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Re: Bell work for art -aesthetics

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From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 12 2003 - 01:45:52 PDT


I mentioned aesthetic puzzles - I usually do this
through dialogue, but I think it would be ok to have
them commit to a response prior/after discussion. I
think that discussion is essential for studnets to
see multiple perspectives. I have also had them work
in teams to say why or why not? What if? etc.

From Aesthetic Puzzles:

Pile of bricks

Consider the following possibility, based on an
exhibit at the Tate Gallery in 1976. A person already
known, perhaps even famous, as a "minimalist"
sculpture buys 120 bricks and, on the floor of a
well-known art museum, arranges them in a rectangular
pile, 2 bricks high, 6 across, and 10 lengthwise. He
labels it Pile of Bricks. Across town, a bricklayer's
assistant at a building site takes 120 bricks of the
very same kind and arranges them the same way, wholly
unaware of what has happened in the museum-he is just
a tidy bricklayer's assistant. Can the first pile of
bricks be a work of art while the second pile is not,
even though the two piles are seemingly identical in
all observable respects? Why or Why not? (w.e.k.)
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The Color of Pittsburgh

In 1958, Alexander Calder’s mobile Pittsburgh was
donated by a private collector to Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania, for installation in the Greater
Pittsburgh International Airport. The mobile was
originally black and white, but when it was installed,
it was painted green and gold, the official colors of
Allegheny County. Calder protested, but the work was
not restored to black and white during his lifetime.

     Having already relinquished ownership of the work
when it was sold to the collector, did Calder, as the
creator of the work, still have a right to insist that
it not be altered” Even if not, was it wrong for
Allegheny County to alter the artwork against his
wishes? Could we say that the artwork itself had a
right not to be altered, regardless of whatever rights
Calder or Allegheny County might have had? –R.M.M.

My students stared at me pretty blank-eyed the first
time, but we did get into good discussions once they
got confortable - especially since there's no right or
wrong answer! Sometimes their competitive nature
takes over and they do want me to tell them what's
right- I tell them to tell me...and why.
Hope this helps - Dawn

--- Maggie White <mwhiteaz@cybertrails.com> wrote:
> Grace Hall wrote:
> > The "bell work" or "bell ringer" (Harry Wongism)
> is an aesthetic
> > question that I put on the board each day. On
> Friday's I give 5 points for
> > each complete entry.
>
> Grace,
>
> Would you mind posting some examples of your
> questions?

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