1st Edition

The Space that Separates: A Realist Theory of Art

By Nick Wilson Copyright 2020
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Space that Separates: A Realist Theory of Art radically challenges our assumptions about what art is, what art does, who is doing it, and why it matters. Rejecting the modernist and market-driven misconception that art is only what artists do, Wilson instead presents a realist case for living artfully. Art is defined as the skilled practice of giving shareable form to our experiences of being-in-relation with the real; that is to say, the causally generative domain of the world that extends beyond our direct observation, comprising relations, structures, mechanisms, possibilities, powers, processes, systems, forces, values, ways of being. In communicating such aesthetic experience we behold life’s betweenness – "the space that separates", so coming to know ourselves as connected.

    Providing the first dedicated and comprehensive account of art and aesthetics from a critical realist perspective – Aesthetic Critical Realism (ACR), Wilson argues for a profound paradigm shift in how we understand and care for culture in terms of our system(s) of value recognition. Fortunately, we have just the right tool to help us achieve this transformation – and it’s called art. Offering novel explanatory accounts of art, aesthetic experience, value, play, culture, creativity, artistic truth and beauty, this book will appeal to a wide audience of students and scholars of art, aesthetics, human development, philosophy and critical realism, as well as cultural practitioners and policy-makers.

    Part I: Foundations: Critical Realism and Experience  1. Introduction – A Realist Theory of Art  2. Critical Realism – In 21 Steps  3. Experience – A Depth Ontology  Part II: Developments: Realising Aesthetic Experience  4. Aesthetic Experience – Being-In-Relation   5. Axiological Experience – Value(s)  6. Metaxological Experience – Between  7. Cultural Experience – Value Recognition  Part III: Deepenings: Art and Aesthetic Critical Realism  8. Alethic Experience – Truth  9. Constellational Experience – Beauty  10. Living Artfully in The Space That Separates – Good


    Nick Wilson is Professor of Culture & Creativity at the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries (CMCI), King’s College London. Nick worked as a professional singer, and then in arts management, before joining the Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University, in 2000, and King’s College London in 2009. His current research embraces aesthetic critical realism, art and cultural development, creativity and cultural opportunities, and the historical performance of music.