Ellen Stuttle

Michelle Marder Kamhi's "Who Says That's Art?"

Recommended Posts

http://www.openculture.com/2015/12/immanuel-kants-life-philosophy-introduced-in-a-short-monty-python-style-animation.html

 

 

Kant lived in a time when “the identifying feature of his age was its growing secularism.” De Botton contends that while Kant welcomed the decline of traditional religion, he also feared the consequences; as “a pessimist about human character,” Kant “believed that we are by nature intensely prone to corruption.” His solution was to “replace religious authority with the authority of reason.” The project occupied all of Kant’s career, from his work on political philosophy to that on aesthetics in the Critique of Pure Judgment. And though philosophers have for centuries had difficulty making Kant’s ethics work, his dense, difficult writing has nevertheless occupied a central place in Western thought. In his defense of the authority of reason, Kant provided us with one of the most comprehensive means for understanding how exactly human reason works—and for recognizing its many limitations.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier on this thread we had discussed the Rolling Stones' Paint it Black. Last night, while watching Sunday night football, I saw a commercial for Call of Duty: Black Ops III which includes the song. It's all action and adventure, just as I had described the effects of the music on me and others. So, obviously, the advertising people who put the clip together were "objectively" wrong, just like I was, and were "rationalizing" what they took the song to express.

Here's the clip:

J

Honestly though, that's one of the worlds most awesome songs. Seriously!

I've loved it since I could remember, and my dad used to play in i his car whenever we went somewhere (he's of the generation where The Stones where something new).

Speaking of art though, have you guys seen much of what good advertising studios put out? Because, that stuff is so fucking mindblowiningly impressive. Imagine having, say, one minute of video where you have to put in great dramaturgy, music and visual to directly sell whatever product it is you have.

I don't think most people reflect over it, but for those of us with a little bit of art background and insight into the business it's so incredibly impressive.

A few years ago, in school, we actually did a small comcercial for a big toy company. Everyone was really happy and proud about it, but despite our best efforts it got rejected. If I remember correctly it was because it did not sell the product fast enough - we failed to hook any potential costumers right away. And they were, of course, complete right.

I believe that today you'll find the greatest artists in the enterainment industry or advertising. There's so much incredible talent in these fields, and they're just growing bigger and bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan,

Call of Duty?

Ha!

I'm in a weird mood, so I can almost see someone arguing that "Paint it Black" is used for that movie by twisting around a Randian argument against Kant, that the song is suitable because the movie is premised Kant's moral elevation of duty qua duty--just look at the title!

Black = duty = death premise and so on...

:)

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brant writes:

For me the song works with a Vietnam video.

For me the song only worked when I was in Vietnam. :wink:

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan,

Call of Duty?

Ha!

I'm in a weird mood, so I can almost see someone arguing that "Paint it Black" is used for that movie by twisting around a Randian argument against Kant, that the song is suitable because the movie is premised Kant's moral elevation of duty qua duty--just look at the title!

Black = duty = death premise and so on...

:smile:

Michael

Oh yeah. Rand made "duty" into a dirty word, so if you use it even in the context of someone's having chosen a profession which includes certain duties, I'm sure many of her dumber followers would still have fits over the word. It's like the word "subjective." Some of Rand's followers seem to want to believe that it always means something bad, and therefore they never have subjective responses. It's amazing how irrational some of them can be in acting out of duty to Rand.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier on this thread we had discussed the Rolling Stones' Paint it Black. Last night, while watching Sunday night football, I saw a commercial for Call of Duty: Black Ops III which includes the song. It's all action and adventure, just as I had described the effects of the music on me and others. So, obviously, the advertising people who put the clip together were "objectively" wrong, just like I was, and were "rationalizing" what they took the song to express.

Here's the clip:

J

Honestly though, that's one of the worlds most awesome songs. Seriously!

I've loved it since I could remember, and my dad used to play in i his car whenever we went somewhere (he's of the generation where The Stones where something new).

Speaking of art though, have you guys seen much of what good advertising studios put out? Because, that stuff is so fucking mindblowiningly impressive. Imagine having, say, one minute of video where you have to put in great dramaturgy, music and visual to directly sell whatever product it is you have.

I don't think most people reflect over it, but for those of us with a little bit of art background and insight into the business it's so incredibly impressive.

A few years ago, in school, we actually did a small comcercial for a big toy company. Everyone was really happy and proud about it, but despite our best efforts it got rejected. If I remember correctly it was because it did not sell the product fast enough - we failed to hook any potential costumers right away. And they were, of course, complete right.

I believe that today you'll find the greatest artists in the enterainment industry or advertising. There's so much incredible talent in these fields, and they're just growing bigger and bigger.

Totally!

And that's an area where I disagree with Rand and her followers. Art can serve utilitarian purposes in addition to being art.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been enjoying jousting with Kamhi on her blog, under the post titled Jousting with Mark Rothko’s Son.

Heh. I don't think that she's enjoying it so much, since she's begun to dodge and evade, and has deleted a post of mine with the complaint that it was too long and that it digressed from the topic at hand (her criticism of Rothko's theory).

I agree that my post was long-winded, but its points were anything but a digression. Instead, they went straight to the heart of the matter.

I've condensed my criticisms and challenges from that post, and reposted the concise version to her blog's comments section. Hopefully she'll leave it up this time and provide some answers.

Just in case she takes it down, here's the post:

Quote

Ah, I see. A post of mine was deleted for being too long-winded. My apologies. Please allow me to condense my criticisms/challenges as concisely as I can:

1. If your argument does not boil down to your basing your claims of others’ “depth of meaningful response” on nothing but your own personal lack of response, then please identify the objective method that you’ve used to scientifically measure others’ depth-of-meaning responses to the art forms in which you personally experience little or no depth-of-meaning.

2. Please post the data and results of such objective testing methods and experiments so that we may analyze and review the research, weight its merits, and criticize any potential errors.

3. Please reveal experiments in which you’ve tested people’s ability to identify "artists’ meanings” in works of art which you have accepted as validly qualifying as art by your own criteria. Please objectively demonstrate that any work of alleged art has been objectively shown to comply with your criteria. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve tested many Objectivists with representational paintings, and none, so far, has succeeded in identifying “artist’s meanings.” Have your tests yielded better results?

4. You suggest that, since some viewers “misread" Rothko’s intentions with his art, then it therefore surely indicates that there was something wanting in his approach. In the deleted post of mine, I identified ways in which people have interpreted Rand’s The Fountainhead much differently than she intended, and they did so based on the objectively identifiably content in the novel (Roark’s violating his own morality by working on a project to which he is morally opposed, his conspiring to commit the fraud of passing off his work as someone else’s in order to subvert the rights of the owners to not hire him, his presenting the false and irrational argument in court that a contract that he did not have with the owners was violated by them when the reality was that he actively hid his involvement in the project from them, etc.).  Applying your own method that you just used on Rothko, shouldn’t we conclude that people’s “misreading” of Rand’s intentions also “surely indicate that there was something wanting in [her] approach [to literary/aesthetic theory]”? 

Again, I apologize for the length of the deleted post.

Jonathan Smith

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahahaha!!!!

As soon as I finished posting the above, I went back to Kamhi's blog and discovered that my post had been deleted.

Pitiful.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Jonathan said:

I've been enjoying jousting with Kamhi on her blog, under the post titled Jousting with Mark Rothko’s Son.

Heh. I don't think that she's enjoying it so much, since she's begun to dodge and evade, and has deleted a post of mine with the complaint that it was too long and that it digressed from the topic at hand (her criticism of Rothko's theory).

I agree that my post was long-winded, but its points were anything but a digression. Instead, they went straight to the heart of the matter.

I've condensed my criticisms and challenges from that post, and reposted the concise version to her blog's comments section. Hopefully she'll leave it up this time and provide some answers.

Just in case she takes it down, here's the post:

J

The "owners" were government looters and agents. Still, your criticism of Roark stands.

That was Randianism, her true philosophy back then, not "Objectivism." An Objectivist should not have done what Roark did. Naughty, naughty.

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The true owners were the taxpayers. Surely many of them didn't want the project to exist in the first place, and even those who did wouldn't have wanted Roark working on it.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I subscribe to updates from Michelle Marder Kamhi's blog.  She has a very interesting new post up:

Lively NAEA Debate on ‘Who Says That’s Art?’
 March 12, 2017 /  Michelle Kamhi /  About 'Who Says That's Art?', Art Education

Quote

“Resolved that there is much useful to be learned from Kamhi’s 2014 book, and that this book can be profitably read and studied by art educators at any level of their professional development.”

That resolution—proposed by Distinguished NAEA Fellow David Pariser—prompted lively debate at the 2017 conference of the National Art Education Association in New York earlier this month. The clear consensus that emerged affirmed Pariser’s resolution.

The three debate panelists were Lorrie Blair, Amy Brook Snider, and Anna Kindler, all with decades of experience in the field. Though by no means agreeing with every point in the book, two of the three panelists enthusiastically endorsed Pariser’s resolution—a sentiment reinforced by all but one of the audience members who participated in discussion following the panelists’ comments.

Kicking off the debate, Blair argued that the book “gets us out of the echo chamber” of like-minded ideas that tend to dominate peer-reviewed publications in the field. As an example, she cited the comment posted by Paul Duncum (a prominent art educator) on the book’s Amazon.com page. Her own first impulse on reading Who Says That’s Art?, Blair frankly confessed with some humor, had been to wish she could simply “unfriend the author” and thereby erase me and my ideas from memory. But on reflection she acknowledged that the book would have the salutary effect of piercing the art-education “filter bubble.” She therefore wholeheartedly endorsed its use, and thereby joined the ranks of courageous academics meriting praise for fostering healthy debate in academia.

[...]

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They didn't have Metallica "For Whom The Bell Tolls" when Vietnam was going on but ifffff they didddddd America would have won!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2017 at 5:19 PM, Jules Troy said:

They didn't have Metallica "For Whom The Bell Tolls" when Vietnam was going on but ifffff they didddddd America would have won!

We weren't trying to win. That's why I went back to civilian life in 1967. Boy, was I ever right!

--Brant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I’ve made some headway with Michelle Kamhi!

I posted some comments on her blog...

http://www.mmkamhi.com/2017/08/07/how-not-to-teach-art-history/#comments

...and, to her credit, she has allowed most of them to stay! She only deleted a couple of my posts at the end of the conversation!

(One post of mine that she deleted went into greater detail about the fact that Objectivists have failed when I’ve challenged them to identify intended meanings in realist visual art, as well as in music, while allowing them access to only the “content of the work” and depriving them of all external information, or what Rand called “outside considerations.”  The other post revealed that Kamhi had joined those Objectivists in failing to identify "artists’ meanings” in the column of paintings that I had given to her as examples.  I reiterated that she has not objectively demonstrated that anything has ever qualified as art by her criteria -- the criteria that she insists on imposing on abstract art, but which she never actually applies to the art forms that she nevertheless asserts are valid.  I was critical of her position that I must demonstrate that whatever meaning that I interpreted an abstract work to convey actually matched the artist’s intended meaning, but that she exempts herself from the same standard: When she interprets a realistic work of visual art, or of music, to have a certain meaning, she feels no need whatsoever to verify that it was what the artist intended, but just assumes that whatever pops into her head naturally must be the "correct” interpretation. She has never actually applied the same standards, to art forms that she arbitrarily accepts, that she insists on applying to artworks that she rejects).

Anyway, the interesting thing to me is that she appears to have changed her position somewhat. She seems to be beginning to grasp my criticisms. Some of it is getting through!

She seems to be starting to abandon the belief that her aesthetic judgments are “objective,” and has opted instead for “intersubjective."

It’s unfortunate that she had to revert to wiping reality out of existence via deleting a couple of my posts right when the conversation was demonstrating her inability to meet her own criteria when viewing works of art, but I guess old habits and irrational defense mechanisms die hard. At least some progress was made!

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now