Your cart is empty
Beauty today is a paradox. The cult of beauty is ubiquitous but it has lost its transcendence and become little more than an aspect of consumerism, the aesthetic dimension of capitalism. The sublime and unsettling aspects of beauty have given way to corporeal pleasures and 'likes', resulting in a kind of 'pornography' of beauty. In this book, cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han reinvigorates aesthetic theory for our digital age. He interrogates our preoccupation with all things slick and smooth, from Jeff Koon's sculptures and the iPhone to Brazilian waxing. Reaching far deeper than our superficial reactions to viral videos and memes, Han reclaims beauty, showing how it manifests itself as truth, temptation and even disaster. This wide-ranging and profound exploration of beauty, encompassing ethical and political considerations as well as aesthetic, will appeal to all those interested in cultural and aesthetic theory, philosophy and digital media.
Featuring an extended introduction by scholar of British Romanticism, Alan Vardy, Fragments consists of Wordsworth's philosophico-aesthetic prose fragment "The Sublime & the Beautiful" and "Hawkshead & the Ferry." While a fragmented text, unfinished, almost certainly abandoned by the author, the difficulties of the former text no longer appear fatal so much as evidence of Wordsworth's rigorous struggle to come to terms not only with his own aesthetic experiences, but with the philosophical aesthetics of his epoch. What were once read as confusions may now be seen as productive of complex accounts of lived affective experiences. In critical terms, current aesthetic occupations have perhaps finally found Wordsworth's text. By placing the prose fragment in a separate appendix, the original editors of Wordsworth's Prose Works removed it from its actual place in The Unpublished Tour. New analysis of the manuscripts reveals that "The Sublime & the Beautiful" is actually part of the Tour. In reprinting the "Hawkshead & the Ferry" section of the Tour, our edition restores this original context, lost in the standard Oxford edition. The prose fragment begins in the precise place where "Hawkshead & the Ferry" ends - on the west side of Windermere looking north to the Langdale pikes. Were the missing pages of "The Sublime & the Beautiful" to be recovered, the transition from picturesque viewpoint to speculation on the philosophical status of that view would be apparent. Understanding the significance of our affective response to natural objects could not be more central to a Wordsworthian poetics predicated on the internalization of aesthetic sensations into perceptions and ideas, associations of one kind or another, and finally into the very stuff of the poetry. Fragmented or not, this prose treatise on a subject of such centrality to the poet's project can no longer be ignored. It is this general neglect that the present text hopes to address by publishing these fragments on their own for the very first time.
New, completely revised and re-written edition. Offers a detailed but accessible account of the vital German philosophical tradition of thinking about art and the self. Looks at recent historical research and contemporary arguments in philosophy and theory in the humanities, following the path of German philosophy from Kant, via Fichte and Holderlin, the early Romantics, Schelling, Hegel, Schleiermacher, to Nietzsche. Develops the approaches to subjectivity, aesthetics, music and language in relation to new theoretical developments bridging the divide between the continental and analytical traditions of philosophy. The huge growth of interest in German philosophy as a resource for re-thinking both literary and cultural theory, and contemporary philosophy will make this an indispensable read -- .
An integrated study of the history, philosophy, and science of color that offers a novel theory of the metaphysics of color. Is color real or illusory, mind independent or mind dependent? Does seeing in color give us a true picture of external reality? The metaphysical debate over color has gone on at least since the seventeenth century. In this book, M. Chirimuuta draws on contemporary perceptual science to address these questions. Her account integrates historical philosophical debates, contemporary work in the philosophy of color, and recent findings in neuroscience and vision science to propose a novel theory of the relationship between color and physical reality. Chirimuuta offers an overview of philosophy's approach to the problem of color, finds the origins of much of the familiar conception of color in Aristotelian theories of perception, and describes the assumptions that have shaped contemporary philosophy of color. She then reviews recent work in perceptual science that challenges philosophers' accounts of color experience. Finally, she offers a pragmatic alternative whereby perceptual states are understood primarily as action-guiding interactions between a perceiver and the environment. The fact that perceptual states are shaped in idiosyncratic ways by the needs and interests of the perceiver does not render the states illusory. Colors are perceiver-dependent properties, and yet our awareness of them does not mislead us about the world. Colors force us to reconsider what we mean by accurately presenting external reality, and, as this book demonstrates, thinking about color has important consequences for the philosophy of perception and, more generally, for the philosophy of mind.
The zany, the cute, and the interesting saturate postmodern culture. They dominate the look of its art and commodities as well as our discourse about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire. In this radiant study, Sianne Ngai offers a theory of the aesthetic categories that most people use to process the hypercommodified, mass-mediated, performance-driven world of late capitalism, treating them with the same seriousness philosophers have reserved for analysis of the beautiful and the sublime. Ngai explores how each of these aesthetic categories expresses conflicting feelings that connect to the ways in which postmodern subjects work, exchange, and consume. As a style of performing that takes the form of affective labor, the zany is bound up with production and engages our playfulness and our sense of desperation. The interesting is tied to the circulation of discourse and inspires interest but also boredom. The cute's involvement with consumption brings out feelings of tenderness and aggression simultaneously. At the deepest level, Ngai argues, these equivocal categories are about our complex relationship to performing, information, and commodities. Through readings of Adorno, Schlegel, and Nietzsche alongside cultural artifacts ranging from Bob Perelman's poetry to Ed Ruscha's photography books to the situation comedy of Lucille Ball, Ngai shows how these everyday aesthetic categories also provide traction to classic problems in aesthetic theory. The zany, cute, and interesting are not postmodernity's only meaningful aesthetic categories, Ngai argues, but the ones best suited for grasping the radical transformation of aesthetic experience and discourse under its conditions.
In this important new book, the leading cultural theorist and philosopher Bernard Stiegler re-examines the relationship between politics and aesthetics in our contemporary hyperindustrial age. Stiegler argues that our epoch is characterized by the seizure of the symbolic by industrial technology, where aesthetics has become both theatre and weapon in an economic war. This has resulted in a `symbolic misery' where conditioning substitutes for experience. In today's control societies, aesthetic weapons play an essential role: audiovisual and digital technologies have become a means of controlling the conscious and unconscious rhythms of bodies and souls, of modulating the rhythms of consciousness and life. The notion of an aesthetic engagement, capable of founding a new communal sensibility and a genuine aesthetic community, has largely collapsed today. This is because the overwhelming majority of the population is now totally subjected to the aesthetic conditioning of marketing and therefore estranged from any experience of aesthetic inquiry. That part of the population that continues to experiment aesthetically has turned its back on those who live in the misery of this conditioning. Stiegler appeals to the art world to develop a political understanding of its role. In this volume he pays particular attention to cinema which occupies a unique position in the temporal war that is the cause of symbolic misery: at once industrial technology and art, cinema is the aesthetic experience that can combat conditioning on its own territory. This highly original work - the first in Stiegler's Symbolic Misery series - will be of particular interest to students in film studies, media and cultural studies, literature and philosophy and will consolidate Stiegler's reputation as one of the most original cultural theorists of our time.
The second volume in the series Jean-Francois Lyotard Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists introduces forty-two poetical reflections and comments on the work of the well-known Californian painter Sam Francis (1923 1994). This new edition reprints the English text, which is no longer available, with the previously unpublished French original on facing pages. In Lyotard's opinion Sam Francis's work "pays homage to the visible marvel and bears witness to the visual enigma." Color evokes conflicting feelings in the artist: ." . . color says to me: 'Come, I am your consolation, I cure your melancholy, love me, ' and it says to me: 'Go, I am your deception, traverse me, lose yourself and enough of absent truth.'" Lyotard is the first to see through the subtle variety of meanings in Sam Francis's use of color. This edition also reproduces in full color all forty-two paintings discussed by Lyotard."
This book questions the de facto dominance of narrative when watching films. Using the film musical as a case study, this book explores whether an alternative spatial understanding of film can offer alternative readings to narrative. For instance, how do film aesthetics influence our interaction with the film? Can camera movement and music make us `feel' cinema? Can the film world bleed into our own? Utilising film musicals ranging from those by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to von Trier's Dancer in the Dark (2000), Feeling Film: A Spatial Approach investigates how we might go about understanding the audience's spatial relationship with film aesthetics, what it might look like, and the tools needed to conduct analysis.
Our lives are saturated by color. We live in a world of vivid colors, and color marks our psychological and social existence. But for all color's inescapability, we don't know much about it. Now authors David Scott Kastan and Stephen Farthing offer a fresh and imaginative exploration of one of the most intriguing and least understood aspects of everyday experience. Kastan and Farthing, a scholar and a painter, respectively, investigate color from numerous perspectives: literary, historical, cultural, anthropological, philosophical, art historical, political, and scientific. In ten lively and wide-ranging chapters, each devoted to a different color, they examine the various ways colors have shaped and continue to shape our social and moral imaginations. Each individual color becomes the focal point for a consideration of one of the extraordinary ways in which color appears and matters in our lives. Beautifully produced in full color, this book is a remarkably smart, entertaining, and fascinating guide to this elusive topic.
The psychology of aesthetics and the arts is dedicated to the study of our experiences of the visual arts, music, literature, film, performances, architecture and design; our experiences of beauty and ugliness; our preferences and dislikes; and our everyday perceptions of things in our world. The Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Aesthetics and the Arts is a foundational volume presenting an overview of the key concepts and theories of the discipline where readers can learn about the questions that are being asked and become acquainted with the perspectives and methodologies used to address them. The psychology of aesthetics and the arts is one of the oldest areas of psychology but it is also one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas. This is a comprehensive and authoritative handbook featuring essays from some of the most respected scholars in the field.
Does it make sense to refer to bird song--a complex vocalization, full of repetitive and transformative patterns that are carefully calculated to woo a mate--as art? What about a pack of wolves howling in unison or the cacophony made by an entire rain forest? Redefining music as "the art of possibly animate things," Musical Vitalities charts a new path for music studies that blends musicological methods with perspectives drawn from the life sciences. In opposition to humanist approaches that insist on a separation between culture and nature--approaches that appear increasingly untenable in an era defined by human-generated climate change--Musical Vitalities treats music as one example of the cultural practices and biotic arts of the animal kingdom rather than as a phenomenon categorically distinct from nonhuman forms of sonic expression. The book challenges the human exceptionalism that has allowed musicologists to overlook music's structural resemblances to the songs of nonhuman species, the intricacies of music's physiological impact on listeners, and the many analogues between music's formal processes and those of the dynamic natural world. Through close readings of Austro-German music and aesthetic writings that suggest wide-ranging analogies between music and nature, Musical Vitalities seeks to both rekindle the critical potential of nineteenth-century music and rejoin the humans at the center of the humanities with the nonhumans whose evolutionary endowments and planetary fates they share.
Jacques Ranciere's work is increasingly central to several debates across the humanities. Distributions of the Sensible confronts a question at the heart of his thought: How should we conceive the relationship between the "politics of aesthetics" and the "aesthetics of politics"? Specifically, the book explores the implications of Ranciere's rethinking of the relationship of aesthetic to political democracy from a wide range of critical perspectives. Distributions of the Sensible contains original essays by leading scholars on topics such as Ranciere's relation to political theory, critical theory, philosophical aesthetics, and film. The book concludes with a new essay by Ranciere himself that reconsiders the practice of theory between aesthetics and politics.
Through cross-disciplinary explorations of and engagements with nature as a forming part of architecture, this volume sheds light on the concepts of both nature and architecture. Nature is examined in a raw intermediary state, where it is noticeable as nature, despite, but at the same time through, man's effort at creating form. This is done by approaching nature from the perspective of architecture, understood, not only as concrete buildings, but as a fundamental human way both of being in, and relating to, the world. Man finds and forms places where life may take place. Consequently, architecture may be understood as ranging from the simple mark on the ground and primitive enclosure, to the contemporary megalopolis. Nature inheres in many aesthetic forms of expression. In architecture, however, nature emerges with a particular power and clarity, which makes architecture a raw kind of art. Even though other forms of art, as well as aesthetic phenomena outside the arts, are addressed, the analogy to architecture will be evident and important. Thus, by using the concept of 'raw' as a focal point, this book provides new approaches to architecture in a broad sense, as well as other aesthetic and artistic practices, and will be of interest to readers from different fields of the arts and humanities, spanning from philosophy and theology to history of art, architecture and music.
This provocative book examines crucial philosophical questions L szl Moholy-Nagy explored in theory and practice throughout his career. Why paint in a photographic age? Why work by hand when technology holds so much promise? The stakes of painting, or not painting, were tied to much larger considerations of the ways art, life, and modernity were linked for Moholy and his avant-garde peers. Joyce Tsai's close analysis reveals how Moholy's experience in exile led to his attempt to recuperate painting, not merely as an artistic medium but as the space where the trace of human touch might survive the catastrophes of war. L szl Moholy-Nagy: Painting after Photography will significantly reshape our view of the artist's oeuvre, providing a new understanding of cultural modernism and the avant-garde.
Lyotard met Jacques Monory in 1972, and the text on him published at that time was the first that Lyotard dedicated to contemporary art since Discourse, Figure. Lyotard's interest in the plastic arts thus fits fully within the setting of his political preoccupations. The artist-protagonist stages the recurring motifs that fascinate Lyotard: the scene of the crime, the revolver, the woman, the victim, glaciers, deserts, stars. The atmosphere of the essays on Monory is "Californian." Monory's imaginary repertoire goes well beyond the masters of modernity and is in line rather with a "modern contemporary surrealism."
Both Lyotard and Monory live the dilemma of Americanization, the America represented by cinema, fashion, novels, music. It is in this atmosphere that Lyotard and Monory will finally evoke their supreme experience of difference: desire and fear, exultation and a profound malaise. The plastic universe of Monory and the aesthetic meditations of Lyotard are in perfect symbiosis. Sarah Wilson's epilogue thoroughly outlines both the history of a friendship and, at the same time, the intellectual and artistic climate of the 1970s."
In the wake of radical social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, literary studies' embrace of politics entailed a widespread rejection of aesthetic considerations. For scholars invested in literature's role in supporting or challenging dominant ideologies, appreciating literature's formal beauty seemed frivolous and irresponsible, even complicit with the iniquities of the social order. This suspicion of aesthetics became the default posture within literary scholarship, a means of establishing the rigor of one's thought and the purity of one's political commitments. Yet as Timothy Aubry explains, aesthetic pleasure never fully disappeared from the academy. It simply went underground. From New Criticism to the digital humanities, Aubry recasts aesthetics as the complicated, morally ambiguous, embattled yet resilient protagonist in late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century literary studies. He argues that academic critics never stopped asserting preferences for certain texts, rhetorical strategies, or intellectual responses. Rather than serving as the enemy of formalism and aesthetics, political criticism enabled scholars to promote heightened experiences of perceptual acuity and complexity while adjudicating which formal strategies are best designed to bolster these experiences. Political criticism, in other words, did not eradicate but served covertly to nurture reading practices aimed at achieving aesthetic satisfaction. Guilty Aesthetic Pleasures shows that literary studies' break with midcentury formalism was not as clean as it once appeared. Today, when so many scholars are advocating renewed attention to textual surfaces and aesthetic experiences, Aubry's work illuminates the surprisingly vast common ground between the formalists and the schools of criticism that succeeded them.
One of the most influential scholars of the Renaissance, Pietro Bembo (1470-1547) gained fame not only for his literary theory and poetry, but for his incredible collection of art and antiquities. Drawing on anecdotes from Bembo's letters and unpublished archival material, Susan Nalezyty analyzes how Bembo's collection functioned as a source of inspiration for artists like Titian and writers like Giovanni della Casa. As visitors to the collection marveled at the quality and variety of the displayed objects, Bembo encouraged investigations into the ways in which contemporary art compared with ancient objects. Often straddling the line between the visual and literary worlds, these critical discussions catalyzed artistic experiments that led to new modes of creative expression. This generously illustrated volume brings Bembo's collection to life and reveals its key role in the development of Renaissance artistic philosophy and historical study of the classical past.
In this beautiful and richly illustrated book, the acclaimed author of "Blue" and "Black "presents a fascinating and revealing history of the color green in European societies from prehistoric times to today. Examining the evolving place of green in art, clothes, literature, religion, science, and everyday life, Michel Pastoureau traces how culture has profoundly changed the perception and meaning of the color over millennia--and how we misread cultural, social, and art history when we assume that colors have always signified what they do today.
Filled with entertaining and enlightening anecdotes, "Green" shows that the color has been ambivalent: a symbol of life, luck, and hope, but also disorder, greed, poison, and the devil. Chemically unstable, green pigments were long difficult to produce and even harder to fix. Not surprisingly, the color has been associated with all that is changeable and fleeting: childhood, love, and money. Only in the Romantic period did green definitively become the color of nature.
Pastoureau also explains why the color was connected with the Roman emperor Nero, how it became the color of Islam, why Goethe believed it was the color of the middle class, why some nineteenth-century scholars speculated that the ancient Greeks couldn't see green, and how the color was denigrated by Kandinsky and the Bauhaus.
More broadly, "Green "demonstrates""that the history of the color is, to a large degree, one of dramatic reversal: long absent, ignored, or rejected, green today has become a ubiquitous and soothing presence as the symbol of environmental causes and the mission to save the planet.
With its striking design and compelling text, "Green" will delight anyone who is interested in history, culture, art, fashion, or media.
This book examines the ways that Heidegger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy adopt and reconfigure the Kantian understanding of "aesthetic presentation." In Kant, "aesthetic presentation" is understood in a technical sense as a specific mode of experience within a typology of different spheres of experience. This study argues that Heidegger, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy generalize the elements of this specific mode of experience so that the aesthetic attitude and the vocabulary used by Kant to describe it are brought to bear on things in general. The book goes beyond documenting the well-known influence of Kant's Critique of Judgment, however, to open up a new way of approaching some of the central issues in post-Kantian thought-including why it is that art, the art work, and the aesthetic are still available as a vehicle of critique even, or especially, after Auschwitz. It shows that a genealogy of contemporary theory needs to look at the question of presentation, which has arguably been a question that has worried philosophy from its very beginning.
What makes a musical work profound? What is it about pure instrumental music that the listener finds attractive and rewarding? In addressing these questions, Peter Kivy continues his highly regarded exploration of the philosophy of musical aesthetics. He considers here what he believes to be the most difficult subject of all "just plain music; music unaccompanied by text, title, subject, program, or plot; in other words, music alone."
Princess Diana, Jackie O, Grace Kelly-the star icon is the most talked about yet least understood persona. The object of adoration, fantasy, and cult obsession, the star icon is a celebrity, yet she is also something more: a dazzling figure at the center of a media pantomime that is at once voyeuristic and zealously guarded. With skill and humor, Daniel Herwitz pokes at the gears of the celebrity-making machine, recruiting a philosopher's interest in the media, an eye for society, and a love of popular culture to divine our yearning for these iconic figures and the role they play in our lives. Herwitz portrays the star icon as caught between transcendence and trauma. An effervescent being living on a distant, exalted planet, the star icon is also a melodramatic heroine desperate to escape her life and the ever-watchful eye of the media. The public buoys her up and then eagerly watches her fall, her collapse providing a satisfying conclusion to a story sensationally told-while leaving the public yearning for a rebirth. Herwitz locates this double life in the opposing tensions of film, television, religion, and consumer culture, offering fresh perspectives on these subjects while ingeniously mapping society's creation (and destruction) of these special aesthetic stars. Herwitz has a soft spot for popular culture yet remains deeply skeptical of public illusion. He worries that the media distances us from even minimal insight into those who are transfigured into star icons. It also blinds us to the shaping of our political present.
Throughout the history of the Western world, countless attempts have been made to define beauty in art and life, especially with regard to women's bodies and faces. "Facing Beauty" examines concepts of female beauty in terms of the ideal and the real, investigating paradigms of beauty as represented in art and literature and how beauty has been enhanced by cosmetics and hairstyles.
This thought-provoking book discusses the shifting perceptions of female beauty, concentrating on the period from about 1540 to 1940. It begins with the Renaissance, when a renewed emphasis on the individual was reflected in the celebration of beauty in the portraits of the day. The fluid, sensual lines of the Baroque period initiated a shift toward a more "natural" look, giving way in the 18th century to a more stylized and artificial face, a mask of ideal beauty. By the late 19th century, commercial beauty preparations had become more readily available, leading to new technological developments within the beauty industry in the early 20th century. Beauty salons and the wider availability of cosmetics revolutionized the way women saw themselves.
Ravishing images of some of the most beautiful women in history, both real and ideal, accompanied by illustrations from costume books, fashion plates, advertisements, caricatures, and cosmetics, bring the evolving story of beauty to life.
You may like...
Walead Beshty Paperback
Being and Neonness
Luis De Miranda Hardcover
Aesthetics and Its Discontents
Jacques Ranciere Paperback
Marion Deuchars Hardcover (1)
Being and Nothingness - An essay in…
Jean-Paul Sartre Hardcover R1,044 Discovery Miles 10 440
The Transitory Museum
Emanuele Coccia, Donatien Grau Paperback
Rebecca Earle Paperback (1)
Aisthesis - Scenes from the Aesthetic…
Jacques Ranciere Paperback
Why Are We 'Artists'? - 100 World Art…
Jessica Lack Paperback (1)
Ugliness and Judgment - On Architecture…
Timothy Hyde Hardcover