Sunday, November 14, 2010

paper topic

Here's a topic that uses both what we did last week and what we'll discuss on Tuesday:

A masterpiece by Titian has been gradually fading for nearly 500 years, to the extent that it now appears to be a uniform white rectangle. Upon consulatation with philosophers, computer engineers and quantum physicists, the Gedanken Gallery has decided that it would be inadvisable to restore the painting using traditional means. Instead, it has decided to project on the flat white original painting a digital image of the painting as it originally appeared in 1525. Of course, there were repercussions, especially from proponents of the Traditional Viewership Movement, who declaim that viewership is defined as a relationship between a person and a painting.

The curator of the Gedanken Gallery responds as follows: "As Levinson argues, a musical work is (give or take) a sound structure indicated by a composer in a musico-historical context. Levinson's ontology best captures the thesis that musical works directly bear their artistic properties. We at Gedanken think that paintings should be conceived in the same way, that is, as pictorial structures indicated by a painter in an art-historical context. Therefore, seeing an actual painting is aesthetically irrelevant. A viewer can have a full artistic experience of a painting by looking at a perfect projection in The Gedanken Gallery-- or anywhere else. Paintings are indicated structures, not physical objects."

Discuss. Should paintings be analogized to musical works? What are the problems with conceiving of paintings like musical works? There are a number of different questions that you could pursue here. You'll only have space (5 pages) for one or two.

Due:November 30. You have two papers to do by December 15. Also, if you've started to work on fluxions/flusions or another topic, feel free to continue with what you're doing. If you want to write on this topic later too, that's fine.

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