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03 OCTOBER 2014

Arnold Berleant: engagement as the participatory alternative to the aesthetic concept of disinterestedness

"Berleant (1991) proposes the explanatory concept of engagement as the participatory alternative to the aesthetic concept of disinterestedness and illustrates throughout his work the essentially participatory nature of appreciating art, nature, and the human built environment. Some forms of participation are overt in nature and require people to physically interact with the artwork – e.g. an artwork may require people to physically interaction in order to experience the artwork. Yet, Berleant argues, even more 'traditional' artworks require participatory engagement in that they are realized in the reciprocal relation between person and artwork. When we are immersed in aesthetic appreciation of an artwork, e.g. a painting, it is a process of participatory engagement in which we may imaginatively enter and explore the space of the painting. Moreover, engagement, according to Berleant, unfolds within a complex field of forces – the aesthetic field - that shape peoples experience Berleant (1970)"

(Christian Dindler and Peter Dalsgaard, 2009, p.2-3)

Berleant, A. (1991). 'Art and Engagement', Temple University Press, Philadelphia.
Berleant, A. (1970). 'The Aesthetic Field', CC Thomas, Springfield, Ill.

Dindler, C. and P. Dalsgaard (2009). "Peepholes as Means of Engagement in Interaction Design". Nordes 2009 - Engaging Artifacts. Oslo, Norge, Nordes – Nordic Design Research.

TAGS

2009 • aesthetic appreciation • aesthetic disinterestedness • aesthetic encounters • aesthetic engagement • aesthetic enquiry • aesthetic field • aesthetic of disinterestedness • aesthetic perception • aestheticsArnold Berleantart appreciationart objectartworks • Christian Dindler • Classical arts • contemporary artexplanatory concept of engagementimmersive experience • Nordic Design Research • participatory engagement • Peter Dalsgaard • physical interaction • traditional aesthetics

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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