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Learning to Look: Dispatches from the Art World

Learning to Look: Dispatches from the Art World

Previous price: $26.99 Current price: $24.95
Publication Date: January 11th, 2022
Oxford University Press, USA
The MIT Press Bookstore
1 on hand, as of Apr 11 10:42am
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Learning to Look is a wandering journey through the nature of art - and the ways it can transform us, if we let it. Author of Infinite Baseball, Alva No , presents a collection of short, stimulating essays that explore how we experience art and what it means to be an "observer." Experiencing art - letting it do its work on us - takes thought, attention, and focus. It requires creation, even from the beholder. And it is in this process of confrontation and reorganization that artworks can lead us to remake ourselves.

Ranging far and wide, from Pina Bausch to Robocop, from Bob Dylan to Vermeer, No uses encounters with specific artworks to gain entry into a world of fascinating issues - like how philosophy and science are represented in film; what evolutionary biology says about art; or the role of relics, fakes, and copies in our experience of a work. The essays in Learning to Look are short, accessible, and personal. Each one arises out of an art encounter - in a museum, listening to records, or going to a concert. Each essay stands on its own, but taken together, they form an intimate picture of our relationship with art. Carefully articulating the experience of each of these encounters, No proposes that, like philosophy, art is a sort of technology for understanding ourselves. Put simply, art is an opportunity for us to enact ourselves anew.

About the Author

Alva Noë is a writer and a philosopher living in Berkeley and New York. He works on the nature of mind and human experience. He is the author of Action in Perception (2004); Out of Our Heads (2009); Varieties of Presence (2012); and Strange Tools (2015). His latest book is Infinite Baseball: Notes from a Philosopher at the Ballpark (2019). Alva received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1995 and is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also a member of the Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Center for New Media. He previously was a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has been philosopher-in-residence with The Forsythe Company and has also collaborated creatively with dance artists Deborah Hay, Nicole Peisl, Jess Curtis, Claire Cunningham, Katye Coe, and Charlie Morrissey. Alva is a 2012 recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and a former fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a 2018 recipient of the Judd/Hume Prize in Advanced Visual Studies.