated today by many advocates of sustainability. We are, thus, suggesting that the sustainability discourse should be conceived as a more mature and revised version of the paradigm of modernism, rather than its absolute counterpoint.
Arts2014, 3(3), 335-349; doi:10.3390/arts3030335 - published 8 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: From the perspective of a specialist in environmental health and as a son of an architectural and architectural photography innovator, the author of this essay reviews the ways that photographers approach architecture. It argues that the Internet and digital technology should be used to document how architecture accommodates what clients do and how they interact as well as documenting brief esthetic experiences in and around architecture.