Blog: The Concept Of Art Never Changes

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 07 2021

Blog: The Concept Of Art Never Changes

Featured image: Call'n It A Day


The concept of art never changes and yet, at the same time it is never the same. Tricky statement, yes? Historically, many have tried to define art. None have succeeded. Art, while it has changed over time, hasn’t really changed over time. Plus the concept of art is a thing in itself. What do I mean by “a thing in itself?”


Kant introduces the thing-in-itself as follows:
And we indeed, rightly considering objects of sense as mere appearances, confess thereby that they are based upon a thing in itself, though we know not this thing as it is in itself, but only know its appearances, viz., the way in which our senses are affected by this unknown something.
— Prolegomena, § 32


I could go on and on about a thing-in-itself but the brief explanation from Wikipedia seems to do the trick for now. Art relies on our senses, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, And our senses are individualized. No one else can sense anything like we do, We are all unique. Hence the statement, the concept of art never changes. And yet at the same time it is never the same. It individualized and unique.

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