Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aesthetics as the uncertainty of sense

Ranciere describes the ‘knot’ of the aesthetic, which he links to the dilemmas of modernity and the paradoxes of contemporary art. Aesthetics is positioned as the conceptual complex for distinguishing a field of art that aspires to both autonomy and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beauty again

Within the context of Kant’s aesthetics, beauty describes a specific context of mediation and reconciliation. It establishes a common ground between our abstract logics-moral selves and our sensible selves. With no sense of compulsion, it demonstrates their potential for agreement. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetics as the philosophy of beauty

We could begin by suggesting that aesthetics is the philosophy of beauty. We could add that it is also the philosophy of the sublime and the philosophy of art, but let’s stick for now with our very minimal definition. This … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetic Questions

What is aesthetics? Is it a universal sphere of qualitative human experience or an historically specific field that is intimately tied to the self-understanding of modernity? How is the term employed? What does it mean in use? How does aesthetics … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetic Practice: the Dilemma of Categorisation and Imagining a Potential Beyond Art (However Daft this Must Seem)

The notion of aesthetics emerges historically within the context of the recognition of a specific and traditionally neglected category of human receptive experience. Alexander Baumgarten (1750) conceives a lower analogue of rational thought, a logic of sense that involves aspects … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Note on pragmatist aesthetics

There are wide range of current approaches to the field of aesthetics, everything from efforts to resurrect the notion of beauty in contemporary art, to continuing strands of critical aesthetics that envisage both the political possibility and the limits of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Burke: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757)

Burke writes about the sublime and beautiful. That is his explicit, ostensible theme. But evident within this is an underlying set of concerns related to the nature of human identity – the relationship between body and mind and between logical … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Antarctic Images

These are a set of images assembled from slide photographs that my father, a marine micro-biologist, shot in the Antarctic. They were recorded over three separate scientific expeditions: the first to Macquarie Island in 1951-2, which was the first scientific … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetics Very Broadly Again

Permit me to step back for a moment to see where all of this has been leading me. The issue of course is the notion of aesthetics, with trying to make sense of it. In general terms, ‘aesthetics’ has two … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Additonal Note on the Carnivalesque

Just recently (2019), I discover that Ranciere has spoken about carnival, recognising it as a cultural form that is akin to the subversive moments “when people do a multiplicity of things: performances, acts or parties whose unruliness undermines the forces … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carnivalesque Aesthetics

I am suspicious of the grand tri-partite aesthetic schemes of Ranciere and Badiou. They refer to historical instances and yet seem more philosophically than historically directed. There is Plato, then Aristotle and finally modernity. A very abbreviated set of reference … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ranciere and Badiou

How can we conceive the relationship between Ranciere and Badiou’s aesthetics? Ranciere delineates three major Western ‘image regimes’: the ethical regime of the image, which he associates with Plato’s iconoclasm (his banishment of the poets from his ideal republic); the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetic Discomfort

My interest is not so much in the ordinary sense of the aesthetic than in its speculative possibility. There is an influential critique of aesthetics that questions its claims to universalism and analyses its immediate cultural and political legibility. Bourdieu, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dreaming

Descartes famously founds modern philosophy through a gesture of radical doubt. He poses the question, what if an evil genie staged every aspect of the experiential world? What if we were all the time dreaming? What if all our experience … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Truth and Appearance

The truth of appearance…and the appearance of truth. The truth of appearance involves an interrogation of appearance as potentially alien to truth. The suspicion of appearance. The appearance of truth raises the problem that truth, which aims to distinguish itself … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Claims to be an Artist

What does it mean within the context of contemporary socially engaged art practice to claim that I am an artist? Particularly when I have no intention of producing anything like conventional artistic work? I may be working with teachers, engineers, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heidegger and Ranciere

At one level, Heidegger and Ranciere are opposed on the relationship between art and aesthetics. Heidegger criticises aesthetics as a form of enframing, privileging instead a notion of art as a sphere of ontological truth. Ranciere, on the other hand, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Wider Relevance of Aesthetics

Ranciere argues that historically there is a close association between philosophical aesthetics and the development of what he terms ‘the aesthetic regime of art’. In this manner he questions efforts to separate these two – to imagine either that art … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Aesthetic has yet to be Thought

There is a blindspot in the contemporary debate about the notion of the aesthetic, which is the aesthetic itself, assuming that it makes any sense to refer to the aesthetic itself, when it appears always more or less as a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetics and Astronomy

Aesthetics as a single star. Then the awareness of its place in a conceptual constellation. And the sense of this constellation’s place in the wider night sky. But it would have to be noted that there is not a single … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Limit of Aesthetics

I argue that field of aesthetic practice is broader than art, that it relates to wider dimensions of experience. Unlike art, which takes shape as a particular and idiosyncratic social institution and form of cultural practice, aesthetics characterises a qualitative … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Aesthetic preconceptions

What is the aesthetic? I continue to pose this question to myself. It tends to summon all kinds of qualifications. For instance, in line with a mainstream view, I remind myself that the notion of the aesthetic as a distinct … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Critical Aesthetics

I would like to hold on to a notion of critical aesthetics. It provides an underlying motivation for this work, which aims to consider alternatives to current material and social relations. This has traditionally involved drawing perverse value from Kant’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On the Historicity of Aesthetics

It is a critical commonplace to insist that the notion of the aesthetic is a properly modern phenomenon, emerging as a means of reconciling tensions between aspects of identity, community and socio-economic reality that are the product of post-Enlightenment regimes … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Art and Aesthetics

What is wrong with art? Why prefer the term ‘aesthetics’ to ‘art’? What is meant by these two terms? More importantly, what meaning can we make of these two terms? Any talk of ‘making’ instantly brings to mind the thought … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment