Sunday, April 13, 2008

Awareness and Art

In the last century a tradition has developed that places awareness at the center of art. One of my favorite realizations of this idea comes from John Cage's famous "silent piece"/4'33": the music consists of any sound the audience is aware of. Surely this can be expanded into other forms:

  • Music is awareness of sound
  • Sculpture is awareness of physical form
  • Dance is awareness of movement
  • Poetry is awareness of language
  • Architecture is awareness of space (from Caitlin)
  • And by "is", I should say "requires", as it is possible to have awareness without art, but not art without awareness. And, perhaps, the only distinction between these two cases is the label applied to that which one is aware of (whether it is classified as/connected to other things called "art"). I can imagine "beauty" working the same way: requiring awareness (and perhaps, the label "art"), but then being nothing more than an additional label.

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