Sociology of Art

Option A:

You are to choose a piece of art (sculpture or painting) that you like. Because of our current situation, we are not able to access many art institutions so accessing art online or if safe, outside is fine for this assignment. If you go outside there is an element of observational work here – consider the space and how it impacts your and the public understanding and interaction with art. (who do you see, how do people interact with the piece, etc.)

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There are no limits on the type of art or where it is located.
Much of what we will be talking about will aid in your analysis, as will elements of theory such as Bourdieu’s concept of taste.

In terms of material to cover in addition to what is on the outline please consider:

where the piece is located in relation to its place on the art hierarchy

If you are outside, observe who else has stopped to appreciate/comment/etc. and how people access the piece – this will give you a sense of the snobs and omnivore elements that can be connected to the type of art, where you view it, etc. If you are viewing the art online, consider where and how you are accessing it and speculate as to who the audience is for your particular piece.

Who are the gatekeepers that influence public consumption of the art? Who are they and what is their role (formal/informal, etc)

what does it mean if the piece is in your local gallery/coffee house vs. an institution vs online? How do these settings impact viewership and participation in the arts?

Why do you like the piece? Connect this to Bourdieu’s framework in Distinction specifically on taste. Why do you like it and how has this interaction with art been fostered over time? How do your social characteristics influence your understanding and consumption of art?

What kinds of publics does this style of art appeal to? Why?

Etc.

You are also asked to include peer-reviewed material for this assignment. Some ways that the materials could be used include discussions on the type of art and the public, the context and type of the art, class, and art, audience, access, … etc.

Option B:

The aim of this assignment is to consider the (re)emergence of art production and consider how one produces and consumes art.

Visit a site that sells art – this can be something like Etsy or a dedicated artist’s site for example.

What does the artist produce and how do they describe what they do? For example, do they view their work as art? How does this description connect to the prospective buyers? Is it purely informational or is there a sense of the artist’s personal experience of creating the pieces they are selling? What does this look like?

Who are there gatekeepers that influence public consumption of the art? Who are they and what is their role (formal/informal, etc) in the availability of the product, its uniqueness, etc. (for example, some artists will produce a limited run of a piece which the artist feels connects them to the art world more than just selling art.)

In terms of consumption, what does it mean if the piece is sold online means?

Why do you like the piece? Connect this to Bourdieu’s framework in Distinction specifically on taste. How do your social characteristics influence your understanding and consumption of art?

What kinds of publics does this style of art appeal to? Why?

You are also asked to include peer-reviewed material for this assignment. Some ways that the materials could be used include discussions on the type of art and the public, the context and type of the art, class, and art, audience, access, … etc. For more information on Sociology of Art check on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_art

What Is Ethical Judgment?

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