The aesthetics of attentiveness: A philosophy for artists and educators

Resource type
Thesis type
((Thesis)/(Dissertation)) Ph.D.
Date created
2012-04-19
Authors/Contributors
Author: Grimm, Erica
Abstract
The Aesthetics of Attentiveness is the conceptualization and articulation of art-making and aesthetics as a form of understanding born out of mindful attention: an apophatic, epistemological, small humble gesture. Artists create in the contested interstitial spaces between embodied awareness, sense perception, imagination and reason; enthusiasm, dream, and disaster; affect, intuition, and intellect; wordless, timeless, experiences of unknowing and those ‘known’ through our embodied existence. I conceptualize the Aesthetics of Attentiveness as an active philosophical performative practice of inquiry. I articulate the importance of the stop, the necessity of paying attention, the fecundity of self-emptying, the risk of liminal flow, and the surprise of surfacing into wide-awakeness. Through these chapter-headings I proclaim the Aesthetics of Attentiveness as a generative pedagogical process. I articulate the three stages of creative liminality: a recognition that to come to the act of making requires three stages of embodied engagement; the rituals of self-emptying; the liminal space of creation; and the reflective act of seeing again what the artist has come to understand through creating. This dissertation is a philosophical poetic performative inquiry into art-making practices and aesthetics as conducted in my studio. Fueled by my art-making, research and teaching practices, I understand art as enacted by an embodied maker, made manifest through the material experiential realm and as received through another body, creating a web of culturally mediated affective, sensory and intellectual encounters. Art expresses and fosters insight in materialized experiential rather than propositional language; art enacts meaning and negotiates insight by plunging into the oceanic unknown, trusting the apophatic abyss, the liminal silent gap. The Aesthetics of Attentiveness understands art as a practice of self-emptying paying attention; active receptivity and opening oneself to awareness that stops hasty conceptualization, incomplete categorization, premature conclusions: the habits of thought that blind us. Embodied self-emptying attention is at the heart of the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, releases energy to fuel the making, and is celebrated as key to being wide awake.
Document
Identifier
etd7178
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The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Richmond, Stuart
Member of collection
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etd7178_EGrimm.pdf 32.04 MB