Ritual Significance | The Collection, Lincoln | 14112013

We now have the budget – modest but sufficient – and the dates – February to April 2015 – for our Ritual Significance | Art through an Evolutionary Lens exhibition.

Today we decided that our curatorial approach will be informed by Niko Tinbergen’s four questions.

Ontogeny: How does this behaviour develop over the course of an individual’s life?

When did you start to make art?

Phylogeny: When in the history of that species did the capacity to produce this behaviour evolve?

When did we start to make art?

Proximate: What are the events preceding the behaviour that contribute to its occurrence?

How do we make art?

Ultimate: What are the effects of performing the behaviour on reproductive success and thus, why has natural selection retained the ability to perform that behaviour.

Why do we make art?

Or, to paraphrase Herbert Spencer;

What is the purpose of art?

We will also be asking questions like:

What can art be?

What may it become?

(With thanks to Daniel Nettle’s Evolution and Genetics for Psychology for the framing of these entry-level ‘questions’)

Our plan is to devote each wall of the gallery to one of Tinbergen’s questions (yes, the gallery has the standard issue number of walls!), and to have an ‘active’ artist facilitator in residence (Joshua Lockwood) in the centre of the space; creating, thinking, reading and talking with visitors about the value of attempting to understand art, and life, through an evolutionary lens.

Present: Joshua Lockwood, Ashley Gallant and David McAleavey.

Location: Angel Coffee House


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