Author Archives: brogan

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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