Definitions

A second cartoon today, a Bizarro on categorization and labeling:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 3 in this strip — see this Page.)

Questions of categorization and labeling come up again and again on this blog: among other places, in incessant discussions of what counts as Art, or a particular genre of art, and what counts as Music, or a particular genre of music. We’re talking about cultural artifacts here, so there’s no appealing to natural kinds here; there’s variation (across groups of people), changes  over time, typically uncertain boundaries, and often syncretic forms, cmbining features from different genres.

In the case at hand, the spedgehammer suggests that the speaker is not about to embark on a musical performance, of any kind, but rather is about to favor the audience with a piece of performance art in which the piano is demolished.

Or maybe there will be some piano playing, crowned by demolition, in the fashion of a pianistic Jimi Hendrix or a nihilstic John Cage.

 

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