Interesting Concepts from This Week

This week I was fascinated by a few concepts that were brought up in class. The first was the Aestheticist premise that “all art aspires to the condition of music”. As a person who writes creatively and makes visual art sometimes, I think my art has definitely aspired to the condition of music or at least one particular definition of that condition. To me, anyways, music has an immediacy and universality that there are more obstacles to achieving in other mediums. While certain music can be highly conceptual and inaccessible and esoteric, I feel like most people still have the vocabulary or tools to have strong visceral reactions to it without any training. This idea actually ties in very well with another I found striking, which was Pierre Bordieu’s ideas surrounding the limited and large-scale fields of cultural production. I think there’s definitely musicians who make music for other musicians, but I think in the case of music that’s still less of a barrier to an authentic encounter with the art itself.  This maybe has something to do with the way music is an embodied art form in a different way from visual or literary art or other performing arts. Other arts engage the ears, eyes, mouth, and nose even (in the case of cooking maybe), but I feel like music has a monopoly on the body as a whole. I think maybe music has a particular relationship to the alchemical ideas of art so popular in the victorian era, too. Something about the immateriality and ephemerality and nebulous, spiritual, in-the-air-ness of it makes me think so.

-Eli

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