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Art Worlds as Communication Networks Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, original (left) and recreations of lost 1917 “Original” Who decides what is art?– the artist, experts, publics?? Banksy Another example of artist resisting, questions “system” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkUbYB o5xgs Today Lecture—More about Theories of Representation vs. Theories of the “social construction of art worlds”, begin”Who Belongs in Art World” Discussion visits to Wack! (Vancouver Art Gallery special exhibition) and Gallery Gachet Discussion of Choices of Topics for First Presentations and Scheduling (Revision of Handout 2) Video on Art Gallery directors and the recognition/institutionalization of contemporary Overview: Internal vs. External Approaches Internal (Humanist-- External (Sociological-- aesthetics, history of the arts, & cultural studies) critics, etc.) Art=social production art=mystery, spontaneous (and reproduction) creation of isolated genius importance of social importance of “aura” of networks for creation of individual artist for value belief in the arts of art work values change in different timeless, enduring quality social & historic contexts of beauty, perfection Who creates the ‘creator’? (Bourdieu) “Unit of analysis” in art studies often wrong-- should not study “apparent” producers (painter, writer, actors etc.) but processes (art, artist part of broader field of relationships) ideology of creation conceals exploitation by market forces art trader or impressario =symbolic banker who creates belief in the arts by creating belief in the economic (and moral?) value of art Pierre Bourdieu— 1930-2002 Marxist, critical theorist Emphasis on Social and political structures & material conditions as limits to freedom of agency Power relations within the field of artistic production Creation of belief in the power of symbolic goods (art, artistic reputations etc.) and their conversion into economic and social capital history of the field of cultural production hierarchical model Relationships marked by class conflict Howard Becker Symbolic interactionist http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/hbecker/ Early work on labeling theory and social actors (a different way of thinking of agency) Emphasis on Sense-making (interpretive) Human interaction & identity-formation Consensus & conventions Art-making as a Collective Activity Notion of different types of “art worlds” Strong sociological background but also a performing artist (jazz musician) Howard Becker’s Art Worlds Arts worlds include all the people involved in art-making Cooperative links through shared conventions Study how participants “draw lines” and what art worlds do What do art worlds do together? Develop conventions & shared practices related to creation (ex. musical notation systems) Mobilize resources (material resources, training personnel, networks, organizations) Develop Distribution Systems Different types of artists/artworlds (Becker) Types Integrated professionals (ex. concert violinist) Mavericks Folk artists Naïve artists Classification according to how they fit in art worlds (degree of integration, consensus about the ‘rules of the game’, degree of standardization) Ranking Artists (Becker’s 4 types) according to different ways of working & career patterns 1. integrated professionals fitwith accepted conventions & canons held by organizations well-trained --technical skills, shared traditions 2.Mavericks innovative rebels against “system” begin as conventional “novices” but deliberately violate norms of art world techniques for success-- develop alternate systems for distribution do not totally lose touch with world of their medium example:KLF Bill Drummond at the “Brit Awards”, 1993 3. Folk Art link with community practices ex.Duck decoys, quilts, chain-gang songs, Christmas pagents art serves needs, part of daily activities follows aesthetic conventions, using established procedures (ex. Sorting scraps by colour) often part of well-organized community, with informal training 4. Naïve Art aka. “primitive” naïve, grassroots indiosynmcratic ex. James Hampton, Throne of the Third Heaven of the national Millenium General Assembly ex. Art of children and the insane outsiders N.S.artist Maud Lewis, Henri Rousseau, Grandma Moses Van Laar and Diepeveen on “The function of Artists in Society” Another typology Five roles: Skilled worker Intellectual Entrepreneur Social critic Social healer Other dimensions Ex. Wittkower “Under the Sign of Saturn” • Transformation from craftsperson to brooding geniuss F. De Goya. Saturn devouring his son, • Later to status of intellectual in c. 1821 humanistic profession Concluding Remarks on the Definition of the Artist Different criteria used in different contexts Fundamental conceptual problems Criteria used in classifying art & artists “aura” of the artist (authenticity -- School of Frankfort, Walter Benjamin-- “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”) qualities of the art artisticcategory particular work characteristics of the audience/public (notion of consecration) “highbrow/lowbrow” tastes (Levine--The emergence of a cultural hierarchy in America) SES size Conceptual & practical problems in studying artists & artistic careers Establishing criteria for locating, identifiying artists “Irrationality” of choices (P-M. Menger) Ex. Choosing poorer pay for more prestigious roles as an actor In modern times -- Clash between notions of career (regularities, patterns ) Artistic recognition (singularities, unique, break past) Changing views about values of art can lead to changes in the status of the artist, artwork & the social institutions & publics that support them Beaune Altarpiece PBS jazz series by Ken Burns Examples of establishing “cannons” through testimony of “experts” (ex. critics, “stars”, fans) and changing shape of artforms Unique artists, unique art works (individual) vs. social construction of art/artists (Zolberg) Example: Problem of Multiples negotiating artistic values in context of new technologies new ways of thinking about connections between the artwork and the “aura” of the artist Walter Benjamin-- “work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” Ways of Studying Artists & Arts professionals “Are Artists Born or made?” Theories about artists’ careers 1.labor of love (art for art’s sake) argument (Elliot Freidson) de-emphasizes income Arendt’s notions of labour (alienating but necessary) vs. work (creative vocation) 2.artists & arts professionals as risk-lovers, gamblers satisfaction proportionate to degree of uncertainty of success 3. Dual reward system monetary & non-monetary (psychic) gratification 4. Other—couldn’t do anything else Formal training Issues qualifications—non-routine activities depend on skills not easily transmitted or certified by a training system impact of schooling on earnings smaller than other professional groups mentoring/apprenticeships job matching (leaning-by-doing process) occupational risk diversification Problems using “income” as a way of identifying for artists & arts professionals Irregular incomes, seasonal variations, self-emploment public sources (subsidies, commissions, sponsorship) “privatization” (sales of services or works) transfer income from other employment (multiple job holding) personal (family, friends) Careers in the arts and rationality of risk management (Menger) “rational behaviour model” but artistic careers are risky high level of income inequality high chance of “failure” impermanence of artistic work, self-employment amibiguity of transition from training to work (skills) careers advance through recurrent & nonrecurrent work (non- routine work) Criteria used in classifying art & artists “aura” of the artist Characteristics of the art form and genre audience/public (notion of consecration) Publics or audiences “highbrow/lowbrow” tastes arts organizations, networks associated with different art worlds Mediation & “Support Structures” & Publics as factors in recognition & art- making Arts worlds include all the people involved in art- making ????? Cooperative links through shared conventions ??? how participants “draw lines” and what art worlds do Mobilize resources (material resources, training personnel, networks, organizations) Develop Distribution Systems and distinctions Who Belongs in Art Worlds? Arts Occupations, Institutions, Networks (continued) & Mediation (Gatekeepers, Facilitators) Source: V. Alexander Sociology of the Arts…(2003), p. 63 . Participants in art worlds -- Creators/artists art Audiences/publics/consumers Mediators Who Belongs to Art Worlds? c. Life Drawing Class, Bocour Paintmaking Studio NYC, c. 1942 Production of Culture Perspective (Peterson, Anand) How culture “shaped by systems in which it is created, distributed, evaluated, taught, preserved” Culture not a mirror of society Focus on Expressive aspects of culture Processes of symbol production Analysis of organizations, occupations, networks, communities Comparisons In situated studies of specific cultural forms and changes in them Six Facet Model of Production Technology Law and regulation Industry structure or field Organizational structure of dominating organizatins Occupational careers Markets Uses of the “Production Perspective” Organizational Research theories of management institutional decision-making processes/logics Networks of production Resource partitioning patterns Studies of Informal Relations Links between Class and Culture (ex. univore/omnivore) Resistance & appropriation Fabricating authenticity Critiques of Peterson’s Production of Culture Perspective Ignores or de-emphasizes “uniqueness” of art to research constructed nature of collective representations, values roles of fans and consumers in shaping cultural products meanings of cultural production power relations Participants in Mediation Processes Gatekeepers vs. facilitators : types vary with art form and genres Ex. Diana Crane on proponents of Avant-Garde Art Examples of types of “mediators” (between creators and publics): book publishers, record companies, film distribution networks, art gallery owners, booking agents, critics, reviewers for media, museum curators, sometimes even fans or fan clubs, etc… Characteristics of the Mediators & Artistic Values Mediation as a way of conferring status The role of critics and other gatekeepers in recognition processes, examples: Shrum– emergence of Fringe Festivals as a performing arts genre when critics begin to review it Change in status of Graffiti and recognition by artists Institutional forms & legitimation practices Status of “Venues”, status of artists Not-for-profit and for-profit models Super Bowl XXXVIII, Halftime show, 2004 & differences in socio-cultural status (DiMaggio) L. Levine: The emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America Starting question: why can’t you compare high culture & popular culture? Why do people distinguish between highbrow and lowbrow audiences & their understanding of the arts? Art forms not ‘cosmic truths’ but result from ‘peculiarities in the way culture operates Levine’s Case study of the reception of Shakespeare To study problem of equating notion of culture to idea of hierarchy Believes primary categories of culture are determined by IDEOLOGIES not grounded in actual observation of cultural practices & tastes Believes there was less hierarchical divisions in the past But set in mid 20th c. Do same hierarchical distinctions apply today? Or have we again entered an era in which high-brow & low-brow distinctions are less meaningful? Mediators &Cultural Hierarchy social meaning(s) of performance art control and social “reproduction” Social origins and established formulas or genres Hegemony & cultural industries Cultural things as mirrors of underlying structures (functionalism, Marxism) New theories– more dynamic Symbolic exchange, interaction -”production of culture approach” (Peterson, DiMaggio) Peterson on Country Music How do mediators (record producers) choose artists to promote? Authenticity, originality, distinctiveness Transformation of field of country music from 1923-1953 Process of institutionalization Identified audience Authenticity Paradox of creating authenticity artificially? Socially-agreed upon idea (social construction of reality– through shared values & practices) History of country music (a revolt that became a style) Artificial notion of the ‘unchanged’ past– hillbilly music (poor rural white Southerners) Early distain of this type of music because of its association with hillbilly culture Evolution of terminology (to country and western) Mediation in the Production of Culture Perspective How law, technology, careers, markets, organizational structure shape culture (in this case a form of cultural expression called ‘country music’) notion of social production of culture (shared values, practices etc.) Emergence of differentiated roles in the field of cultural production (manager, talent agent etc.) Planning Short Assignments and Class Presentations Discussion of reading assignments and ideas for topics Research resources (library) Note to Users of these Outlines-- not all material covered in class appears on these outlines-- important examples, demonstrations and discussions aren’t written down here. Classes are efficient ways communicating information and provide you will an opportunity for regular learning. These outlines are provided as a study aid not a replacement for classes.
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