Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198280149
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Art

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions--European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 9780191037450
Release Date: 1998-07-09
Genre: Social Science

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions—European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 9780191512155
Release Date: 1998-07-09
Genre: Social Science

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions—European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Distributed Objects

Author: Liana Chua
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857457431
Release Date: 2013-03-30
Genre: Art

One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell's Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell's work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. Extending his theory into new territory – from music to literary technology and ontology to technological change – the contributors do not simply take stock, but also provoke, critically reassessing this important work while using it to challenge conceptual and disciplinary boundaries.

The Art of Anthropology

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN: 1845204840
Release Date: 1999-02-01
Genre: Social Science

This work collects together the most influential of Gell's writings with a new introductory chapter written by Gell. The essays vividly demonstrate Gell's theoretical and empirical interests and his distinctive contribution to several key areas of current anthropological enquiry. A central theme of the essays is Gel's highly original exploration of diagrammatic imagery as the site where social relations and cognitive processes converge and crystallise. Gell tracks this imagery across studies of tribal market transactions, dance forms, the iconicity of language and his most recent and groundbreaking analyses of artworks.

Art s Agency and Art History

Author: Robin Osborne
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470777275
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Art

Art's Agency and Art History re-articulates the relationship of the anthropology of art to key methodological and theoretical approaches in art history, sociology, and linguistics. Explores important concepts and perspectives in the anthropology of art Includes nine groundbreaking case studies by an internationally renowned group of art historians and art theorists Covers a wide range of periods, including Bronze-Age China, Classical Greece, Rome, and Mayan, as well as the modern Western world Features an introductory essay by leading experts, which helps clarify issues in the field Includes numerous illustrations

Toward an Anthropological Theory of Value

Author: D. Graeber
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9780312299064
Release Date: 2001-12-13
Genre: Social Science

This volume is the first comprehensive synthesis of economic, political, and cultural theories of value. David Graeber reexamines a century of anthropological thought about value and exchange, in large measure to find a way out of ongoing quandaries in current social theory, which have become critical at the present moment of ideological collapse in the face of Neoliberalism. Rooted in an engaged, dynamic realism, Graeber argues that projects of cultural comparison are in a sense necessarily revolutionary projects: He attempts to synthesize the best insights of Karl Marx and Marcel Mauss, arguing that these figures represent two extreme, but ultimately complementary, possibilities in the shape such a project might take. Graeber breathes new life into the classic anthropological texts on exchange, value, and economy. He rethinks the cases of Iroquois wampum, Pacific kula exchanges, and the Kwakiutl potlatch within the flow of world historical processes, and recasts value as a model of human meaning-making, which far exceeds rationalist/reductive economist paradigms.

Anthropology and Social Theory

Author: Sherry B. Ortner
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822338645
Release Date: 2006-11-30
Genre: Philosophy

The award-winning anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner draws on her longstanding interest in theories of cultural practice to rethink key concepts of culture, agency, and subjectivity.

The Anthropology of Time

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Berg Pub Limited
ISBN: 0854968903
Release Date: 1992
Genre: Science

Time - relentless, ever-present but intangible and the single element over which human beings have no absolute control - has long proved a puzzle. The author examines the phenomenon of time and asks such fascinating questions as how time impinges on people, to what extent our awareness of time is culturally conditioned, how societies deal with temporal problems and whether time can be considered a `resource' to be economized. More specifically, he provides a consistent and detailed analysis of theories put forward by a number of thinkers such as Durkheim, Evans-Pritchard, Lévi-Strauss, Geertz, Piaget, Husserl and Bourdieu. His discussion encompasses four main approaches in time research, namely developmental psychology, symbolic anthropology (covering the bulk of post-Durkheimian social anthropology) `economic' theories of time in social geography and, finally, phenomenological theories. The author concludes by presenting his own model of social/cognitive time, in the light of these critical discussions of the literature.

Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds

Author: Dorothy Holland
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674005627
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Social Science

This text addresses the central problem in anthropological theory of the late 1990s - the paradox that humans are both products of social discipline and creators of remarkable improvisation.

Art Agency and Living Presence

Author: Caroline van Eck
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
ISBN: 9783110380354
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: Art

Throughout history, and all over the world, viewers have treated works of art as if they are living beings: speaking to them, falling in love with them, kissing or beating them. This book is a contribution towards an understanding of such responses, by drawing on ancient rhetoric and the theories of Aby Warburg and Alfred Gell, and by retracing the history of attempts to understand - or even excite - such response.

Advertising and Anthropology

Author: Timothy de Waal Malefyt
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780857852038
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Social Science

Examining theory and practice, Advertising and Anthropology is a lively and important contribution to the study of organizational culture, consumption practices, marketing to consumers and the production of creativity in corporate settings. The chapters reflect the authors' extensive lived experienced as professionals in the advertising business and marketing research industry. Essays analyze internal agency and client meetings, competitive pressures and professional relationships and include multiple case studies. The authors describe the structure, function and process of advertising agency work, the mediation and formation of creativity, the centrality of human interactions in agency work, the production of consumer insights and industry ethics. Throughout the book, the authors offer concrete advice for practitioners. Advertising and Anthropology is written by anthropologists for anthropologists as well as students and scholars interested in advertising and related industries such as marketing, marketing research and design.

Culinary Art and Anthropology

Author: Joy Adapon
Publisher: Berg
ISBN: 9781847886064
Release Date: 2008-08-01
Genre: Social Science

Culinary Art and Anthropology is an anthropological study of food. It focuses on taste and flavour using an original interpretation of Alfred Gell's theory of the 'art nexus'. Grounded in ethnography, it explores the notion of cooking as an embodied skill and artistic practice. The integral role and concept of 'flavour' in everyday life is examined among cottage industry barbacoa makers in Milpa Alta, an outer district of Mexico City. Women's work and local festive occasions are examined against a background of material on professional chefs who reproduce 'traditional' Mexican cooking in restaurant settings. Including recipes to allow readers to practise the art of Mexican cooking, Culinary Art and Anthropology offers a sensual, theoretically sophisticated model for understanding food anthropologically. It will appeal to social scientists, food lovers, and those interested in the growing fields of food studies and the anthropology of the senses.

The Anthropology Art and Cultural Production

Author: Maruska Svasek
Publisher: Pluto Press
ISBN: 0745317952
Release Date: 2007-02-20
Genre: Social Science

This book provides an introduction to anthropological perspectives on art. Svasek defines art as a social process. We study not only the artefacts themselves and the values attributed to them, but also the process of production and its wider context. Providing a critical overview of various anthropological theories of art, Svasek offers a new perspective which centres on the analysis of commoditisation, aestheticisation and object agency. She explores the process of collecting and exhibiting art works and how this relates to art's production, distribution and consumption in an increasingly global market. The book outlines the significance of art and aesthetics in everyday life, and examines the shifting boundaries between art and other categories such as kitsch, souvenirs, propaganda and pornography. Finally, Svasek argues for an anthropological perspective that links the production and consumption of artefacts to political, religious and other cultural processes. Ideal as a teaching text, this book gives a detailed overview of themes that are central to the fields of art history, art sociology and cultural studies.

Handbook of Material Culture

Author: Chris Tilley
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 9781446206430
Release Date: 2006-01-05
Genre: Social Science

The study of material culture is concerned with the relationship between persons and things in the past and in the present, in urban and industrialized and in small-scale societies across the globe. The Handbook of Material Culture provides a critical survey of the theories, concepts, intellectual debates, substantive domains and traditions of study characterizing the analysis of things. It is cutting-edge: rather than simply reviewing the field as it currently exists. It also attempts to chart the future: the manner in which material culture studies may be extended and developed. The Handbook of Material Culture is divided into five sections. • Section I maps material culture studies as a theoretical and conceptual field. • Section II examines the relationship between material forms, the human body and the senses. • Section III focuses on subject-object relations. • Section IV considers things in terms of processes and transformations in terms of production, exchange and consumption, performance and the significance of things over the long-term. • Section V considers the contemporary politics and poetics of displaying, representing and conserving material and the manner in which this impacts on notions of heritage, tradition and identity. The Handbook charts an interdisciplinary field of studies that makes an unique and fundamental contribution to an understanding of what it means to be human. It will be of interest to all who work in the social and historical sciences, from anthropologists and archaeologists to human geographers to scholars working in heritage, design and cultural studies.