What is wrong with failed art?


Failed Art


The aim of this paper is to argue that proper artistic failure may turn out to be artistically appreciated and even considered as artistically successful. A set of arguments is provided in order to overcome intentionalism, the widely accepted view according to which an artist’s intentions fix the artwork’s meaning. Instead, we propose and elaborate an alternative model: emergentism of artistic meaning and value. Emergentism explains how artistic failure can turn out to be artistically successful. That is, artworks may succeed despite the failure of the realization of artistic intentions. It is argued that such a rehabilitation of artistic failures, perceiving them as not necessarily doomed, paves the path for experiencing failures as not merely failures. The paper suggests that under defined circum- stances it is possible to receive aesthetic satisfaction from failures. Moreover, the possibility of treating failures as valuable, yet risky, artistic strategy is suggested.