This would treat it like non-representational sculpture.
Such a work is a self-contained aesthetic unit of which we appreciate its aesthetic qualities, e.g. balance and grace.
Constantin Brancusi, "L'oiseau dans l'espace [Bird in space]" 1923
Putting a rock on a mantelpiece and appreciating it is inappropriate.
For nature is indeterminate, and we must distinguish between appreciating nature and appreciating objects of nature.
On one version of OAM, objects of nature, when so appreciated, become “readymades” like Duchamp’s Fountain:
But the appreciation of nature is lost.
Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917
Or we can appreciate the rock on a mantel only as an aesthetically pleasing object.
But doing so still removes natural objects from their surroundings in which they were created by means of natural forces.
For natural objects, environments of creation are aesthetically relevant, as are environments of display.
Landscape or Scenery Model (LSM)
LSM involves appreciation of a natural environment as if it were a series of landscape paintings.
An example of this is “scenic viewpoints.”
Claude glass 18th century, and painting by Claude Lorrain 1655-1660
Disadvantages of LSM
This approach reduces a walk in the natural environment to something like a stroll through a gallery.
There are moral problems here. It confirms our anthropocentrism [human-centered attitude] and allows our abuse of local environments.
The aesthetic problem is that the natural environment is not a scene, not static, and not two-dimensional.
As Ronald Hepburn puts it: people will look in vain at nature for what can be enjoyed only in art.
Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic (HCA)
One alternative is to deny aesthetic appreciation in nature since aesthetic appreciation requires aesthetic evaluation, i.e. judging an object as an achievement.
One version of this approach is Human Chauvinistic Aesthetic (HCA)
one version of this says that nature is not a work of art (there is no author’s intention, tradition, or milieu.)
Attack on HCA
But HCA is countered by the orthodox view that everything is open to aesthetic appreciation, and the common sense idea that there are some instances of aesthetic appreciation of natural things, for example fiery sunsets.
Another alternative is AOE: Aesthetics of Engagement.
This model, associated with Arnold Berleant, calls on us to replace abstraction with engagement, distance with immersion.
But, Carlson replies, some subject/object dichotomy is necessary for aesthetic appreciation.
AOE is too subjective, and it seems to say we should appreciate everything.
Neither HCA nor AOE answer the what or the when questions adequately.
HCA and AOE point to a paradigm exemplified by geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, who says that the adult must learn to be enjoying, yielding and careless like a child [I call this the Taoist model].
Yi Fu Tuan, emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Tuan: if an adult does what he suggests he might experience an environment that breaks “all the formal rules of euphony and aesthetic, substituting confusion for order, and yet be wholly satisfying.”
A stone sculpture of Laozi (c. 600-400 BCE), located north of Qiamzhou at the foot of Mount Quingyuan, China
Objections to Tuan
But we cannot appreciate everything.
Tuan’s approach would only yield confusion, and would not be wholly satisfying.
It would be too far removed from aesthetic appreciation of art.
[Carlson also opposes the idea that there is one paradigm of aesthetic appreciation.]
The Natural Environmental Model (NEM)
This is Carlson’s position: natural and environmental science is the key to aesthetic appreciation of the natural environment.
Our response must be what John Dewey called a consummatory experience in which knowledge and intelligence transform raw experience, making it determinate, harmonious, and meaningful.
We must feel the ant at least as an insect.
The sound of distant traffic may be excluded from appropriate appreciation of the environment.
Common sense and scientific knowledge is relevant to how we should appreciate an environment.
Different natural environments require different acts of aspection.
Classification is essential to appropriate appreciation of nature.
“we must survey a prairie” Cambria prairie
but examine and scrutinize a forest.
Forest floor, Nova Scotia
Just as with art, relevant knowledge is needed for correct appreciation.
The required knowledge is provided by naturalists, ecologists, geologists and natural historians.
NEM does not reject the traditional structure of aesthetic appreciation of art as a model for aesthetic appreciation of the natural world.
Must be composed.
With Santayana, NEM considers the natural environment to be indeterminate and promiscuous.
Thus, the vague stimulus must be composed to be appreciated.
The composition must be in terms of common sense and scientific knowledge.
Advantages to Carlson’s View (according to Carlson)
It encourages appreciation of nature for what it is: this helps to dispel environmental and moral criticisms.
It is not anthropocentric.
It aligns with other areas of philosophy depending on [scientific] knowledge of the phenomena in question.
“It is… rather unclear that any one ever experiences the natural environment as "unruly and chaotic," except perhaps when first encountering the rapids in a turbulent, rain-swollen river, or the wind action on a lookout point on a stormy day. It quickly becomes evident to the attentive observer, though, that natural processes inevitably reveal patterns and, as a result of this, most people likely approach the natural environment with the expectation that it is rule-governed and orderly and not as "unruly and chaotic."
If anything will likely strike us as "unruly and chaotic" it is, rather, human action and its results, such as garbage dumps and sewers, which intermingle the compostable and the highly toxic.” “Querying Allen Carlson’s Aesthetics and the Environment.” http://www.uqtr.uquebec.ca/AE/Vol_6/Carlson/heyd-c.html, accessed 10/22/10
“The Aesthetics of Junkyards and Roadside Clutter,” Contemporary Aesthetics, 2008
ABSTRACT A little more than thirty years ago, Allen Carlson argued that although the concept of "Camp" would seem to allow for the aesthetic redemption of roadside clutter and junkyards, it does not. He opposes those who claim that if one takes the right attitude to roadside clutter it can be seen as aesthetic. In this essay I argue that that there is nothing wrong with this, although I will not base my argument on the idea of Camp sensibility.
Thomas Leddy “The Aesthetics of Junkyards,” 2010
Carlson: an aesthetically positive response to a junkyard would be inappropriate
No one should be saddened by the disappearance of a junkyard.
You cannot see a junkyard as aesthetic except in a thin sense. You could not appreciate it in a thick sense, knowledge-based sense [in the way he thinks you could appreciate a meadow in the essay we read]
Peter Tytla, PARTS IS PARTS (1992) petertytla.com/galleries.html
Robert Rauschenberg/Monogram, 1955–59 Freestanding combine: oil, paper, fabric, printed paper, printed reproductions, metal, wood, rubber shoe heel, and tennis ball on canvas, with oil on Angora goat and rubber tire, on wood platform mounted on four casters
Robert Rauschenberg - 'Canyon', 1959, oil, housepaint, pencil, paper, fabric, metal, buttons, nails, cardboard, printed paper, photographs, wood, paint tubes, mirror string, pillow & bald eagle on canvas
Edward Kienholz, “The Beanery.” 1965
CHRISTOPH BÜCHEL. “Simply Botiful 2006-10-11 - 2007-03-18”
Claes Oldenburg, The Store, Dec. 1, 1961 - Jan. 31, 1962, Ray Gun Mfg. Co., 107 East Second St., New York
Allan Kaprow. Yard. View of tires in court of Martha Jackson Gallery, New York 1961
Allan Kaprow, Household, Happening, 1964
Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau, 1924-37
John Chamberlain Hatband 1960
painted steel, 58.5 x 53 x 38 inches
Richard Misrach, “Bomb, Destroyed Vehicle, and Lone Rock,” 1987
"Last Call Bison Head"
Andrew Junge, 2005, Norcal, Waste Artist in residence.
Tyrome Tripoli, 2002
Richard Kamler, 1999
Arman, 1960 “Plein” [“The Filled”] Paris
Arman, 1959. Accumulations d'ordures ménagères sous verre. [Household garbage in glass box].
Monroe Beardsley: “the dilemma of aesthetic education”