I get where you're coming from but when I was talking about intent, it was not in terms of evaluating work based on the artist's intent and by extension judging the merit of the intent. I was speaking less specifically...more broadly...intent in terms of the intention that an aesthetic opportunity be presented. Not intent in terms of the intended conceptual meaning but intent in terms of it not being 'here's a chair, have a seat' but rather 'consider this chair, as presented.'
Right, that is the pragmatics aspect, where a work of art is a kind of exhortation to being considered. I've seen theories of literature use that approach, it's a standard reading of pragmatics-inspired theories. Instead of looking for a particular type of "language of literature" like the formalists, these people look instead for the presentational features of the work, those that inscribe it into a practice of appreciation. I mostly agree with that approach, because literature exists not as a kind of text, but rather as a way to deal with texts.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
While I admit that mhv's approach was a bit heavy-handed, I see considerable merit in being a subscriber here.
First off, all idealism aside, the reality is that Sean has to pay the bills to keep this place running. This isn't a mid-1990's BBS. It is a very complex website with a huge database, growing forum activity etc. requiring substantial server space.
Yes, The Gallery is a small "perk" for those of us who subscribe. But I doubt if many have done so just to be able to post to it. Rather, I believe that the vast majority of subscribers recognize an obligation to help support this place that we so enjoy hanging out at.
So while your idealism might be somewhat admirable - perhaps you would consider the real world situation we all share?
This last sentence reminds me of a scene from the movie "Contact," where one scientist has stabbed another scientist in the back (figuratively and politically, not literally) yet one more time, and then says to her something like (this probably isn't an exact quote, because I'm recalling it from memory) "I wish this were a world where the kind of idealism you have displayed is rewarded, but it's not." She answers, "Funny, I've always thought the world is what we make it."