[-empyre-] The New Aesthetic - questions and conclusions

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Mon Oct 1 09:37:11 EST 2012

On 09/29/2012 03:56 PM, Simon Biggs wrote:
> The New Aesthetic was extensively discussed on Netbehaviour some months
> ago. The primary critiques of it seemed to be 1. it isn't new and has
> been concocted in ignorance of both practical and theoretical work that
> has been underway for over three decades

I addressed the Netbehaviour discussion at the time:


> and 2. with its focus on
> aesthetics it disables more nuanced approaches to social assemblage and
> the role of creative practice within that.

TNA is a visual corpus. It is gathered evidence. It is a different way 
of """writing""". It has different affordances to a literary text, but 
these may be complimentary and challenging to literary text rather than 
lesser or confounding.

> GH suggested that Post-Modern
> approaches to these subjects are boring and old hat. I couldn't disagree
> more (I generally agree with GH). PM seeks to work against the kind of
> reductivism NA represents. Huge intellectual and attitudinal strides
> have been made using the tools it provides. NA seeks to negate that.

TNA deals in the artificial, and in power. It is a superset of the 
Postmodern attitude and a corrective to its solipsism.

> The
> only benefit I can see in NA is that it reminds us of what is valuable
> in what might be too familiar.

TNA represents a form of visual rhetoric. Certainly, defamiliarisation 
is part of what it does. But it also *demonstrates* a new subjectivity.

I think in many ways the best response to TNA is to take on board that 
idea of visual rhetoric within network culture and apply it to different 

Let a thousand new aesthetics bloom...

- Rob.

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