PHIL 271.3 — Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art

Announcements Archive



Section 01, T1 2011

More on Donny Johnson (07.11.11)

I mentioned his story in class yesterday; here's the official web site for 'not-just-a-prison-artist' Donny Johnson:

Donny Johnson: The Official Website


As Promised: Hitchock on Montage (19.10.11)

As I mentioned in class today, Hitchcock's mastery of montage ('cutting') to achieve cinematic effects might be an instance of what Collingwood would call "craft" as opposed to "art properly so called." The following video clip could be used as evidence for that view. If you are at all interested in film, watch it through to the end: It's like a miniature course in filmmaking from the master.


File Under 'Aristotle'?
(or Freud?) (01.10.11)

Neurotics experience more immersion when watching films (BPS Research Digest)



Section 02, T2 2010

For Your Viewing Pleasure (03.11.10)

I confessed in class today to stealing the van Gogh gimmick (and the Frans Hals gimmick used earlier in the course) from John Berger's 1972 BBC series Ways of Seeing. I happen to think that the series as a whole, despite its apparent datedness and quirkiness, is just excellent--a wonderful relic from the days when the idea of genuinely transformative, challenging 'educational' television could still be bruited without embarrassment. Maybe you'll enjoy it simply for the bizarre retro hairstyles and fashions on display. In any case, I strongly recommend viewing episode one as a set up to our discussion of Walter Benjamin coming up later in the course. Episodes two through four are, of course, easily findable on YouTube.

Episode One, Part 2
Episode One, Part 3
Episode One, Part 4
The rest


Assignment #2 (02.19.10)

The assignment sheet for the second assignment is now available under Notes and Assignments. Hard copies will be handed out in class next Tuesday, but keeners who would like to get a start on the assignment are, of course, welcome to have a look now.


Chalk One Up for Disinterestedness??? (02.21.10)

The headline is "Context May Diminish Art Appreciation:
Surprising new research suggests non-experts’ receptiveness to modern artworks may be lessened when contextual information is presented" (Miller-McCune Magazine, hat tip to Marginal Revolution). I reckon that this finding wouldn't come as a surprise to any normative aesthetic theorist who holds that disinterestedness is part of genuine aesthetic appreciation. (After all, what have the researchers done except to provide basically extraneous, descriptive information?) But, interestingly, in view of the details of how the study was conducted, I think that the 'surprising' results could be given either a formalist or expressionist interpretation.


Section 02, T2 2009

Make Your Own Jackson Pollock (01.28.09)

Kind of cool, for about two minutes:


Online Readings Section (01.02.09)

To avoid being hassled by the local intellectual property police, I've secured access to the Online Readings section of the site. When prompted for a username by the authentication server, simply enter your NSID and your usual password. If you can't access the readings, let me know and I'll add you to the authentication list.

Art Matters! Call for Papers (01.02.09)

Students who already have some idea about what interests them in the philosophy of art might want to consider submitting something to this conference. At a minimum, it could provide a nice excuse for a trip to Montreal. If you are considering submitting a paper, let me know as soon as possible in the term: We can probably work out an arrangment whereby your paper could also form the basis for the term paper assignment in the course. (And, BTW, the College has some funds available to enable undergraduate students to participate in conferences of this sort. Ask me for details, if interested.)

Concordia University Philosophy Student Association
Art Matters! Philosophy Conference

February 14, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Papers should address in any way the notion that art matters.

Length: 30-45 minutes
Submission deadline: January 30, 2009
Send .pdf or .doc submissions to


Section 01, T1 2006

Final Grades (11.12.06)

Final grades for the course have now been submitted. They will be available on PAWS as soon as they are approved by the Department Head. I expect that will be as early as this evening.

Once again, Happy Kwanzaa and thank you, collectively, for making the course so enjoyable to teach.

Artists' Talks / Lecture Series

Throughout the term, graduate students in the Department of Art & Art History will be presenting a series of noontime talks at the Snelgrove Gallery. Here's the schedule.


Academic Travel Funding for A&S Undergrads (31.10.06)

As I mentioned in class on today, the College of Arts and Science is once again making available funding to undergraduate students in the College for travel to conferences and other academic events. The expected value of appying for these funds is huge, if only because so few people even know that they exist. More information is available here:

The deadline for receipt of applications is November 21.


Art in Saskatoon (11.11.06)

You still have a few days to see some works recent works by Clint Hunker and Nancy Lowry:

Panel Paintings

Art Placement
228 3rd Avenue South
(across the alley from Diva's)

Exhibition runs until November 16

Nancy's "Storm" was featured in the Star-Phoenix today and is a very fine picture. I also direct your attention to "Pair of Poplars."

Art in Saskatoon

Mike Hoolboom: Fascination @ PAVED Arts +
A Bunch of Other Events

Various location in Saskatoon
October 12 - November 10, 2006

Art on Campus

Jin-Me Yoon

College Building Gallery
(College Building, 107 Adminstration Place, Main Floor)
September 15 - November 10

The Importance of Form (23.10.06)

John Kricfalusi (creator of the cosmically great Ren & Stimpy) weighs in. (via Boing Boing). Included mainly because it is hilarious. Note, however, the implicit Aristotelianism in John K's view.


Assignment #2 (21.10.06)

As promised (though not quite as quickly as promised), the assignment sheet for Assignment #2 is now available for download in the Notes & Assignments section. Hard copies will be distributed in class next week.

Class Notes Online (10.09.06)

I care about my students. A lot. Really. But for the last two days I've been laid low with a really bad cold (maybe it's the same one that I had before, come back for a second round). So I'd pretty much forgotten (or, let's face it, simply didn't care) that a few students in PHIL 271 had taken me up on my offer to make the first few presentations used in class available on the web site. Thanks to some serious rest and the wonders of modern pharmacology, I woke up this morning feeling much more like myself. And then it hit me...

Class notes up to last week are now available in the Notes and Assignments section.

Art on Campus

Sophisticated Folk
Man Woman & Michel BoutinKenderdine Gallery
(2nd Floor, Agriculture Building)
July 28 - September 29

Talk by curator David Garneau: 12 noon, Thrusday, September 28
Closing reception: 8 PM Friday, September 29

Dorkbot @ Paved Arts + New Media
Carrie Gates: "Techné of the VJ: Video Mixing for the Curious"

An overview of the technical aspects of Carrie's analogue VJ setup and a demonstration of how to create original live multichannel compositions using a combination of sources from found archival footage, screen output, live cameras, and pre-recorded video. Ian Campbell: "Dynebolic"An introduction to linux live cd's with a focus on the open source distro Dynebolic.Saturday, September 9, 1:00 PM
Paved Arts + New Media
424 20th Street (upstairs)

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Last Updated: 24.12.2014