Thinkers: SEEKING ART'S PLEASURES: Where You Find Them


You may think Las Vegas is a quicksand of tasteless glitz and shameless spectacle. So does Dave Hickey, who figures that makes it the perfect place for art. Visual thrills are a local industry, mile-high neon and fake pyramids just part of the scenery. "Vegas aspires to visibility," he says. "Art is an extension and refinement of what Vegas is about."

Vegas is also the perfect place for Hickey, who has taught at the University of Nevada since 1992. It's a freebooting and democratic city where people with funny resumes fit right in. Whatever else he is--lucid hipster, tenured iconoclast and...

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