Aesthetic Inquiry: A New Idea for Human Science -- Leslie Kinyon

ISSS Meeting at Asilomar, June 28-July 2, 1999 
  • Paper Session, June 29, 1999, 1:20 p.m., chaired by Arne Collen 
These participant's notes were created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. These should not be viewed as official transcripts of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. These notes have been contributed by David Ing ( at the IBM AdvancedBusiness Institute ( ).

Leslie Kinyon

Conversations in creative studies. 

  • The process when artists go through creating new work. 
  • Similar between process in experimental method, and creation of something new. 
  • Methodology (Toucheman) -- not the application of scientific method (i.e. epistemological), it's the capturing the object of study. 
  • Weber: to find meaning and understanding. 
  • Understanding has layers: deductive and inductive. 
  • Discipline: Artists often considered to be in ecstatic state, or be undisciplined. 
    • The techniques of form, color, ..., which are aesthetics. 
  • Art can be a language: writing, poetics, music. 
    • Music composition, the second most pure expression of language, after math. 
    • Music is a mystery, may predate language. 
Inquiry on aesthetic abilities we all have.

Ruth Richards, MD and Robin May, psychologist 

  • Aesthetics as noticing 
    • We know there's more to look at, and it become an encounter. 
    • Beyond colour. light and form. 
Gioto: understood perspective, created the basis for a lot of the Renaissance. 
  • An example of aesthetic noticing in action, impacted even science. 
Art requires discipline and effort, emphasis on creative may be detrimental.

Art is holistic. 

  • Glass artist inquiring into the nature of glass and light? 
    • Actually understands color, etc., as well as the physics of what he is doing. 
  • Art is completely self-referrent, and it must exist independent of the artist. 
  • Art can be generative: from something, or nothing. 
  • Similar to von Bertalanffy, in his criticism of reductionism. 
  • Won't understand the whole until you encounter the piece. 
Art is 1% ecstasy and 99% sweat. 
  • Think about the research which the artist conducted which led to the piece. 
  • Is this different from Malinowski? He went to place, and asked a question. 
Need to engage in conversation. 
  • Have a cyber-culture, which is beyond the written word. 
  • Instead of presenting at papers, perhaps we should present as singers? 
Arne: What the artist and scientist do isn't that much different. 
  • As a student, re-enact famous experiments. 
    • There's an aesthetic experience in that. 
Kant: chief architect of western ideas on aesthetics 
  • Beauty is disinterested. 
  • Richards, there's nothing more we want to get out of it. 
  • Aesthetic has no other purpose. 
    • Disagree: Notice is not disinterested. 
  • Another function: to remember. 
    • A marker in the memory, as we noticed it aesthetically. 
If the mind is holistic and holographic. 
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This page was last modified by David Ing on October 6, 2002.