How to Use Art as An Experience to Build Varying Abilities

John Dewey did an essential thesis on aesthetics dubbed “Art of Experience” in an attempt to shift the understanding of what is important and the features about its manifestation. The thesis of the book emphasizes on the fact that any form of art requires an audience, which constitutes of individuals and cultures. It only becomes complete if there is an interaction among them. Dewey argues that art cannot be separated from life since we interact with aesthetic and artistic experiences on a delay basis. Common things like listening to music, watching your favorite cinema, reading comic books is an artistic experience. In essence, art can be construed as an imaginative expression of our daily life.

To interpret art as a static unit, both the artist and the observer have to take an active role by ignoring its intrinsic value. Using flower as an analogy, Dewey  asserts that flowers are appreciated highly if the basic mode of their growth is considered. Art just like flowers should be given more admiration based on the mechanism of their production. He highlights that emotions is a necessary ingredient while creating a proper art. This claim brings forth numerous theses in Dewey’s work one being that art is a reflection of the cultural and social environments that it was created from. There has to be an active dialogue between the art and the individual who is viewing.

The capitalistic nature of art focuses on class and markers of status, which are responsible for this idea. Arguably Art as Experience is an extensive book on aesthetics based on its pragmatic point of view. The book claims that the theory of aesthetic should try to explain the functionalities of art and how they should be enjoyed. In details, something created to fulfill a need should go an extra mile to become a source of aesthetic enjoyment. It is possible that ordinary activities can produce a certain level of satisfaction that is aesthetic in nature.

Biology played a huge role in Dewey’s description of aesthetic experience. Every organism thrives in a certain environment for the sole purpose of satisfying a given need. This process is referred to as “experience” and the level of satisfaction to the organism is variant. The author believes that every experience realized by a person is aesthetic in nature. On the other hand, animals could also be experiencing aesthetics, but we cannot call it that. Therefore, there is a thin line between what human beings and animals experience as far as aesthetics are concerned. Museums, libraries and galleries are not the only places where aesthetic experiences can be obtained. In fact, such environments limit enjoyment and appreciation of art because they put art away from ordinary activities.

Somebody who is intelligent and performing a job that excites and interests him usually find satisfaction in it while having a good experience. Consequently, such an individual is artistically engaged deriving aesthetic enjoyment while at it. To the average person, the daily activities are the ones that are most meaningful. The vital forms of art are music, movies, comic books, magazines, social media, blogs and even following celebrity news. Modern day museums and art institutions alienate art from day to day existence.

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