How aesthetics-understood as a more encompassing framework for
human activity-might become the primary discourse for political and
social engagement. These essays make the case for a reignited
understanding of aesthetics-one that casts aesthetics not as
illusory, subjective, or superficial, but as a more encompassing
framework for human activity. Such an aesthetics, the contributors
suggest, could become the primary discourse for political and
social engagement. Departing from the "critical" stance of
twentieth-century artists and theorists who embraced a
counter-aesthetic framework for political engagement, this book
documents how a broader understanding of aesthetics can offer
insights into our relationships not only with objects, spaces,
environments, and ecologies, but also with each other and the
political structures in which we are all enmeshed. The
contributors-philosophers, media theorists, artists, curators,
writers and architects including such notable figures as Jacques
Ranciere, Graham Harman, and Elaine Scarry-build a compelling
framework for a new aesthetic discourse. The book opens with a
conversation in which Ranciere tells the volume's editor, Mark
Foster Gage, that the aesthetic is "about the experience of a
common world." The essays following discuss such topics as the
perception of reality; abstraction in ethics, epistemology, and
aesthetics as the "first philosophy"; Afrofuturism; Xenofeminism;
philosophical realism; the productive force of alienation; and the
unbearable lightness of current creative discourse. Contributors
Mark Foster Gage, Jacques Ranciere, Elaine Scarry, Graham Harman,
Timothy Morton, Ferda Kolatan, Adam Fure, Michael Young, Nettrice
R. Gaskins, Roger Rothman, Diann Bauer, Matt Shaw, Albena Yaneva,
Brett Mommersteeg, Lydia Kallipolliti, Ariane Lourie Harrison,
Rhett Russo, Peggy Deamer, Caroline Picard Matt Shaw, Managing
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