Failures of Intention and Failed-Art

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (7):905-917 (2020)
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This paper explores what happens when artists fail to execute their goals. I argue that taxonomies of failure in general, and of failed-art in particular, should focus on the attempts which generate the failed-entity, and that to do this they must be sensitive to an attempt’s orientation. This account of failed-attempts delivers three important new insights into artistic practice: there can be no accidental art, only deliberate and incidental art; art’s intention-dependence entails the possibility of performative failure, but not of failed-art; and art’s intention-dependence is perfectly compatible with the role that luck plays in artistic creation.

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Michel-Antoine Xhignesse
Capilano University


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