Friday, November 20, 2020

"I am not sure why you sent this to me. I'm a philosopher not an art critic." Noël Carroll
He read more than a few pages. 

The British Journal of Aesthetics 

Living in an Artworld, Noël Carroll, Evanston Publishing.  2011. PP.  388. $22.50 (PBK).
James R. Hamilton

This book contains a collection of fifty-nine essays of varying lengths, dating mostly from early in his career, long before Noël Carroll became one of the leading figures in aesthetics of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Some of the essays appeared in academic journals of the kind with which many readers of this journal will be familiar. But most did not. Most, in fact, and especially those on dance, theatre, and performance, were short reviews written for popular arts and news publications between 1973 and 1985. Some of those publications may no longer exist.  

I began writing criticism in the early seventies as a dance and performance reviewer for Artforum. At that time, Artforum was expanding its coverage beyond the gallery proper into fields like film, photography, and video as well as dance and performance, not only because various gallery stars, like Robert Rauchenberg and Robert Morris, were experimenting with alternative media, but also because concerns related to reigning gallery aesthetics were also shaping adjacent artforms. One could justifiably apply the conceptual frameworks of minimalism, for example, to dance, as Yvonne Rainer did explicitly. 

NDPR  [see previously, 2011]

Noël Carroll, On Criticism, Routledge, 2009, 210pp., $19.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780415396219.
Reviewed by Alan H. Goldman, College of William & Mary

Noël Carroll's latest book contains what we have come to expect from him: above all, clarity of exposition and argument directed at the fundamental issues in the topic under discussion. His topic here is art (construed broadly) criticism, and he lays out for us in greater detail than before his positions on the interpretation and evaluation of works in different genres. Carroll is one of the major figures in aesthetics, and anyone interested in the field will have to know and address his views.

 Pop Matters 

On Criticism by Noel Carroll
by Rachel Balik

The front cover of Noel Carroll’s newest book, On Criticism, portrays Andy Warhol’s famous box of Brillo pads. The cover artwork is intended to remind us of the moment when the meaning of art was entirely upended. The image implicitly warns us that just because the definition of art is no longer something we can take for granted, it doesn’t mean that critics have any less obligation to execute their roles with rigor and consistency.

Ironically, the publication of Carroll’s book coincides with a reshuffling of the definition of journalism. In months after Carroll’s book came out, the role of the critic has been implicitly questioned almost as much as the role of art was during the Warhol era. Many newspapers eliminated their book review sections in the months immediately following the October 2008 publication date. The role of the modern critic seems now to be that of introducing people to art. One might wonder whether audiences truly want evaluation, or simply explication.


On the Front-Lines of the Account-Based Marketing Revolution
Rachel Balik & Nimbus Goehausen

Like many other Bay Area tech workers, Nimbus and Rachel worked at a company that appropriated the rhetoric of political movements to sell stuff. Their first encounter was working on a firmographic database (Nimbus as engineer, Rachel as product manager) that they were promised would change the world of marketing technology forever. 

Nimbus was surprised by Rachel’s enthusiasm for a project that would widely be considered very boring. He even felt compelled to join her in the trenches and put in extra effort when Rachel spent a weekend diving into a “critical” spreadsheet.

Rachel's first impression of Nimbus was that was he was insufferably arrogant, but her heart started to soften when he invited her to a Democratic Socialists of America event. There, he demonstrated that he knew the difference between a political revolution and a software revolution. And, he admitted to her that he *also* thought he was arrogant, showing her that maybe they did have something in common.  

It was too good to pass up.

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