Friday, March 12, 2010

Art, reality, and a little on Toyota

The post for this week is structured around the ideas of reality and art. I have long been a fan of Plato's take on reality and art, and I will explain his philosophy on this issue again, if you are unfamiliar with it. The topic for this week was inspired by Toyota's bad luck of late, and a news report filed by ABC News. To read that report in full, click here.

The ABC News report was about the braking issues that Toyota is experiencing. A professor at Southern Illinois University (GO SIU!) reported to a congressional hearing on the braking issue, and how he re-created some of these problems in the lab. The tachometer that monitored the revving engine was filmed twice. Once during the actual on-the-road test, and then again in a stationary position on blocks. The second filming, when the car was on blocks, was easier to see. The vibrations of the car made visibility in the on-the-road test difficult. Since the footage of the test on blocks was easier to see, this was what was used in the final report. Toyota has taken issue with this presentation, and said the conditions of each test would produce different tachometer readings.

To me this all relates to reality, and how reality is depicted. I said I would relay the thoughts of Plato and reality, but in the in the interests of keeping this blog entry at a reasonable length, I will refer you here. What does all of this have to do with art? Art is reflection of reality. Even if the theme of the work is fantasy, that idea is based on some reality or another. Additionally the issue with ABC News was based on an aesthetic decision. Reality in art, and more widely in aesthetics, is based on decisions made by individuals. How those individuals are communicating their vision of reality is the real issue. Post your comments, and I'll see you next time.

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