Discussing art -- structured vs unstructured?
January 9, 2014 6:13 AM Subscribe
Art and philosophy people -- I need your help figuring out how to talk about the difference between art that is highly constricted by form vs. art that is very open-ended -- sonnets as opposed to free verse, men's clothing as opposed to women's clothing, calligraphy as opposed to sketching.
posted by jfwlucy to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In more structured forms of art, the thrill or the spice or the "art" itself seems to come from playing ever so slightly with firmly established elements -- for example (in menswear) you have suit, tie, shirt, and shoes. The style and fun comes in when you play with color, texture, the width of a lapel, the weave of a tie, etc. In women's clothing you can do just about anything at ALL. Both sorts of clothing are art forms, but both the product and the process are very different.
I have been finding parallels for this kind of duality in art almost everywhere -- but what I really need is a more sophisticated way of thinking and talking about it.
Japanese has a term ("iki"), that describes the more structured and refined sense of style, but it doesn't really come super close to what I am talking about.
Apollonian vs. Dionysian doesn't cut it either -- there is too much psychologizing and extraneous crap that is mixed in with those terms.
Could anyone please point me to discussions of this? I would appreciate it very much. Thanks.