Proposal: Shopenhauer

For my final paper  I will be writing about Shonephauer and his theory revolving around the aesthetic experience.  He defends music as having the highest level of aesthetic experience, making it the highest form of art.  I will use modern jam band music and dance music to defend his claim that music has the highest potential for creating the aesthetic experience.


Stelarc/Chris Angel


These two stunts are from two different artists.  One was mentioned in Jay’s article, titled “Event for Streched Skin,” and took place in New York City or Tokyo. The other took place on a t.v. show, Chris Angel’s mindfreak.

I had mentioned in class that I saw a television show featuring Chris Angel, self proclaimed “mindfreak (aka magician).”  His stunt is exactly what Stelarc did, except Angel does it from a Helicopter.  Stelarc’s statement in 1976 seems to have been more important, having more meaning than Angels stung.  Is the nakedness and means by which the performances take place what qualifies one as art?


Jackson Pollock: “Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952”

Blue Poles was painted towards the end of Jackson Pollock’s career after he has had much practice with his drip method.  People say he had mastered this technique by this point in time and this can be conducive to considering art.  He uses random objects to splatter the paint, but here we can see how detailed it appears to be in depth and design.  Pollock said that these paintings not only reflected the realms of unconscious experience but also responded to contemporary life. As he stated: “The modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any past culture”.

Pippin insists that Hegelian logic would say that Pollocks painting is not called abstract art because the style is the abstraction of everything that was not intrinsic to art as such, but rather there is abstraction from dependence on sensual immediacy and so a kind of enactment of the modernist take on normativity.  This means that Pippin is against Greenberg’s interpretation of Hegel’s theory that says that abstract art is reductionist and materialist.  That is to say that that Pollocks drip paintings are not presenting paint and colors and form, but instead, they conceptualize the way that the artist saw art.  The way that the freedom in art has to stray from traditional forms of nature or humans or even objects and allows for unique interpretations. (Pippin 23)

Paxton’s ”Satisfyin’ Lover” (Carroll, pg. 590)


This is a film of Steve Paxton’s dance, Satisfyin’ Lover.  Paxton is a post-modern choreographer who, like his contemporaries, focuses on regular human body movement.

As you can see from this clip, Paxton’s work pushed the boundaries of dance, by adding everyday aspects of human movement into choreographed pieces.  Carroll explains expression theory with Monroe Beardsley’s formulation that something counts as dance movement if it possesses more zest, vigor, fluency, or expansiveness than appears necessary for practical purposes.  In essence, dance is a dramatic movement of body language.  Carroll’s argument against Beardsley’s claim is that there is dramatic movement in practices outside of dance, such as that of soldiers marching, or priests communicating to a large group of churchgoers.  His other point is that Beardsley’s expression theory of dance also leaves out room for performances such as Satisfyin’ Lover.


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