Octavian Ion and I will be presenting our paper titled “Apt Perception, Aesthetic Engagement, and Installation Art” at the American Society for Aesthetics Annual Meeting which will be held virtually the week of November 9-14, 2020. We will also be presenting it at the “Space, Site, Installation” Conference which was initially set to held in Padova on March 23-25 but now postponed and at the 2021 Eastern APA.
Here is the abstract:
In this paper we apply the account Susanna Siegel develops in The Rationality of Perception to aesthetic cases and explore the implications of such an account for aesthetic engagement as well as curatorial and exhibitionary practices. We contend that one’s prior outlook – expertise, beliefs, desires, fears, preferences – can have both aesthetically good and bad influences on perceptual experiences, just as it can have both epistemically good and bad influences. Unless we take our perception of high-level and low-level aesthetically relevant properties to be assessable as apt or inapt, we will be at a loss to explain cases of “hijacked” aesthetic perception. We explore the merits of the aptness of perception thesis for reconceptualizing aesthetic engagement in more pluralist terms and show how such reconceptualization allows us to make sense of our engagement with installation art. We end by discussing some practical implications this approach has for curatorial and exhibitionary practices.
One of the examples we talk about is the 2019 Mickalene Thomas exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Hence the photograph.