The Artist as Cultural Producer: A Call to Thinking

  • Abstract:

    New aesthetic frontiers often demand a re-examination of the fitting foundations of artistic practice; such is the case with the virtual image as an aesthetic genre. While several games satisfy ethical standards, numerous ones do not. This paper deals with the importance of an ethos of stewardship that comes with a vision for all games as a new aesthetic form in visual culture generally, but more explicitly, the applications herein of such ethics apply specifically to the group of games for which violence is a key element. I will demonstrate the importance of twenty-first century technological breakthroughs regarding insights of the brain, and precisely, the adolescent brain, and through a Heideggerian and Lacanian lens, I call for thinking between neuroscience and philosophy in order to cognize a hybrid of knowledge for the greater good of humanity. I argue that the long-term effects in viewing violent, virtual images should be of the utmost concern in society. Within a framework of the ethico-aesthetic, cultural stewardship proves necessary for producers creating virtual images containing violence. Therefore, I favor the creation of and abidance with a newly-defined ethico-aesthetical framework of cultural stewardship, wherein artists and cultural producers incorporate the egalitarian core value of accountability in understanding the complexities associated with the virtual image. In addition, I call for courage in artistic restraint from evoking unbalanced explanations of social reality due to the manipulation of the fetishism of violence. These core essentials of cultural stewardship have the ability to function within the creative realm of the artist’s freedom of imagination, while willing the good to society by looking at the face of the human other who calls upon society to care.