Art and sports have two things in common, casting and aesthetics

Both art and sport are now closer to people’s everyday lives finds a newly-published dissertation.

Matti Tainio, MA, from Aalto University will defend his dissertation on the common factors between art and sport. At the same time, he expands on contemporary culture’s definitions of art and sports by examining the changes that have taken place in the practices and customs of both.

‘In the scope of everyday thinking, it would seem that art and sport are opposing elements. However, if you choose a suitable perspective, you can find many similarities,’ Mr Tainio says.

In his dissertation, Mr Tainio examined art and sport as cultural conventions In this way, he tried to avoid the superficial differences between the two. In additional to theoretical research, Mr Tainio approached the topic by working in the arts.

’Aesthetics is the element that best unites contemporary forms of art and sport.  I understand the aesthetic qualities of art more broadly as sensory observations, an aesthetic experience. Emphasising aesthetics introduces new sides of sport and how it is enjoyed. Sport can gain new relevance in a completely new way by exercising a creative attitude and applying personal sport practices, not just by pursuing records and successes,’ Mr Tainio explains.

Mr Tainio also found similarities in the historical development and social structure of art and sport, such as casting and internal guidelines.

New types of activities

The perspectives selected by Mr Tainio also demonstrate the ways in which the perception of art and sport have expanded. Art and sport, which were previously clearly defined, fluctuate constantly.

’Art and sport have become more intertwined with people’s everyday experiences. For example, works of art do not necessarily differ from daily items. In the area of sport, this is evident in recreational hobbies and exercise. The focus point of sport has shifted from the sports field closer to everyday life,’ Mr Tainio describes.

Changes have also taken place in other practices and customs in art and sport.

‘The focus area of art has shifted from a ready work to artistic processes and the experiences these give rise to. On the contrary, in sports competing with oneself is more important than beating the competition. Participation by the public and amateurs is emphasised more and more in both art and sport,’ Mr Tainio adds.

According to Tainio, recent development has created a new type of activity field where artistic and sport-derived new activities can develop.

New perspectives allow us to understand the social benefits of art and sport and their meanings outside the traditional art and sports worlds. This can lead, for example, to the development of applications that increase wellbeing.

Public examination

Mr Tainio will defend is dissertation “Parallel Worlds. Art and Sport in Contemporary Culture” at noon on Friday 27 February 2015 at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Media Centre Lume’s Sampo Hall, Hämeentie 135 C, Helsinki Professor Lev Kreft, from the University of Ljubljana, will act as opponent. The dissertation is available for order from the Aalto University online bookshop Please send any enquiries to [email protected] or call tel. +358 50 313 7086.

Further information:

Matti Tainio
tel. +358 40 541 5103
[email protected]
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture

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