March 27-29, 2002, Asilomar
The Pacific Division held its annual meeting at the Asilomar Conference Center March 27-29, 2002. Attendance was very strong, with over sixty participants.
The program included several special sessions. Wednesday evening began with “The Aesthetics of the Home,” a panel discussion with Cynthia Rostankowski, Tom Leddy, and Stan Godlovich. Later over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, Keith Lehrer treated attendees to a lively and engaging slide presentation on representation in painting and consciousness . Many noted with appreciation that Lehrer delivered his provocative, elegantly presented talk entirely “without notes.” Thursday morning saw an Author-Meets-Author session with Stephen Davies and Ted Gracyk squaring off on rock and roll, classical music and other matters musical. This was followed later in the day with an Author-Meets-Critics session in which Henry Allison joined Paul Guyer and Beatrice Longuenesse in discussing Allison’s recent “Kant’s Theory of Taste.” Up-and-coming aestheticians Joshua Shaw, Daniel Sturgis and Grant Tavinor each presented fine talks in a special graduate student session on Friday.
Amidst a variety of animated sessions on literature, film, neuroscience and visual representation, beauty, the sublime and musical meaning, some important artistic distinctions were agreed upon. A vocal minority agreed in ranking “I Love Lucy,” “Silence of the Lambs,” and some web sites as works of art. The same cohort wished to banish “The Royal Tenenbaums,” LeRoy Teeple’s new cowboy gloves, Dealin’ Doug’s Auto Emporium Ads, and some web sites to the ignoble ranks of “non-art.”
Finally, truth in reporting requires disclosure of aesthetic displeasure at the state of Asilomar pianos. Musically astute ASA members should exercise particular caution.