HC421H - Attention, Perception, and Contemplation in Contemporary Art

Professor: Kate Mondloch

4.00 credits

  • CRN 22415: Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00-11:20am @ CHA 201

In recent decades, artists, philosophers, and scientists have demonstrated that attention is not a passive act limited to our eyes, but rather an active and embodied experience. Our seminar will blend theoretical concepts with hands-on experiences, such as engaging in contemplative photography. Through this, we will delve into philosophies and practices of attention, perception, and contemplation. We'll trace these ideas through history, from the modern era to contemporary times. Along the way, we'll explore how they have been shaped by art, culture, and advancements in science and technology. We'll also examine their intersections with contemporary art and how we, as spectators, engage with it. Our focus will extend to critiquing and reviewing major theoretical approaches to the artistic experience. We'll emphasize the profound connections between thinking and feeling, sensing and acting, and perception and cognition. Furthermore, we'll explore how recent scientific breakthroughs have fundamentally transformed our understanding of perception, action, and cognition. This fresh perspective will enable us to reconsider the very nature of aesthetic experience.