How can the subjective viewpoint of an individual contribute to knowledge in the arts? On what basis can the merit of a work of art be judged?
Is there any point in discussing the arts – should we not simply experience them?
‘The Arts’ is a collective term that encompasses the creative productions of humans and encompasses the visual arts, the performing arts and the literary arts. The arts explore the experience and reality of being human and art an essential element of culture.
The arts could be thought of as creating a bridge between personal knowledge and shared knowledge. Many of them are collaborative. They use emotion as a currency to generate significance at a personal level but reason provides a restrictive framework necessary for the creation of meaning: artworks have their own inner logic. Some regard the arts as having an extra-artistic cognitive function, that they have a message about man’s place in the world which might have social or political implications. For example, there might be a case for supporting that the arts have an important function as a medium for social criticism and transformation. In any case, there is a widespread belief that the arts have a higher purpose to educate by encouraging introspection and sometimes making us thing about how se would live our lives.
I use TOK questions in my art class – I post them around the classroom, and pose them when we are discussing artworks. It helps my students think of ART in the bigger picture.
A great resource for TOK class ideas for ART (and all subjects) is TOKresource.org