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TRUMP'd

How do you destroy the aesthetic integrity of the world's fourteenth tallest building? All you need are five massive letters.
posted by Iridic on Jun 6, 2014 - 76 comments

I know it when I see it.

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 - 61 comments

No mention of Sindarin, though

Why we find some languages more beautiful than others.
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 10, 2014 - 96 comments

Science is beautiful...

In a new exhibition titled Beautiful Science: Picturing Data, Inspiring Insight, the British Library pays homage to the important role data visualization plays in the scientific process. The exhibition can be visited from 20 February until 26 May 2014, and contains works ranging from John Snow's plotting of the 1854 London cholera infections on a map to colourful depictions of the Tree of Life. In a Nature Video, curator Johanna Kieniewicz explores some of the beautiful examples of visualizations that are exhibited.
[more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 3, 2014 - 1 comment

Truth & Beauty

The emotional experience of mathematical elegance. A new study by the perceptual neurobiologist Semir Zeki and the great mathematician (& Fields Medalist) Sir Michael Atiyah examines fMRI scans of mathematicians viewing formulae which they'd previously rated as beautiful or ugly, and reports that mathematical beauty elicits activity in the same brain regions as great art or music.
posted by Westringia F. on Feb 21, 2014 - 36 comments

He said that in the end it is beauty that is going to save the world now

La bella vita: True beauty pleases the eye and the mind – but can it help us to become better people? "In 1795, the German dramatist and poet Friedrich Schiller published a book with a fearsome title – On the Aesthetic Education of Man in a Series of Letters. It has never become well-known, which is a pity, because it contains some of our most useful insights into the nature and value of beauty. Schiller’s starting point is an analysis of the human condition. He wants to understand our delight in what we find beautiful. Instead of asking which things are beautiful, Schiller is curious about what is going on in us when we respond with this distinctive, intimate thrill and enthusiasm that leads us to say ‘that’s beautiful’. Different things might provoke this response in different people. But why do we have it at all?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 18, 2014 - 13 comments

The Transfiguration of Arthur C. Danto

Last month, we lost one of the great philosophers of the 20th century. Arthur C. Danto was perhaps the most eminent voice in contemporary aesthetics. Always on the cutting edge, Danto shined a light on aesthetics in the post-art world. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski on Nov 27, 2013 - 8 comments

“The Untouchables in pursuit of the unintelligible”

The FBI files on being and nothingness. "From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry…" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 26, 2013 - 14 comments

Items of Beauty

Gilded Birds: A Snapshot of Contemporary Ideals of Beauty. Writers, artists, and philosophers are prompted to select a piece that they consider beautiful, and then interviewed about their reasons for choosing it.
posted by painquale on Nov 22, 2013 - 8 comments

Aesthetics and Neuroscience

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.
An essay by Bevil Conway and Alexander Rehding in PLoS Biology. (via)
posted by nangar on Mar 29, 2013 - 18 comments

Sea. Common Night. Forest. City. Mountain. Private Light. Desert.

"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 - 17 comments

Can You Jam With The Console Cowboys In Cyberspace?

Around 1992 Mondo 2000 magazine asked: "R.U A Cyperpunk?"
posted by The Whelk on May 24, 2012 - 123 comments

The Vibrator gets an Overhaul

Jimmyjane (NSFW) 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 - 42 comments

The successful scientist thinks like a poet but works like a bookkeeper.

Harvard sociobiologist E. O. Wilson explores The Origins of the Arts.
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 25, 2012 - 38 comments

A Serious Business

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 - 43 comments

This is a strange thing. This is a look, a style, a pattern that didn’t previously exist in the real world. It’s something that’s come out of digital.

"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 - 49 comments

Entartete Kunst

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 - 33 comments

The New Aesthetic

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 - 57 comments

Through My Eye, Not Hipstamatic's.

Through my eye, not Hipstamatic's. (SLNYT)
posted by HumanComplex on Feb 15, 2011 - 34 comments

Radically authorless, furiously remixed and compulsively serious

What Relational Aesthetics Can Learn From 4Chan : Art Fag City considers /b/ as collaborative art.
posted by shakespeherian on Sep 9, 2010 - 43 comments

Personally, I'm Holding Out for the "Sauron" Lens

The New York Times reports that anime-style "Circle" (or "Big Eye") lenses are currently gaining in popularity, thanks to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 3, 2010 - 59 comments

The Hidden World of Girls

Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 2, 2010 - 16 comments

from grit to horseshit

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 - 120 comments

Fuzzy Wuzzy

The New York Times covers a 'new celebrity trend', Unshaven Women, Free Spirits or Unkempt?
posted by zarq on Apr 13, 2010 - 272 comments

Douglas Wolk presents a drastically condensed awesome version of Kant's critique of aesthetic judgment.

Douglas Wolk's Ignite presentation of Kant's critique of aesthetic judgment. via Coilhouse
posted by cgc373 on Nov 26, 2009 - 32 comments

One Flat Thing, reproduced

Synchronous Objects - Exploring choreographic structures using objects and data, creating stunning visualisations. [flash]
posted by tellurian on Apr 19, 2009 - 10 comments

Beauty Affects Men and Women Differently?

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 - 33 comments

Infopornographics

Everything is prettier as a flow chart. [more inside]
posted by puckish on Nov 22, 2008 - 30 comments

Data-Driven Enhancement of Facial Attractiveness

Data-Driven Enhancement of Facial Attractiveness
posted by phrontist on Sep 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Trigger Happier

Trigger Happier "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 - 14 comments

The visual erotics of mini-marriages

The Visual Erotics of Mini-Marriages. The appeal of tiny nuptials between children, stuffed kittens, and other small, cute things. [via]
posted by Slithy_Tove on Nov 2, 2007 - 15 comments

The Visual Image of Chemistry

The Visual Image of Chemistry: Perspectives from the History of Art and Science. [Via homunculus (no relation)]
posted by homunculus on Aug 12, 2007 - 10 comments

Beyond "Immanuel Kant was a real pissant."

What can I know? What should I do? For what may I hope?
posted by anotherpanacea on Jul 22, 2007 - 109 comments

blinded me with (beautiful) science

"To determine whether a diagram is good or bad, one needs to determine for what context it was designed for." PingMag (1, 2) interviews Andrew Vande Moere of infosthetics . A quick, informative read which includes pretty pictures of some MeFi faves.
posted by oneirodynia on Apr 9, 2007 - 11 comments

8=8

8=8 is a group of four programmers = four performers = four artists. We each built our own program for my Hypertable platform, then created a program that would group them together for a public performance. More videos &c.
posted by signal on Jul 10, 2006 - 9 comments

Would the Algorithm of Fugue end with A B C?

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 - 22 comments

"This ain't no disco/This ain't no foolin' around"

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 - 13 comments

What kind of a sculpture would Metafilter represent?

Bathsheba Grossman: a geometric sculptor
posted by Gyan on Aug 26, 2005 - 11 comments

Peter Weiss and the Aesthetics of Resistance

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 - 7 comments

Most Wanted Paintings

The Most (and Least) Wanted Paintings. Design by committee: Artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid (see prior) used a professional market research group to survey aesthetic preferences and art tastes in 14 countries. The results are the theoretically most desired paintings for each nation.
posted by me3dia on Jan 6, 2005 - 40 comments

Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.

The Tsurezuregusa, or Essays in Idleness, of Yoshida Kenko. Those of us who, like myself, cannot read Japanese will have to be content with incomplete sets on various sites.
posted by kenko on Aug 19, 2004 - 5 comments

The Economics of Aesthetics

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 - 1 comment

The philosopher's first visit to the web might be a bit distressing: witness aesthetics.com, ontology.com, and epistemology.com...
posted by tweebiscuit on Jun 14, 2001 - 18 comments

Prime Time.

Prime Time. A prime is a whole number divisible only by itself and 1. In Aesthetics of the prime sequence one can hear primes, view primes (here also) and test for primes. Quite interesting and not just for math geeks...
posted by talos on Feb 14, 2001 - 2 comments

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