Aesthetic cognition


Alberto Argenton (2004), Aesthetic cognition. A tribute to Rudolf Arnheim, Gestalt Theory, 2, 128-133.
This paper was written with the ideal purpose of carrying on in the tradition of Rudolf ARNHEIM’s seminal research and, more generally, in the tradition of Gestalt theory. It argues that the aesthetic criterion (the bipolar dimension of “beautiful/ugly”), through which we evaluate any object or event in the phenomenal world, is a species-specific criterion, which is based on perceptual functioning and orients, drives, and regulates cognition. The author advances this thesis as a contribution to the theme of the relationship between perception and thought, affirm¬ing how important it is to study the artistic phenomenon if we are ever to grasp the functioning of the human mind in its entirety.

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The hand, touch and vision

The touch_resize

Alberto Argenton (2012), The hand, touch and vision, in A. Pluchinotta (ed.), Just the hand in modern and contemporary plastic art, Exhibition catalogue, Padova, Piano Nobile – Caffè Pedrocchi, 22 September – 14 October 2012, Bortolazzi-Stei, San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR), 44-50.
The hand, together with the arm of which it is the extremity, is our principal executive organ. It is what characterizes us as homo faber and as the species homo sapiens sapiens, for it is with the hand that we have been and are able not only to modify, on the whole to our advantage, the environment in which we live, but also to create, construct, make a myriad of artifacts that constitute our cultural material. The hand seems to be one of the primary organs through which the body – and the mind – interact cognitively with the surrounding world and help shape and develop our knowledge of the world.

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Biographical sketch

Alberto Argenton was born in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1944, where he lived just for three years. He spent his childhood in Friuli (Italy) and adolescence in Mogadishu, Somalia. He graduated in Philosophy at University...

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Alberto Argenton: the topography of opposites by Caterina Limentani Virdis

There is a limit that separates true artistic work from the creation of merely functional forms. Both are a result of manual work and belong to the sphere of creativity in general, but within this sphere, certain distinctions should be drawn between what is creation and aesthetic reception, and what belongs to the sphere of experience …

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Accidental collages 2012

All the works here presented are collages created using some acrylic-painted cardboard cutouts which I had used for other compositions. The cutouts were ‘accidentally’ placed on a sheet of paper – also chance can be a formal principle. As Rudolf Arnheim claims (Accident and necessity of art, in Toward a psychology of art, University of California Press, 1966, 169), “the accidental throwing together of elements does not always produce disorder, deviation, lack of connection, or interference […] some will have order or even symmetry, others will be quite irrational; some will be harmonious, others discordant”

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