Paul G. Bursiek: Go your own way on defining art

The March 29 Daily Camera Friday section headline reads: “The Boulder aesthetic: From gallery walls, to behind the mic and on performance stages, Boulder Arts Week starts today.”

So, what is art?

I think it boils down to the default phrase: Each of us to his or her own view. Experts seem uncertain as to a guiding, overall definition. For example, philosopher Noel Carroll, after an exhaustive look at the subject, states at the end of his book, “Philosophy of Art,” “Or, maybe, the reader, dissatisfied with everything she has found between these covers, will feel moved to develop her own approach to the subject.”

In taking up Carroll‘s offer, I suggest that the maker of a subject/object must do two things to warrant the work being considered art. First, using concepts noted by literary critic Harold Bloom in his book “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found,” create adventures of “beauty, truth, and insight.” Second, in stitching these concepts together, compose a result that evokes the emotional and/or reasoned exclamation, “it works.” All of which, while helpful to me, is no doubt reasonably off the mark to others — one example as to why each of us needs to go our own considered way in searching for and finding pleasure in art.

Paul G. Bursiek

Boulder