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'Art: Making and Doing' colloquium explores music, film, philosophy

Emory Report | Sept. 8, 2015

"Art: Making and Doing," a Department of Philosophy colloquium, will be Thursday, Sept. 10, at 4:15 p.m. in 112 White Hall.

Four speakers — all members of an interdisciplinary, art-theory group, Argus — plus Todd Cronan, associate professor in art history, will present some of their ongoing research.

Philosophy Professor John Lysaker will present pieces of a general theory of art that he is developing, one that looks at artworks as communicative acts that fall somewhere between the gesture and the sentence.

"I will focus on why I regard artworks as communicative acts, as opposed to artifacts or things, for example, and some of the phenomena that are addressed in those acts, ranging from possibilities for art itself to possibilities for human existence," he says.

Kevin Karnes, Winship Professor of Music, and Andrew J. Mitchell, associate professor of philosophy, will look at a series of creative adaptations between music and philosophy in a talk they co-present on creativity and cross-genre appropriation, entitled "Wagner's Die Meistersinger: A Study in Originality, Appropriation and Spirit-Seeing."

"We hope to show the ways in which the seemingly opposed ideas of originality and adaptation can come to inform our understanding of creativity," he explains.

Karla Oeler's presentation will focus on Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein and interior monologue, which, she says, is related to the Wagner aspect of Mitchell and Karnes's presentation.

"I'm asking what happens when we imagine thinking to be like the device of interior monologue?  What aspects of thinking, imagined thus, come forward, and what potentials are closed off?" says Oeler, who is associate professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies.

The colloquium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the philosophy department at 404-727-6577.

Lysaker notes some of the events and projects Argus has done in the past including bringing British novelist Tom McCarthy, holding sessions with Salman Rushdie and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano, and creating a class that Cronan and Oeler co-taught. "We also meet often to read a wide range of things," he says.