R.G. Collingwood’s Principles of Art In A&S, pp.191-201
Art & Craft: (pp.192-197)
§1: The Meaning of Craft:
Collingwood’s concern here is to delineate the field of content for his aesthetic theory, hence begins with a distinction between art (proper) and craft. “Art” per terminology and as commonly conceived can contain these two senses (poiesis vs. techne, ars*), but his focus is on art proper, hence must slice away art as the arts we conceive as crafts and by craft.
* poiesis (ποίησις): (ancient Greek) creative activity; one’s making as creating as bringing into being something that was not in existence beforehand; —for Collingwood, this is “art proper”
techne (τέχνη): (ancient Greek) a knowing-intending making or doing; power/ability to make; commonly translated as craft, craftsmanship, art; —for Collingwood, this is “craft”
ars: (Latin) art, skill; craft, power; (from PIE root for “to join,” or “fit/fitting/fit together” & gives us English’s “art”) —for Collingwood, this is “craft”
He delineates six chief characteristics of craft:
(1) distinction of means & end:
means: the actions concerning things engaged & passed through to yield end
(2) distinction of planning & execution:
planning comes first; plan as foreknowledge is precise
(3) relations of means & end inverted in planning & execution:
in planning: 1st: end determined; 2nd: means determined
in execution: 1st: means enacted; 2nd: end yielded
(4) distinction of raw material & finished product:
craft always exercised on raw material to transform it into (different thing as) its finished product
(5) distinction of form & matter:
matter: identical in raw material & finished product (wood: matter of log and table)
form: difference between raw material & finished product (wood form as tree vs wood form as table)
(6) three kinds of hierarchical relations between various crafts:
a: hierarchy of materials:
craft A’s final product (lumbered wood) yields craft B’s raw material (logs for furniture building) and B’s final product (furniture) can yield craft C’s raw material (furniture for interior decorating) …
b: hierarchy of means:
craft A’s final product (forged hammer) yields craft B’s tools (hammer) for final product (step stools) for craft C’s tools (step stool) for final product (decorated hall) …
c: hierarchy of parts:
craft A (furniture making) is assembling of parts made by different crafts (forester, lumber miller, painter, joiner, knob maker, etc.) …
Link to: American Craft Museums §3: Break-Down of the Theory: This section distinguishes craft from art proper on the six chief characteristics named above, thereby yielding a collective of traits about art proper to serve towards its definition.
(1) concerning means & end:
art is not an end to which there are means like the relation of means & ends for craft
(2) concerning planning & execution:
art does not have the necessary relation craft has wherein precise planning comes first; instead, art may have no planning, or have vague planning
(3) concerning relations of means & end per planning & execution:
art—since it has no necessary relation between plan/execute—has no inverted order of means & end per planning & execution as had craft
(4) concerning raw material & finished product:
art has no raw material component in the same way as craft; however, art’s “raw material” is a feeling or emotion had by the artist and converted into the finished product (but, noting this is a more poetic redefinition of “raw material”)
(5) concerning form & matter:
art has no distinction between form & matter as has craft; there are distinctions in art between aspects like an artist’s confused excitement before art made, but the excitement is not, properly speaking, matter that is then formed; when people speak of art’s distinctions of form/matter or form/content, they are either making art analogous to craft for illustration and/or using the distinctive elements very metaphorically, for example, when speaking of what is expressed and that which expresses it, or the impulse to make art versus the art then made, or the emotive versus the intellectual elements in art
(6) concerning hierarchical relations:
art has no hierarchical relations as has craft per any of the latter’s means, materials, or parts; when differing arts combine to make a work of art, this is collaboration, not a hierarchical relation
Art Proper: (1) As Expression: (pp.197-200) ––especially worthy of close attention & comparison to Tolsto
§2: Expressing Emotion & Arousing Emotion:
Art proper has something essential to do with emotion—this ‘having to do with one another’ is Expression--notArousal—of emotion.
The expression of emotion:
1st one is conscious of having an emotion, but unconscious of what it is; not knowing what it is causes helpless feeling of being oppressed by it;
2nd one expresses the emotion—this is an extrication of self from emotion; conducted via language; results in the previous unknown emotion becoming a known emotion; coming to know what emotion is through its expression causes a lightening feeling of being freed from oppression.
The lightening caused by the expression of emotion is akin to, but differs from catharsis:
Catharsis discharges the emotion through a make-believe situation,
Expression: feel anger, express it in words, anger feeling stays in mind, but we feel lightened because the anger feeling no longer oppresses us by being an unknown affective turmoil.
Expression of Emotion Vs. Arousing Emotion:
Arouse: person-X sets out to arouse emotion-Y in audience-Z, but X is not affected by Y, hence X and Z are essentially different
Express: person-X sets out to express emotion-Y to audience-Z by self-distancing X from Y in order to allow self-X to understand Y, thereby Z can also come to understand Y, hence X and Z are essentially the same
Arouse: person-X’s primary addressee is audience-Z; to arouse emotion-Y, X must keenly know Z
Expression: person-X’s primary addressee is X, the audience-Z is incidental
Arouse: person-X must know emotion-Y well to get audience-Z to feel Y (needs technique)
Expression: person-X does not know emotion-Y until it is expressed (has no technique)
§7: Expressing Emotion & Betraying Emotion: Expression of emotion is not betrayal of emotion (i.e., exhibiting symptoms);
Symptoms are like vague, indeterminate hints;
Expressions are lucid and intelligible.
i.e., fear may be accompanied by stammering and turning pale, but to stammer and turn pale is not to render clear ‘this feeling is fear,’ just as one may feel fear without such symptoms.
“… the object at which he [the artist] is aiming is not to produce a preconceived emotion effect on his audience but by means of a system of expressions, or language, composed partly of speech and partly of gesture, to explore his own emotions: to discover emotions in himself of which he was unaware, and, by permitting the audience to witness the discovery, enable them to make a similar discovery about themselves” (A&S, 199).
–i.e., the aim of art: to express (via language/gesture) emotions so as to come to know them; done before an audience so to permit audience opportunity to make their own similar discoveries about their own emotions.
The expression of emotions is not mere exhibitionism.
The Artist & the Community: (pp.200-201)
§3: The Bodily ‘Work of Art’: Aesthetic experience is wholly & entirely imaginative experience. Imaginative experience is sensuous experience raised to the level of consciousness &/or is sensuous experience together with consciousness. The power of aesthetic/imaginative experience is only the power consciousness in the one who experiences it. There is a distinction between three simultaneous elements: what transmutes (consciousness); what is transmuted (sensation); and what it is transmuted into (imagination).
–i.e., consciousness transmutes the sensation into imagination—hence, consciousness, sensation, and imagination are distinct components, yet are all involved in aesthetic experience.
–i.e., the transmuted/sensuous element in aesthetic experience: the outward element, e.g., artist’s psycho-physical activity of painting, her visual sensation of color and shape, her gestures of brushing paint and the traces these gestures leave across the canvas: all the sensuous-emotional experience of the artist’s activity of painting … and all of this comes into existence by the exercise of the artist’s coming to consciousness / conscious expression of her emotions (i.e., “nihil est in imaginatione quod non fuerit in sensu”--nothing is in imagination that is not found in consciousness (A&S, 200)).
Sure, one can have some aesthetic experience in observing something, but “if you want to get more out of an experience, you must put more into it” (A&S, 201).