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Title: Peirce's Semeiotic and the implications for aesthetics in the visual arts : a study of the sketchbook and its positions in the hierarchies of making, collecting and exhibiting
Author: Ryan, Paul Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2683 584X
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2009
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The thesis argues that a particular aesthetic theory (Esthetics), is implied by Peirce's Semeiotic, and that they have both been clarified when tested from the perspective of a visual art practice involving sketchbooks. This research also constructs and lays out the first 'user friendly' guide to Semeiotically analyse any object, be it emotional, material or conceptual. Findings were generated by comparing Peirce's sporadic writings on esthetics with his more complete Semeiotic, assessing them in situations making artworks, proposing and exhibiting them in public spaces, and analysing meanings of sketchbooks from UK public collections. It was found that in theory: - Peirce's Esthetic power develops from oscillating between the powers to 'form' and 'express' (generalise and specify), while accepting the limits to both powers, revealed by such an oscillation alongside self and hetero criticism. -this entails appreciating what is most or least up to us, enabling the most effect where one is most free and limiting frustration where least free. -a Peircean Esthetic power can be learnt; however it requires that the learner properly wishes to be directed to that goal (EP2:48). Implications for the visual arts through practice: - artists could contribute to all of Peirce's non-native sciences, (Esthetics, Ethics and Logic), as their appreciation of 'feelings' is well trained, if they can also 'formalise'. -art has a part role in natural education (and possibly institutional education) by developing an Esthetic power that Peirce claims could 'humanise and free' the individual (free in a Peircean sense, which may seem like very little freedom to some) (EP2: 147-148). In the conclusion, a summary of these uncovered implications is set against some problems raised by the complexity of the Semeiotic, and the immeasurability of Esthetic progress. Set against that critique is a positive assessment of the effects of the research on the sketchbook practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Drawing