Think You Know Ugly? Think Again
You might feel revolted by an object, but if you try to objectively explain why it is ugly, it’s harder than you think. Most people are influenced by the dominant tastes and fashion sensibilities of their generation, class, and ethnic group, and when you remove those factors from the equation, an exact, universal definition of “ugliness” becomes almost impossible to pin down. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Mar 21, 2014 -
Rational reductionist approaches to the neural basis for beauty run a similar risk of pushing the round block of beauty into the square hole of science and may well distill out the very thing one wants to understand.
by Bevil Conway and Alexander Rehding in PLoS Biology. (via
posted by nangar
on Mar 29, 2013 -
"From symbols and notions to literary and religious allusions, this chart
contains [W.H.] Auden's view of the world (and of worlds beyond), at least as he envisioned it in the 1940s." [more inside]
posted by Iridic
on Feb 1, 2013 -
makes luxury, design-oriented vibrators and other sex toys and accessories. ("Design inspired by Apple, not Hustler.") They'd like to change the way Americans think about them: instead of as 'dirty little secrets,' they're hoping for mainstream acceptance and to usher in an "Age of Great American Sex.
" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 15, 2012 -
Sure, the follies of art-speak are easy to laugh at, but often criticism of it begins and ends with a dismissive chuckle – which ignores profounder problems. Why should academic terminology be the default vehicle for discussing art? Why is there such an emphasis on newness, schism and radicality? Even when the art itself may be enjoyably throwaway, language pins it to deathlessly auratic registers of exchange. This suggests a subliminal fear that, if the subject in question is not talked up as Big and Culturally Significant, then the point of fussing over it in the first place might be called into question, bringing the whole house of cards tumbling down
- Dan Fox, the associate editor of frieze magazine, discusses the contemporary art scene in detail.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 12, 2012 -
"Above all, the New Aesthetic is telling the truth. There truly are many forms of imagery nowadays that are modern, and unique to this period. We’re surrounded by systems, devices and machineries generating heaps of raw graphic novelty. We built them, we programmed them, we set them loose for a variety of motives, but they do some unexpected and provocative things." Bruce Sterling (Previously
) writes about the New Aesthetic movement in Wired magazine. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla
on Apr 9, 2012 -
74 years ago today, Nazi officials debuted an exhibit of "degenerate art" in Munich made up from pieces among the over 5,000 works of art the government had confiscated, including works by Paul Klee, Marc Chagall, Piet Mondrian, and Wassily Kandisnsky. Most of the pieces the Nazis confiscated were later publically burned, although some was auctioned off or kept by prominent Nazis. Last year, a few of the confiscated sculptures were recovered from a bombed-out basement and exhibited
. Today, you can view images from the exhibition catalogue
as well as an unfinished recreation of the exhibit
. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus
on Jul 19, 2011 -
The New Aesthetic For a while now, I’ve been collecting images and things that seem to approach a new aesthetic of the future, which sounds more portentous than I mean. What I mean is that we’ve got frustrated with the NASA extropianism space-future, the failure of jetpacks, and we need to see the technologies we actually have with a new wonder.
posted by jack_mo
on Jun 17, 2011 -
TV serials, says Richard Beck, self-consciously set out from the very beginning to get us to take them seriously. From Hill Street Blues
to The West Wing
to The Sopranos
and The Wire
, how the television series convinced us that it was art
— and now, why Lost
's achievement of success via casual genre mixing and narrative derangement might signal that there's no future creative ground left within the old limits of serial drama.
posted by hat
on May 24, 2010 -
He Saw, She Saw.
According to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
, beauty may affect men's and women's brains in different ways.
posted by sarabeth
on Feb 23, 2009 -
"Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames — what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics. It’s offered under a CC license, for a limited time only. I’m not sure how limited that time will be, so grab it while it’s hot." [drm-free pdf]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken
on Nov 22, 2007 -
Douglas Hofstadter says
, "What troubles me is the notion that things that touch me at my deepest core -- pieces of music most of all, which I have always taken as direct soul-to-soul messages -- might be effectively produced by mechanisms thousands if not millions of times simpler than the intricate biological machinery that gives rise to a human soul.
". That was prompted by his reception to the output
of David Cope's project Experiments in Musical Intelligence
posted by Gyan
on Apr 11, 2006 -
Mathematical proofs in sanus
, with some visualization from Martin Wattenberg's The Shape of Song
. "The music here...is a raw and unadorned representation of the mathematics itself, involving few human preconceptions beyond a basic mapping needed to accommodate the Western tonal scale
posted by Rothko
on Dec 4, 2005 -
The Aesthetics of Resistance.
The first part of Peter Weiss
's 3-volume novel Die Ästhetik des Widerstands
(1975-81) has, after many delays, finally been published
in a Joachim Neugroschel’s English translation: a major, though largely-unheralded literary event. The book ‘stands as the most significant German novel published after The Tin Drum.’ [more inside]
posted by misteraitch
on Jun 28, 2005 -
The Economics of Aesthetics
Warning, free registration is required
This article points out an interesting problem with calculating how much a product is worth... How much is aesthetics worth to the consumer? How do you even calculate that? (via Signal vs. Noise.
posted by chason
on Jul 12, 2001 -