Casinos are fast becoming sites for display of new Native American (NA) Arts. In such a context, casinos re-represent themselves and their communities through various visual forms and thus change their meanings. In her study of Wisconsin casinos, Stuhr (2004) challenged art educators to consider these visual culture displays as they accommodate new markets. Art in the casino phenomenon is worth investigating and how art educators can explore and/or make sense of this phenomenon is important. Casinos are using artworks as spectacles of pleasure. According to a casino gambling survey conducted by Harrah’s Entertainment, approximately 40 million Americans played slot machines in 2003 (Rivlin, 2004). People are attracted to the glitz and the chance of winning money. Such things are phenomenal— highly sensual and impressive, and there lies the attraction. The gambling experience dates back at least to the casting of lots in the Bible. Experience always has an aesthetic component. An aesthetic experience resides not so much in a thing’s appearance, as in its life-like substitutes. “In an age in which desire is inculcated even in those who have nothing to buy, the metropolis [casino] becomes the place where the superfluity of objects is converted into a value in and of itself” (Mbembe, 2004, p. 405). So what aesthetic qualities draw people to the casino?
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