The Easel

Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature

What is art and why do artists want to make stuff?  The cognitive philosopher Alva Noe argues that man-made objects and technology structure our lives but they are so familiar that we fail to notice. The job of art is philosophical – “Art is… a way of investigating the world and ourselves. We start out not seeing what is there. By interrogating . . . we come to see it. The work of art challenges us to reorganize our seeing.”