Philosophical Vision: Institutional Theory

The institutional theory is the most complex theory in the aesthetics field. Also, the most recent that covers the definition of, “what is art?” According to this theory, the argument holds, “X is an artwork, if the “art world” says it is. The art world consists of individuals who have intellectual knowledge on aesthetics AND history of art.

Art therapy also backs up Collingwood’s theory, as art is supposed to express emotions. Many war veterans, amongst other victims of life’s disaster, use art therapy as a process in a treatment to recover from their pasts. Whether it’s painting, writing, or some other form of art, war veterans become artists.

In this case, therapists are considered the “art world.” If the art piece is not exposed to anyone else. Therefore, it is still classified as art in the sense of the classificatory definition. The piece is an artifact created by humans and a status is conferred even if it is just one individual. (“Emily Dickinson”) It is still not none. Therefore it is still art.

However, not all art is revealed to the art world nor was intended to be exposed to the art world initially. Therefore it can’t be art according to the early institutional theory. This includes the poems of Emily Dickenson that weren’t published until after her passing and also the likes of art therapy. Therefore, theorists could argue that these particular art pieces are not indeed art.

The transition of the institutional theory from early to later, excludes the conferring sense. So therefore, even if the “art world” cannot see an art piece, it is still art, even if it is not intended for the public eye. Therefore, art pieces created in art therapy and Emily Dickenson’s poems are still considered art.

“Emily Dickinson: Lives of a Poet.” New York: Braziller, 1986. Print.

Top Ten Most Influential Artists (In My Book)

I have had numerous approaches to this blog. Since creative writing is my expertize, I figured I would express the reasons why each of these names made my top ten influential artists. As my artistic creations spill into the world, I cannot help but wonder about the pros and cons of the success that may or may not come. Regardless, it is easier to keep being true to myself with the leadership of my elders and fellow artists, who have reach unlimited success, while being true without allowing the fame they have encountered change their beings. This list is not chosen from talent alone. Before I stick to my interests of performers, so to speak, I like to try and get a sense of character from the artist, by their words in the interviews, actions that portray their credibility, and how they give back to the community and/or their fans in general. The ‘hear say’ from the paparazzi and other fans tend to go in one ear and out the other. I also try to find a deeper significance beyond the image portrayed in photos and/or on the screen. Let’s be honest, just because you are talented, doesn’t mean you are a solid individual. My top ten have proven in the years of on and off the screen of their individualism. These following ten have their own individualism to themselves and not with society.

10. Joe Lando 

Source: FameFly Net Pictures

Even though my Dr. Quinn days are long over and I have grown up fully, my childhood hero will always have a special place in my heart. That is why he is chosen at #10. Joe can be caught on screen in numerous guest appearance from various shows in today’s day and age, but the factor of his priority being his family speaks volumes, as similar as, his 90s character, Byron Sully. He protects his family by keeping them out of the spotlight, yet, has the ability to continue his working abilities as an actor. Also, the idea of acting as work is rare, but he only sees this profession as a job, nothing more, nothing less. This I applaud him, since no one sees this in Hollywood too often anymore. He is no Tom Cruise.

9. P!nk

Source: Fans Share

P!nk is one of the most refreshing faces in the music/acting business, as she has the ability to be true to herself, keep her own style, and still provide beautiful music every time she releases and album or appears on a soundtrack. Her music’s messages are powerful and positive for the mainstream radio, which is rare nowadays. P!nk’s combination of priorities with family and a strong activist for the LGBT community brings hope to the equal rights of our brothers and sisters who have fought long enough as a minority.

8. Macklemore

Source: Rap Rehab

Another activist/warrior for the LGBT community, Macklemore promotes change in his strong song lyrics; however, Macklemore doesn’t just focus on just one community for equality, he also portrays concerns of the civil rights for today’s African Americans and other racism issues. Aside from the powerful music movement with his lyrics, Macklemore also achieved greater success, that no other independent artist has, in the history of album sales and singles on the Billboard Charts and mainstream. He has provided hope in other indie artists to keep striving for their goals, without the corporation world attached. His messages in his lyrics influenced the change in my poetry theme the last couple of years.

7. Andrew Zimmern

Source: The Boston Globe

I have many favorites in the Culinary profession from Guy Fieri to Bobby Flay, but no one tops them than the traveling, bizarre grubbing Minnesotan. It seems that Andrew has no limits when it comes to trying everything once, either it applies in food or lifestyle. I give Andrew props for opening the world up (aside from Ru-Paul) to the drag world in one of his Bizarre Foods segments when he was in Florida. Not only did he provide his support to the drag community, but he is openly Jewish for the religious preference. That originality opens many doors to other cultures as well, as one can hope for.

6. TLC

Source: All Music

One of the most dominating feminist groups of my time, another influence from my childhood that will always be sitting in my top ten at all time. The powerful words in their songs, “Waterfalls” & “Unpretty” are just a few of the songs that have influenced fans in general for a better living regardless of their own personal struggles that they battled during the times of their explosive success in the 90s. TLC made growing up in the 90s, an era of massive change, a bit easier to digest.

5. Jared Leto

Source: All Axess

From music to acting, Jared portrays his individualism in both categories. Jared expresses full passion in both his careers, whether he is Jared or provides a character in his film projects. He is one of the few actors/actresses that is willing to go the distance and go where the meat is, so to speak, in the script and story. Jared doesn’t worry about labels and the critics that hold them when he chooses a project or looks at a project. His openness provides unlimited opportunities for his success. That openness portrays his confidence in himself and his skill sets in the entertainment business, whether he is singing or acting.

4. Kristin Bauer Van Straten

Source: Fans Share

My fellow Wisconsinite provides society our true nature of our personalities, the bi-polar of Pam on True Blood. We just have a way of saying truth in a more humble sense. The first time I watched True Blood, I am honest, I was not a fan of Eric or Pam, seemingly conniving at first. The characters also sparked my curiosity beyond True Blood and the famous characters. Kristin provides hope in her activism in her documentary, Out For Africa, which her and her husband bring light in the awareness of poaching against elephants and rhinos in Africa. I had the honor and ability to donate towards the project through Kickstarter and got the insiders ‘goods’ to the project. Her ability to fight for the endangered animals brought warmth in my heart for Pam’s willingness for survival. Kristin is also known to be an out-spoken supporter in the LGBT community as well.

3. Johnny Depp

Source: Willikilliams

Johnny is a chameleon for movie/TV roles. From portraying a Native American, a pirate, an author, a murderous barber, Leo Dicaprio’s older brother, to a psychotic astronaut, I think Johnny has reached beyond the limits of an actor’s credibility to adapt. For majority of my adulthood, Johnny has become a favorite eye candy of my own personal choosing. Johnny’s sense of keeping the lucrative rock image in a humble matter and not become the Ken Barbie image like majority of Hollywood’s leading males is a huge turn on in my view. At 51 years old, we can safely agree, he doesn’t look a day older than 39.

2. Alexander Skarsgard


Eric Northman. Need we say more? Fortunate or unfortunate, I tend to draw towards military personnel. Upon the discovery of Alex’s past with the Swedish Marines, I’ve become more drawn to him. Another attraction factor is how he handles his fame and his career, as he keeps true to his nature and doesn’t give up on his roots in Sweden, his little getaway from the Hollywood life anytime he wishes to take a break. He reminds me of my #1 on my influential list in a sense. So, don’t let his appearance fool you, because he provides beauty from within, as much as he does on the surface. Through his work and his activism events, he continues to support the soldiers and veterans. My admiration of Alex is fresh, as I stated before, I started out not being a fan of Eric Northman, but I was a sucker for the vulnerable Eric, as many women were. 

1. Roy Dupuis

Source: LaPresse

My hero/idol in my adulthood. I could write a book about it, but I won’t. Not now anyways. If you are wondering where Roy has been since the cancellation of the show, La Femme Nikita, all you have to do his follow his heart back to Quebec, Canada, where he has done over 30 film/television projects since the end of his run as Michael Samuelle in one of the most profound series in television history. Roy is one of the most iconic actors in Quebec, if not Canada, politics aside. In his projects he has brought a brighter light in the Rwanda Genocide ’94 portraying General Romeo Dallaire in Shaking Hands With The Devil and brought light to the story of the iconic hockey player and activist, Maurice Richard in The Rocket. Along with his spectacular choices of character roles, he keeps busy in numerous activism/humanitarian projects back home, including his organization of founding Fondation Rivières in 2001. He proved his individualism when Jon Cassar believed Roy had no choice, but to move to Hollywood. Instead, Roy followed his heart back to his roots of Quebec and have had, if not more, success and happiness in his lively hood and career.

Philosophical Vision: Idealism vs. Materialism

Materialism is defined as, “a belief that only matter and its physical properties are real, while mind, thoughts and the like are simply manifestations of matter”. With that kind of definition, it would seem simple to be directed towards the materialist world, but nothing is just that simple in life. Everything falls in with each other on a complex level. 

Idealism is even more-so a complicated topic for reality. If it wasn’t for the mind, not the brain, where would our matter or materials come from in a materialist’s reality? Better yet, how does one just learn or discover new things in life or how to name it a specific name? Even though we can’t seem to perceive the unknown with our eyes, how come it is present in our hearts through any emotion that maybe present at the time?

Materials are things that you can use your five senses on, whether it’s touching, seeing, tasting, smelling and/or hearing. So does that mean a song is material? Even though we can hear a song, can we see it? In a music video, we see the idea of the song. On a piece of paper, we see music notes and the words to the song, but where did these “materials” come from? It didn’t come from an atom or a neuron. It isn’t part of any of the scientific method of reality, even though parts of music seem to be materials. Overall, it’s a bunch of ideas and words coming together as one to make beautiful or horrendous sounds.

Not only is emotion a trick to the mind, but how about some other factors you can perceive through your mind like color, figure, motion, taste, and smell? These senses can easily be a trick to the mind as well. Let’s explain the example of color. Has anyone every seen a color with such mass?

In order for anything to be real, we need to experience it through the five senses, as agreed upon both idealism and materialism. However, materialists say the five senses are the main purpose that God can’t exist, because we can’t see, taste, touch, smell, or hear him. If you can, well then, you must be hallucinating, because bottom line, God isn’t in existence. The fact that no one can really provide proof of God’s existence is an exit point to any argument holding God or an Eternal Spirit in anyone’s argument.

For example, Berkeley’s argument as he quotes, …”that consequently as long as they are not perceived by me or do not exist in the mind or that of another created spirit, they must not have any existence at all, or else subsist in the mind of some Eternal Spirit.” He needs God in his theory, but yet, no on is able to prove he exists. Therefore, the idea is that materialists would have an upper hand.

Key word is idea in the last paragraph. Even though materialism is one of the ancient beliefs and philosophies in history today, where did materialism come from? Nothing is presented in reality, until an idea of the matter has formed in the mind. Let’s think of inventions or creations of your favorite foods or favorite clothes. Those materials didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Someone had to have come up of the idea to make spaghetti, to make jean pants, etc. unless someone invented them by accident. However, how did they invent them by accident? The inventors must have had been thinking of something else to invent at the time.

Another sense that we really haven’t gathered on yet in Philosophy is the sixth sense. So what is it? It’s a sense, but is it a sense through the mind or the body? Why can only a few people experience the sixth sense in this world i.e. ghost hunters, mediums, psychics, ect? Are they hallucinating or is just a gift from the Eternal Spirit? Is this His way of saying? “Hey, the big man is in the building and is watching.”

The conclusion, Berkeley’s argument makes a lot of sense to the great question, “What is real?” There is more out there than what the eye perceives or what our minds are limited to comprehend and the reason we haven’t seen the truth is because humans are not ready for it. I question materialists and their idea of reality. Oh, there’s that word again. Idea! There is no doubt that we do have science and there is no doubt in my mind that we still have a ton of realities and truths in the unknown. The debate between materialists and idealists seem endless and maybe it will always be until the end of time or when the unknowns are ready to come out to the truths and stop hiding. I will remain with an open mind that anything is possible.

Work Cited
        Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning The Principles of Human Knowledge. Dublin: David R. Wilkins. 2002. Print.