In Response To:
I think Brian raised a very interesting question: is the large-size reproduction of Van Gogh at the roundabout intersection of ¤¯·R¡þ´°¤Æ a work of art? In class, I said that art and commodity are no longer mutually exclusive categories. Also, I believe here your training in traditional aesthetics will be useful; that is, to answer this question, first we need to ask a basic question, What is Art?
To follow Benjamin, I would say that Artist now is just a producer, and Art has lost its aura. But an artist--though not a creator--can still be critical, if not revolutionary. And then art, though without the sacred halo and not from a superior position, can still "teach and delight."