Towards a Theory of the Aesthetic Situation

Hans Dieter Huber
2019 Zenodo  
Art Style | Art & Culture International Magazine Abstract Normally, the work of art or the observer stands in the foreground of an aesthetic theory. Here, however, it is the concept of the situation. The concept of the viewer is replaced by the concept of the actor to indicate that perception is not only an activity but also an action. It is an aesthetic perceptual action. Institutions are introduced as norms that restrict and guide action and that additionally frame the situation in which
more » ... ts and actors operate. A situation is understood as an assembly of actors, objects and institutions that can be distinguished spatially, temporally and socially. Situations become aesthetic situations when they are observed, designated and judged under an aesthetic attitude. The text defines what is understood by an object, an actor, an institution or an attitude. Situations contain external conditions such as scarcities, opportunities and institutional norms as well as internal, actor-based conditions such as the definition and the framing of the situation. Both fields decide how a situation is perceived, how it is evaluated and acted upon. Through regular and repeated aesthetic experiences, aesthetic habits and lifestyles are formed that increasingly determine an actor's aesthetic perceptual action. If, however, the encounter with current, contemporary art is classified as new, unfamiliar or alien, this leads to an irritation of the actor's habits. In this case, his aesthetic expectations and routines no longer serve him for an adequate understanding of the new. He must abandon his habitual aesthetic judgements and obtain new information through conscious, reflexive thinking, consider possible alternatives for action and decide on a new, aesthetic perceptual action. At this moment the actors become creative. They act in a creative way that is unpredictable in terms of their habits. It is concluded that the creative action of actors and institutions in the face of irritating or problematic situations is the prerequisi [...]
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4116508 fatcat:onvakytvzbfi3pyfyg6yauoiwi