[spectre] The Banality of The New Aesthetic

Alex Adriaansens alex at v2.nl
Wed Apr 18 10:53:37 CEST 2012

At DEAF2012 The Power of Things - www.deaf.nl - there is the conference called Vital Beauty (May 16), it adds to the conversation below (The Banality of The New Aesthetic) in it's own way with historical insights and reflections on our contemporary conditions.

"We have to find our way back to beauty," writes Lars Spuybroek in the introduction to The Sympathy of Things (published by V2_ late 2011). In this book Spuybroek argues that we must "undo" the twentieth century – the age in which the sublime turned from an art category into a technical reality. This leads him to the aesthetical insights of the nineteenth-century English art critic John Ruskin, from which he distils pointers for our time.

In The Sympathy of Things, the old romantic notion of sympathy, a core concept in Ruskin’s aesthetics, is re-evaluated as the driving force of the aesthetic experience. For Ruskin, beauty always comprises variation, imperfection and fragility, three concepts that wholly disappeared from our mindsets during the twentieth century.
Spuybroek addresses the five central dual themes of Ruskin in turn: the Gothic and work, ornament and matter, sympathy and abstraction, the picturesque and time, ecology and design. He wrests each of these themes from the Victorian era and compares them with the related ideas of later aestheticians and philosophers like William James and Bruno Latour.
Lars Spuybroek is Professor of Architectural Design at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. He is the author of NOX: Machining Architecture (2004), The Architecture of Continuity (2008), Research & Design: The Architecture of Variation(2009) and Research & Design: Textile Tectonics (2011).
Watch the stream of the presentation by Lars Spuybroek on The Sympathy of Things at the Architectural Association, London. Date: 29.11.2011 http://www.aaschool.ac.uk 
"We are living through a change in paradigm, in the age of the flexible machine, where the concepts of matter, spirituality and design are under re-negotiation and we need such fearless thought to jolt complacency. If Spuybroek, like Ruskin, does not shake your design and aesthetic concepts, you haven’t understood him."
Charles Jencks on The Sympathy of Things

"The Sympathy of Things is a stirring call to action; an amazing reconstruction of the ideas of the Victorian sage John Ruskin; and, above all, a visionary look at the inner life of things. Lars Spuybroek makes the case that aesthetics is first philosophy, and proposes a radical new aesthetics for the digital age."
Steven Shaviro on The Sympathy of Things

Grts and if you have time join us at DEAF2012.

Alex Adriaansens

On 18 apr. 2012, at 10:30, marc garrett wrote:

> Sorry for any cross posting...
> The Banality of The New Aesthetic
> By robert jackson.
> The New Aesthetic is a new art meme, originally defined by James Bridle as a method of collecting materials which point towards an infatuation with the agency of computing. Although it has existed in it's current form since last year, it's sudden emergence has set off plenty of scholars, writers and artists into profuse flusters. But here's the question - can the new aesthetic be more than a meme? More to the point, does it want to be? Is it capable of a direction?
> http://www.furtherfield.org/features/reviews/banality-new-aesthetic
> Robert Jackson, is studying an MPhil/PhD at the University of Plymouth, in the research group Arts and Social Technologies, Faculty of Arts (formally Faculty of Technology). His thesis is researching Algorithmic Artworks, Art Formalism and Speculative Realist Ontologies, looking at digital artworks which operate as configurable units rather than networked systems, and attain independent autonomy themselves which are capable of aesthetics,  rather than their supposed primary function as human communication tools. There are two working titles, Algorithm and Contingency: Towards a Non-Human Aesthetics and Everything is Possible: Art and Speculation. http://robertjackson.info/index/
> -- 
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