Aesthetics in the 21st Century Aesthetics in the 21st Century

Aesthetics in the 21st Century

Francis Halsall – Aesthetics as First Philosophy 

  • “I mean by metaphor an aesthetics of proof” – Latour
  • “Metaphors are unable to satisfy the requirements that turth, by definition, be the result of a methodologically secure procedure of verification…” – Hans Blumenberg, 
  • “The success of world making should be” – Nelson Goodman

Aethetics may be a branch of metaphysics? (Harman) 

Guerrilla metaphysics – strange objects 

Transcendental – consciousness – correlationism – tautelogical (we cannot think anything without thinking about it) 

Aesthetic practices – offer us a way out of this thought-circle (correlationism) 

Phenomenology – Husserl – the point of phenomenology is to understand objectivity, not to secure it. 

Martin Creed – blue tack / lights going on and off

Ryan Gander’s Breeze (Documenta(13))

Iza Genzken – Geschwister (2004)

Artists taking material as a way 

“The artist in these instances has to view the world according to their medium”

  • Aesthetics / art as seperate
  • Language as the philosopher’s medium
  • A non-discursive philosophy 

Deleuze – pre-kantian metaphysician 

Bergson – an empiricism 

Wilfrid Sellars

Joseph Tinguely


MOO – machine object oriented ontology 

Power of Fascilime – Latour / Turing 

Literal fact / treatment of computers 

Fundamentalists force us to choose: either it is constructed or it is autonomous

Alan Turing (1950) Computing Machinery and Intelligence, Mind. 59

“Machine express this ability to decide without reaching the ideal status of thought”

The formal understanding of what hacking is – making a system undecidable

Antoine Schmitt – with Determination

Clement Greenberg & Michael Fried – the enemy of a enemy is a friend 

Pil and Galia Kellectiv’s Can Objects Perform

Jan Verwoert’s ‘Make the Prop Talk’

Rikke Hansen’s essay ‘Things vs. Objects’

Greenberg / J Bernstein – “the world as seen, the seen world, is not the world as a thing in itself, but precisely the world as the internal coreelate of the seing eye” (correlationism) 

Art and Objecthood – Fried – minimalism / literalism – operates as a kind of theatre.  Any relationship of the works themselves.

Four Honest Outlaws (2011) – Anri Sala – Long Sorrow (2005)

Douglas Gordon, Play Dead: Real Time 2003.  At least provisionally, Gordon’s elephant Minie may be described as absorbed in what she is doing.  what Play Dead suggests is that serious art has come to find in that problematic status, a field for aesthetic investigation.

Technological aesthetics – realist explosion of morphisms… through it’s own inwardness. 

Michael Zel – The Gift in Rembrant – recursion / morphism / to 

Recursion as a mode of thinking the object – or technical media 

Hal Foster – indexicality / machinic function 



Digital Literature and Art 

Our society is eager for a desire to redistribution of meaning 

The postmodern condition is aesthetic because it is epistemeologically nihilistic 

Art exercises deconstruction and alienation 

Adorno – “the incomprehensibility of art that needs to be comprehended”

New Aesthetics

  • nonsense – “heap of eye catching curiosities” – anthropomorphising – computers lack tastes and aesthetics, they should not project their tastes on to 
  • boghost – the secret life of things – new aesthetics rather asks how computers and all other objects develop their own aesthetics 

The secret lives of numbers – G Levin – popularity of numbers – an anthropomorphisation of numbers – human culture determination – klaus ruar

Tableau Machine (2007) – Romero, Pousman, Mateas

The quantified self – a way of getting outside correlationism is perhaps the quantified self aspects – Felon – data narratives.  Self knowledge through numbers – Facebook’s timeline

The Facebook ‘like’ button as turning 

The trust in numbers as the return of truth 

Gianni Vattimo

Kolmar and Malami – The most popular painting in the world 

Painting by Numbers – statistics of what people like

The Three Stigmata Friedrich Nietzsche

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