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jrlewis's picture

I would like to propose an

I would like to propose an alternative to Sontag’s theory of art, a twist on the mimetic theory of art.  Maybe art mimics the reality experienced by the individual artist.  I am asserting that everyone has unique internal perceptions of reality or that there are multiple (possibly infinite) admissible interpretations of reality.  There is a neurobiological basis for this idea; variations in brain structure imply variations in sensory input, memory, and thought.  Neurodiversity is the idea that variation in human brains is as essential to human existence as biodiversity.  The individuality of experience is also consistent with our class discussions about human nature.  Humans are neither determined by their history nor by their genes.  The newness associated with an artwork comes from the newness within each artist. 

Art is an expression of the internal environment of the artist, their emotions, memories, and thoughts.  Containing not only the artist’s past experiences, but also their predictions for the future. When one engages with a work of art, they are entering a reality different from their own.  Engaging with a work of art is an act of free will; it is the willing suspension of disbelief.  The audience must accept the artist’s reality, or the rules of their world, in order to explore it.  The interaction between art object and viewer is story sharing.  The best artwork teaches the audience a new story.  Experiencing art is attempting story revision; the evolution of our personal stories.  


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