Organised around the theme of beauty, this innovative collection offers insight into the development of anthropological thinking on art, aesthetics and creativity in recent years. The volume incorporates current work on perception and generative processes, and seeks to move beyond a purely aesthetic and relativist stance. The chapters invite readers to consider how people sense and seek out beauty, whether through acts of human creativity and production; through sensory experience of sound, light or touch, or experiencing architecture; visiting heritage sites or ancient buildings; experiencing the environment through ‘places of outstanding natural beauty’; or through cooperative action, machine-engineering or designing for the future.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The problem with beauty: an anthropological perspective 3. The material labour of artful mathematics 4. With beauty all around me, I walk 5. The unexpected gift of beauty 6. Beauty and captivation: Fuyuge gab and Gell’s anthropological theory of art 7. The continual changes: transforming art styles in Enlightenment Scotland and beyond 8. Grace in moving and joy in sharing: the intrinsic Beauty of communicative musicality from birth 9. The Favourite Sounds Project 10. Colour palettes and beauty 11. Aso iyi, aso eye: resplendence and the Yoruba prestige textile aso-oke 12. Beauty as a capacity: a study of hands-in-craft 13. Cinematographers’ skilled vision and aesthetic praxis 14. Beauty as skill and ‘common sensing’ 15. Fleshly beauty: an anthropological perspective 16. Beauty in motion: collective creativity in contemporary dance 17. Surprised by beauty: Imagining Autism 18. Threshold and temporality in architecture: practices of movement in Japanese architecture 19. Carbuncles, surfaces and beautiful built environments 20. Paradigms of transmission: aesthetic affinities and intertextualities in the art of Will Maclean 21. Beauty and belonging 22. Beauty and economy 23. Mysterious equations: formulating good design for Textiles U.S.A. 24. Engineering as a process of beauty 25. Collaborative forms 26. Appropriation, imitation and creation: glass beadwork among Panará people 27. The beauty of sand-drawing in Vanuatu: kinship and continuity on Paama Island 28. The beautiful and the blessed: brightness, balance and bones in Kyrgyz shyrdak felt 29. From the North with my cello, or, five propositions on beauty
Stephanie Bunn is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews, UK.