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Illuminating History by Lily Díaz, 25.IX.2000

knowledge. For it gave the arts the firm theoretical foundation that allowed the artist to rise from the status of craftsman to one who works with theoretical knowledge.3 3

Central perspective continues to inform or understanding and representation of space. Cartesian space used in three-dimensional computer graphics systems, as well as in virtual reality systems has been assembled from the model provided by central perspective.

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The Artist exercises her choices within the scope of a community that shares the same activity. Their actions upon the final object are regulated through discourses. This term is used to indicate the explicit and implicit rulesand practicesthat are used in the production and regulation of knowledge in a community. Rules may advocate particular ways of generating narrative on a given subject, and promote the exclusion of others. Practices can include the ways in which a given subject matter is personified, or how a particular topic acquires authority and is institutionalised in a given historical moment and within a given community. As has already been noted, in the case of the artist, the Artworld can be described as one instance of a community that is constituted through discursive practices. But discourses and the composition of communities can vary and change according to historical and cultural parameters. So can the organisation of labour, or how the tasks involved in the execution of an activity, are divided.

In this context, Svetlana Alpers has pointed out, how the notions of authority of the maker and uniqueness of the individual work are concepts that do not arise out of the art practice itself, but rather, are built into the studyof Western art. This is problematic because it reduces the scope of research of art to questions regarding issues such as "development and achievement of period styles."3 4Alpers advocates an approach that treats art objects, or art works, as historic events themselves. Through this approach, the activity of art is seen as part of a social network. In this context, habits of vision, modes of cognitive perception, as well as social practices and historical conditions,

32. Damisch, Hubert, IMAGE imgs/index21.gif p., 446.
33. IMAGE imgs/index22.gif p., 6.

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