How do people do or make things that come to be seen as works of art? In other words, when is there artification? The answer to this question is simultaneously symbolic, material, and contextual. It has to do with meanings, objects, interaction, and institutions. We seek to define not what art is nor how it should be considered, but how and under what circumstances it comes about by way of methodical observation and inquiry in a variety of fields. Circus acrobats, break-dancers, fashion designers, chefs, graffiti artists, printers, photographers, and jazz musicians are some of the examples we explore. This pragmatic and empirical perspective enables us to present a typology of forms of artification and examine its sources as well as the questions of de-artification and obstacles to artification.

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Aesthetics Commons



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