A person in the process of creating art and appreciating art as maker and viewer goes through an aesthetic experience. The aesthetic experiences existence has been criticized in the past but recent publication has placed importance on the value of the aesthetic experience as proven each time nature is appreciated, and the value of beauty is discussed. Contemporary artists and curators are moving away from producing art as idea or concept and beginning to re-evaluate and re-acknowledge the value of aesthetic experience and the role the artwork plays in that experience. (The Value of Aesthetic Experience).
The aesthetic experience is further galvanized by the sublime. Up till today, modern philosophers try to articulate, study and experiment on aesthetic experiences that can capture the sublime moments in art and art appreciation. Though attempts have been continuous, one thing is for sure philosophers, that would rather down grade the effects of the sublime moment cannot resurrect from their graves.
The sublime implies that man can, in emotions and in language, transcend the limits of the human condition. Longinuss approach is contradistinguished from Platos declaration of poetic inspiration as dangerous divine madness or the poet as liar. Yet like Plato, Longinus feels that the human was the art or technical aspects, while the sublime was the soul or that which eluded our experience of art. In order to understand the sublime, we must have some notion of what exists beyond the human, empirical experience. (¦, 2006)
Because of aesthetic experience and the sublime found in art, the mediums of art becomes a power tool to convince, communicate, and interpret reality and the lives that people lead in the here and now. When there is power, there is responsibility. Roles and responsibilities expected from the artists and craftsmen remain controversial. It is best to focus responsibility of the viewer appreciating, buying, or selling the work of art. These people viewing art is the one responsible in judging the value of the art appreciated or trashed.
Each judgment on the work of art always add up to a critical mass perception on what is beautiful and what is ugly, what is worthwhile and worth keeping as a treasure. At the least there must be a conscious effort in the part of the viewer to become aware of the factors that influence his perception of art. Some of these psychological factors influencing the perception of art include culture, sex, age, formal art education, politics, economics, and value systems.
Besides these variables of aesthetic perception are biological components like the way our consciousness functions, as an end product of evolution. Art thus includes the perceptual cognitive factors of the unconscious and psychophysical sensory mechanisms of the human body. There is also the influence of time and materials used in fabricating the art. Some aesthetic factors identified from these variables include the following: boredom, surprise value, familiarity, novelty and nostalgia. (Chang, 1980)
Lastly, the power in art bestows on it a role defined by each culture where it flourishes. As diverse as culture, beliefs, lifestyles, and perceptions, art in one place cannot be expected to be similar with another place. Different works of art document the different historical experience of men and women. The artist needs to continually engage art rather than reject society. Art because it cannot be beautiful without the freedom to release the sublime during the aesthetic experience, has the capacity to balance cultural ills that maims society from functioning. Art helps people and society rise above their capacities and become larger energies. Without art, humanity will starve and experience will dwindle to a void.
Chang, Rodney. 1980. What is art? Retrieved October 31, 2006 from, http://www.lastplace.com/whatisartform.htm
¦ The Value of Aesthetic Experience. 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2006 from, http://londonaesthetics.tripod.com/
¦ The Sublime. 2006. Retrieved October 31, 2006 from, http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/patten/sublime.html