Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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Aesthetics and Systems

Systems are articulated things. They represent a set of differentiations. At the same time they are also whole things. The problem is that as systems get more complex, the sense of their wholeness becomes more and more obscure. Increasing lower … Continue reading

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Aesthetics: System and Afterthought

Aesthetics emerges as a distinct field within the context of European Enlightenment efforts to develop a coherent overall philosophical system that can account for all aspects of existence and human experience. It is conceived initially, in the work of German … Continue reading

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Thinking Aesthetics More Generally: How and for What Purpose?

There have been numerous contemporary efforts to decouple aesthetics from art – both within modern art itself and in strands of philosophy that focus on specialised topics such as environmental aesthetics or the aesthetics of everyday life. The latter fields … Continue reading

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The Promiscuity of Aesthetics

Almost anything can be regarded in aesthetic terms. Any experience, any material or immaterial thing, can be regarded in terms of sensible or insensible (formal) qualities that somehow engage us. I realise that ‘engage us’ is terribly vague, but how … Continue reading

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Aesthetics

Aesthetics is less a mode of experience as such than an effort to conceive features of experience that have proved awkward to conceive within the philosophical tradition. So if, for instance, Descartes, in line with a great deal of ancient … Continue reading

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Aesthetics

Why am I so focused on the term ‘aesthetics’? It is not as though I can make it mean whatever I like, yet it seems to represents a more open field of possibility than the notion of art. I’m not … Continue reading

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Aesthetic Practice 2

The aim is to propose a notion of aesthetic practice. My argument is that aesthetic practice is a broader field than artistic practice. For a start, it involves more than simply making things (the etymology of the term ‘art’ relates … Continue reading

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Aesthetic Practice

It occurs to me that there may be some value in conceiving a notion of aesthetic practice. Aesthetics typically appears as a field that is secondary to the primary phenomenon of art (and art practice), but I wish to argue … Continue reading

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On the Numerical Education of Art and Aesthetics

This paper considers the implications of conceiving contemporary tertiary art education in terms of models of logical-mathematical being and understanding. While art and aesthetics have always borne a relation to the field of systematic abstraction that numbers represent, something new … Continue reading

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Loom 91b

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Mountain (literal)

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Mountain (Agnes Martin)

At first glance it is difficult to detect a relationship between Agnes Martin’s 1960s minimalist (or possibly abstract expressionist) paintings and the titles of the works, which often reference conventionally picturesque aspects of the natural world – ‘flower’, ‘mountain’, etc.  … Continue reading

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Descartes (again)

I think therefore I am. I know that this has been considered innumerable times, I know that I need to read much more on this inexhaustible topic, but still can’t avoid making a minor, ill-educated comment.  The statement adopts the … Continue reading

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Following (recalled)

A few years ago I wrote a brief manifesto defending the value of processes of following: A MANIFESTO OF FOLLOWING What are the implications of following? Where does following lead? Instead of trying at every instant to do something new. … Continue reading

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Silly

I think therefore I have the capacity to entertain the possibility that I may not exist. [Every so often impressions of consciousness are construed as coherent existence. A chair does not ask itself if it exists, nor does it need … Continue reading

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Endless Prospect of Reading

Of course, everything I have written so far about Ranciere betrays layers of ignorance, so I have set myself a program of (constantly expanding readings): Kant: must make my way through Critique of Pure Reason to get a grasp on … Continue reading

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Defining Aesthetics

In a note on the tradition of modern aesthetics, Ranciere offers a definition of the field: ‘Aesthetics’ designates two things in this work: a general regime of the visibility and the intelligibility of art and a mode of interpretative discourse … Continue reading

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‘The Distribution of the Sensible’

The following are a set of questions about Ranciere’s notion of ‘the distribution of the sensible’. The term ‘distribution’ suggests a work of differential apportionment – aspects of sensibility are made available here, but not there, and to some, but … Continue reading

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But Aesthetics is Modern

I can imagine an objection to my previous post: there may be different periods of art but that does not indicate that the notion of the aesthetic is anything more than a peculiarly modern phenomenon, emerging during the Enlightenment as … Continue reading

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Ranciere

My sense of Ranciere’s aesthetic theory is that it curiously both overvalues and devalues the field.  At one level, aesthetics is associated with the ‘distribution of the sensible’ – the social regimes of sense that structure our capacity to experience … Continue reading

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Loom 2018

Loom engine beginning to take new shape with a dedicated Bezier drawing program to create more complex polygons and the capacity to transform 2D into 3D shapes. Here are three render samples.  Playing around with the idea of making something … Continue reading

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Some Time

Close to a decade ago, I gave up programming. I figured that I could do no more – certainly not without becoming more mathematically literate. I was also sick of the hours of staring at the screen. I wanted to … Continue reading

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Aesthetics

Aesthetics is not fundamentally about discriminating between the ugly and the beautiful, art and non-art. Aesthetics is not fundamentally about beauty or art, these are simply allied concepts. Aesthetics engages a space of mediation. For the 17th century philosopher Alexander … Continue reading

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