The Complexity of Aesthetic Experience Images are able to catch our attention and involve us in the world they depict – a world of sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Of the variety of images to which we are exposed in our daily life, art images have the power to move the observer in an even stronger way than other images. According to Arnheim (1981), art is a quality present in all objects, whether artificial or natural, provided that they are endowed with “expressive dynamics.” “Expressive dynamics,” as opposed to the practical quality, is the distinctive feature of the artistic quality. However, differently from common artifacts, artistic images represent the purest and most intense example of that “art phenomenon” present in nuce in all objects. Therefore, a work of art shows particular formal features and triggers in the observer a variety of processes ending in an aesthetic evaluation. The aesthetic behavior connected to a work of art consists of a feeling through the senses (aisthanomai = I feel, I perceive with my senses, I comprehend) as well as of comprehension of something that has been created in a complex, ordered, and rigorous way that means “artistically” made (arë = to articulate, to ordinate). Consequently, a common view within cognitive sciences and psychology is to consider aesthetic experience as characterized by a peculiar and complex weaving of perceptive, emotional, and cognitive processes (Jacobsen 2006; Leder, Belke, Oeberst, & Augustin 2004; Massironi 2000; Argenton 2008).
|Title of host publication||Reflective Thinking in Educational Settings: A Cultural Framework|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||24|
|ISBN (Print)||9781139198745, 9781107025738|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas