Almost thirty years ago Mark Sagoff published a persuasive article in The Journal of Philosophy on the aesthetic value of art restoration Sagoff, Parenthetical page references to Sagoff will be to this work. If the restoration which I hypothesized with my three paneled painting was a purist restoration then it could be distinguished from an integral restoration successfully without begging the counterfactual questions concerning the acts of omission involved in the preservation of any work of art.
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Ironically, I think it clarifies a means for distinguishing different kinds of restoration while perhaps leading to the unhappy conclusion that some kinds of benevolent restoration cannot help but being of a different form of value than the original nature that preceded it even though they can still be distinguished from other restoration. Both Sagoff and Elliot reject the once dominant stream in aesthetics that knowledge of the process of production of a work of art is unimportant in either the appreciation or value of the work.
It is not just, as I said earlier, that Elliot is assessing the value of the thing produced but in essence that the value is determined by one characteristic of the process that produced it, namely, that humans produced it. Because of this one characteristic the value of the product is predetermined in one important respect: it cannot have the value of originary nature and may always represent an instance of disvalue.
While, on the one hand, it appears now that Elliot really does rely on an account of process to reject the value of restoration, on the other hand, he uses an account of process to identify the positive originary value of art. But why is one set of processes normatively significant and the other normatively insignificant? Specifically, why is the fact that a human produced a restoration normatively significant and the manner the human produced the restoration insignificant while details of the milieu, etc.
The only account that could make sense of this distinction would be a strong claim that only one narrow ontological criteria was important for evaluating the entire multi-faceted practice of ecological restoration while the value of art is more nuanced.
But such an account would seem dubious at best. Surely the details of the process and product are always distinguishable but also always bound in a normative assessment of any thing produced by any process. So, if Elliot cannot so easily dismiss an evaluation of the entire process of restoration in assessing its product then even if ecological restoration are integral restoration the different processes which produce them may be normatively significant. Sagoff admits that some integral restoration are worse than others depending on the process that produces them.
To use a restoration to fool people is morally suspect and so there must on this process account be a way of differentiating various kinds of restoration. This mad curator had decided to move the piece to the next room and found that, due to settling in the building, the sculpture no longer fit through the door frame — maybe it was just one nose length too long. The curator then made a plaster cast of the entire sculpture in order to be able to knock the nose off the Madonna so it would be easier to move the sculpture through the door frame assuming that the cast could be used later to integrally restore the nose to the Madonna.
The hit man, wanting the attack to look unplanned, took things a bit further. Like the malicious restorationist the mad curator was providing the means for an integral restoration in a way that not only decreased the value of the restored product but makes the outcome downright objectionable.
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Clearly the difference in process between the mad curator and the actual curator gives us a reason for differentiating their two products. Similarly, those interested in maintaining that there is no normative difference between original and restored nature will not find satisfaction in this description of ecological restoration as a form of integral restoration.
Any integral restoration of nature, even if it is benevolent, cannot have the same value as original nature. Still, there are clearly reasons to distinguish between different kinds of restoration processes as better or worse and so, perhaps, different kinds of ecologically integral products as better or worse.
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The older restoration could have been produced through a better process, for a better purpose, and aimed toward a more integrated relationship with the nature around it. Now that we can look at process in assessing the value of restoration, we can pay attention to these differences in order to defend the preservation of older restored areas. For one thing there are acts of restoration that are very much like purist art restoration: clean-ups are the most obvious cases but more interesting ones involve the bioactivation of existing micro-organisms in soils to allow the land to essentially clean itself up.
Here we have human meddling in nature for the same purposes as the purist restoration of art.
When restorationists go through an area cleaning out exotic plants which were introduced at some time into a site, allowing the native plants to reestablish themselves, then they are acting as purist art restorationists would in correcting the work of an integrative restorationist who had come before them. If a restorationist, for example, were to remove an 18th century integrative addition to a 16th century painting, then we would assume that this rehabilitative act was consistent with a purist restoration.
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Now, to give the analogy more force just imagine that the paint used in the 16th century work was a kind of alien paint, evidently used in this and only this particular painting, and the properties of this paint were such that once the 18th century integrative addition had been removed the old paint then reformed itself on the canvas in conformity with the artists original scheme of the work. In this case the purist restoration would only be made that much easier by the qualities of the paint. The fact that nature actually does have such properties should make the rehabilitative form of ecological restoration that much more predominant and acceptable as a form of purist restoration.
How then do we value restoration? At this point in my thinking on this issue I am at two conclusions. First, we have to go back to the point of the scale at which we value something. Clearly scale does matter and the object of natural value, at least from a holist perspective, must be at the level of the ecosystem as opposed to valuing individuals in ecosystems separately.
Works of art are human creations as are ecological restoration. If what determines the value of restoration as an object is not its status as a humanly created object, but instead its role in larger natural systems, then we can easily value restoration at a much higher level than certainly Katz and possibly Elliot are willing to admit.
But even if we import some kind of distinction between human vs. In that respect the art-nature analogy may ultimately break down. Purist and rehabilitative restorationists would seek to set in motion the continuance of a process which was interrupted in nature and only try to release natural processes which had been artificially held back.
The products of these processes are not just human but they are natural too on some description. The value of the restored parts may only be different in degree from original nature and not in kind. As such, benevolent ecological restoration, like purist art restoration, do not represent fakes, forgeries, or big lies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Kroes and U.
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For many environmental ethicists the principle goal of an environmental ethics is to describe the intrinsic or inherent value of nature as opposed to its merely instrumental value for human use and consumption. Once an account of the intrinsic value of nature is found then it is assumed that a range of moral obligations can be derived for things having that value. Many environmental philosophers assume that a nonanthropocentric account of natural value is needed to reject instrumental valuing of nature and so any environmental ethic must endorse some kind of intrinsic value account of the value of nature or at least a non-instrumental account.
In turn, it is thought that anthropocentrists can only value nature in instrumental terms. Baird Callicott on this point.
I disagree with most if not all of these views but will not pursue those disagreements here. Twenty five years later, it appears that this rather utopic proposal has given birth to hundreds of artworks in a movement that is becoming increasingly widespread. When I wonder why and how this artwork I conceived and colled The New Patrons Protocol has had such an impact, I believe it was undoubtedly the ineluctable consequence of a long, unprecedented history of cultural shifts, both contemporary and yet to come. A multidisciplinary reflection on a new type of engagement of art in democracy, renewing relationships between creation, culture and society: 47 contributions by international thinkers and actors of the art world with 9 movies on DVD.
Ultimo Cielo documents a musical project forming part of the New Patrons program: a piece for an amateur orchestra inspired by the works and practice of Italian Situationist painter Pinot Gallizio. Since the set up of Xavier Veilhan's The Monster in the center of Tours in , the statue has been subject to various cultural appropriation by the locals.
This book aims to document both the development of the project as part of the New Patrons program as well as the life of the statue within the city. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
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