Art and Culture

This probably should have been my first post, but I have been doing a little shifting around of blog spaces which has led me to transplant some old blogs onto this new site.  The whole point of this blog is to explore the intersection of the arts and culture.  For those of us not immersed within the world of art everyday the definition of culture might be synonymous with art.  When we talk about being cultured many times the arts are what is being referred to.  As an anthropologist my definition of culture is a little different (but this is simply because I spent 4 years of undergrad studying the foundations and applications of what culture means).  I recently attended a conference on Public and Cultural Diplomacy in which the definition of culture seemed to be directly linked to the arts and art initiatives.  For the purposes of this blog I will define culture as a system of learned and shared beliefs, values, institutions, and practices among a community of individuals.  There are hundreds of definitions for culture, but this is the simplest for our purposes.

What I hope to accomplish with this blog is the create a forum for discourse on the issues facing the arts, culture, diplomacy, and policy.  Sometimes the post will be well researched studies on current or past issues, other times they will simply be my thoughts on issues, specific art pieces, and many more topics, of that I am sure.

I  hope that those who follow will participate in discussions whether you agree with me or not.   Mainly I hope to use this as a space for my own exploration of the topics facing the field today.

Thank You All


6 thoughts on “Art and Culture

  1. How does the need individual expression affect what companies make when designing clothes, furniture, and jewelry?
    How can those companies increase the amount of creative flow with merchandise?

  2. I think we are entering a new era of fashion to be completely honest. I think companies are beginning to realize that women are becoming more aware of what looks good on their bodies and what is an extension of their personalities. While I admit that I am not as stylistically adventurous as some I believe that my style fits me and doesn’t necessarily follow the latest trend (although I will admit the popularity of Mad Men has made finding modern versions of my personal taste to be much easier to find than it once was).

    You bring up an interesting point at an interesting time. Last week was Arts Advocacy Day, organized by Americans for the Arts. As of late the push has been to develop an understanding that art is a living thing that affects all of us all the time. The Keynote speaker at the event was the Mayor of Charleston, SC. He spoke on City beautification. While clothing jewelry may seem unrelated to city planning it isn’t, if for no other fact that it allows us to see that art is not just about a painting on a wall.
    Artistic expression is finding it’s way back into the mainstream and is being seen in much more non-traditional outlets.

  3. The colloquial use of the word “culture” is closest in meaning to sophistication. People say they are cultured to refer to their acquaintance with multiple cultures, in your (correct) meaning of the term. Since most people are not familiar with Claude Levi-Strauss or Clifford Geertz, and are even less capable of the regimen of distanced intellectual inquiry required to become “cultured” in the sense that anthropologists are, they think of culture in terms of its attributes. And further, since it is difficult to understand other cultures in terms of language systems, communal structures, technological implementation, etc., they think of it in its most pleasant and easily appreciated terms: visual arts, music, film, and literature.

    My blog “Thomas Apolis: Or, Intellectual Encounters of a Wandering Mind” addresses many issues similar to yours, and may be of interest!

    Enjoying your posts,
    Thomas Apolis

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