Our understanding of art has undergone several major upheavals in the past thirty years. Postmodernism and mass media began the process of disruption in the 1980s. The explosion in the use of digital technologies since the 1990s has radically altered the way in which art is now created, perceived and made available. The recent shift towards regarding art as part of a broader "visual culture" has torn art theory from its roots in art history and placed it in the context of anthropological, cultural and media theory. Art: Histories, Theories and Exceptions confronts these different ideas by examining a range of different approaches to art - as ritual, as a form of diagrammatic writing, as a symptom of a cultural moment, as a commodity, and as an agent of change. Art: Histories, Theories and Exceptions explores what art in its broadest sense - from Aboriginal work to the Western art market, from the role of museums to new media interactivity, from the mainstream to the radical - means today. This provocative book will be invaluable to students, practicing artists and general readers alike.