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the process and products that transform matter, sound or motion into a form that's pleasing
-to express and enjoy life
-social integration and universal aspects

universal aspects

emotional gratification for the individual
-art can manipulate human passions: suspense, terror, desire, sadness, etc

social integration

-communicates cultural attributes to the rest of the society
-enculturation next generation thru song/dance (sesame street)
-reflect other aspects of culture (sand painting)
-reflects solidarity

differences in art forms

visual art, music, verbal art
between cultures and societies the differences

small scale, nomadic societies

-art has to be portable (piercings, tattoos)
-art is more embedded in other aspects of culture
ex. Melanesians vs. Polynesians

complex societies

-specialists that can distinguish between good and bad art= art critics

visual art

painting, sculpture, weaving, carving, tattoo, etc.
-change a raw material into something else
1. representational
2. abstract
-different ways of examining this

representational visual art

closely imitates a form of nature

abstract visual art

representing basic patterns
type of visual art

modern, western art

creative originality and unique vision of artist
ex. tattoos: private statement of personal identity

traditional art

about community and shared symbolism
ex. Maoui: tattooing has more to do with what your collective identity is, what group you're a part of
-clan, collective identity

aesthetic approach

way to examine visual art
admiring the talent of the artist or the beauty of the artwork
-talk about the techniques used

narrative approach

way to examine visual art
what's being depicted
-basic straight forward stuff--what you see in the picture
-what objects are doing what and how does that tell us what's going on in the picture
-the story shown in the picture


way to examine visual art
-what's the cultural meaning of the piece?
-what does it mean to that culture?
-in order to get this approach, you must know the culture behind it


reflects simplicity of a society
type of art
Egalitarian vs. stratified
-repetition of text?
-how many are singing?
-are instruments used? how many?


study of structure and technique of music and how it fits together with other aspects of culture

verbal arts

narratives, drama, poetry, riddles, jokes, latrinalia
-folklore: legends, myths, tales, jokes, and humor


things written on bathroom stalls


type of verbal art
-mostly written


type of folklore
-widely believed to be true, but probably aren't
-explain fundamentals of human nature
-never has a nugget of truth


type of folklore
-account for the deeds of heroes and movements of peoples
-bolster pride; instruct/inspire
-mixture of realism with extraordinary
ex. Bonnie and Clyde


type of folklore
-fiction for entertainment
ex. fables: include animal characters, dilemma--always has to have a moral to the story
-explain/teach socially appropriate behavior
-similar stories are told across cultures: diffusion

jokes and humor

type of folklore
very culture specific
-listener needs to understand culture to "get" the jokes told

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