- 人間環境学研究 (ISSN:13485253)
- vol.7, no.2, pp.95-102, 2009 (Released:2010-01-14)
In the study of art, the philosophical tradition, and important assumptions within this tradition, forms the basis for psychological conceptions and cognitive models of art perception, implicit goals and approach to art-viewing, and their application to art education and viewer relations. However, the prevalent philosophical conception of art and aesthetic experience, which share the assumption that success or "cognitive mastery" drives aesthetic perception, contains fundamental flaws, which extend to, and ultimately constrain, the study and application of art. While existing conceptions explain how a viewer masters the environment, based upon prior expectations and abilities, they cannot explain how they come to perceive and be transformed by, something new; nor can they account for how this feels. Yet, it is exactly these qualities in art-perception that both philosophers and social scientists agree constitutes the unique "challenge" of art. It is necessary that this be examined, and a solution considered, building from the philosophical basis and then extended to a psychological discussion. We argue that, in opposition to success, a failure- based model, organized around the conflict between self-protection and self-transformation in the processing of discrepancy, is better able to explicitly unite cognition, emotion and physiological effect with perception and evaluation; and allows for needed discussion of perceptual and conceptual change within experience, and a needed distinction between "facile" evaluation and mastery following meta-cognitive reflection and adjustment. We explore both success and failure-based approaches and introduce conceptual and contextual aspects for a five-stage failure-based model of art-perception culminating in "Aesthetic Experience"; discuss the inter-relation of emotional and cognitive factors that may be important for objective research on art evaluation and art education; and clarify the important tie between failure, epiphany and perceptual growth in the experience of art.