Monday, April 6, 2009

response: Neuroaesthetics

It's very strange that that the word, beauty, has been used as the focus of this study. My idea of beauty evolves from the first impression as I gather more knowledge and experience. To me, this applies not only to people and places, but to artwork as well. I would be curious to understand the different neurological effects of artwork seen for the first time versus artwork that is familiar to the viewer.

Zeki's research should also take trends into consideration. It's hard to believe that pleated bleached jeans and blazers with shoulder pads were once beautiful to many [raises hand]. The fact that some people, once again adopt these fashion beauties today makes my neurotransmitters chuckle.

The article mentions that the directors of auction houses may be most threatened by the research, but fails to offer that perhaps people who go to auctions have a similar aesthetic preference. This makes me wonder if Zeki himself has a narrow definition of art, despite the mention of his extensive work with artists.

It's inspiring that research is being done in an attempt to bridge the gap between art and science, but I don't think a study like this can be very useful without also investigating many important factors.

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