[-empyre-] The New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Machines
swht at clear.net.nz
Fri Sep 14 17:21:07 EST 2012
David, there's nothing obscure about computational systems of control
where the deus ex machina is a counting machine and a graphing machine.
Mez, I enjoyed your breakdown of the self-promotion across academic /
theoretical / technical lines implicit in the New Aesthetics. I think
also that the ad hominem aspect needs to be addressed simply because
part of the disease is the production of culpable subjects. Is there
anything disinterestedly stand-alone in the concept? New Aesthetic?
I can't see anything particularly admirable in it myself, but then...
the old aesthetics seems to me to be a grabfest at the process of the
new. Which it never quite gets.
> On 13 Sep 2012, at 13:56, "Lichty, Patrick" <plichty at colum.edu
> <mailto:plichty at colum.edu>> wrote:
>> Well, I actually see a lot of The New Aesthetic, as with much of what
>> is happening in New Media blogjournalism as being infinitely
>> strategic/self-reflexive. There are many examples for evidence of
>> cultural entrepreneurism/branding, not just in the blogs, but also
>> with the tech/craft cluster of Make,
>> Makerbot/Sparkfun/evilmadscentist/adafruit. The fact that so many of
>> us hve flocked to kickstarter is talked about in the NYT:
>> All right - this potentially bifurcates the conversation. Is NA
>> actually a cultural branding scheme meant to capitalize through
>> recognition or whatnot the idea od a disparate set of machine imaging
>> practices, or is it a rigorous curatorial statement?
>> This might be a little polemic, but I might say it could be a little
>> of both.
>> However, I am interested in what, as a curatorial vision, NA seeks to
>> accomplish as a serious curatorial statement.
>> If we want to talk about NA as a cultural placement strategy for
>> James Bridle, we can do that, but I think it is much less interesting.
>> For example, in my Robotics class this semester, we are building a
>> UAV to create drone art. Fortunately this is so far off my
>> colleagues' radars that they're not commenting much. I think that if
>> they realized that I'm trying to to do drone art in the heart of a
>> major city, they would probably have an aneurism. But I think this
>> is the bleeding edge of NA.
>> Patrick Lichty
>> Intelligent Agent Magazine
>> c/o Columbia College Chicago
>> 916/1000 S. Wabash Ave #104
>> Chicago, IL USA 60605
>> "Better to live on your feet than to die on your knees."
>> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of mez breeze
>> [netwurker at gmail.com]
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 6:44 PM
>> To: soft_skinned_space
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] The New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Machines
>> Nice timing, seeing Bridle has reactivated the New Aesthetic tumblr
>> in the last two weeks or so.
>> The more I think about NA, the more I'm inclined to ponder whether
>> Bridle is using it as an adjunct promotional strategy that mimics
>> start-up/entrepreneurial frameworks: grab a
>> manifest-yet-still-edge-worthy-to-some spinable idea, run it through
>> a concept grinder and link it with a delivery system (in this case,
>> the dangling carrot-bait of merging digital concepts with physical
>> that theorists/academics/creatives/intellectuals just can't resist,
>> with high profile figures being drawn to pontification +
>> publicizing). This "debate bait" then actualises as an emergent
>> discourse with assured (built-in) funding/exposure strategies through
>> clever generation of its own marketing/PR machine - complete with
>> monetisation through conference creation + academic
>> publications/hype/circuit creation - rather than it acting to
>> ideologically frame a legitimately culturally relevant paradigm that
>> highlights "new" corresponding forms of cultural interpretations
>> regarding the fusion of the digital and physical?
>> I'm not trying to assert that Bridle is intentionally aping this
>> entrepreneurial strategy, but just having a quick examination of his
>> previous attempts to kick-start (using this term in an oldskool
>> sense, not in the crowdfunding model sense) buzz-worthy/coinable
>> frames of reference such as his 2010 labelling attempt: "I want to
>> give it a name, and at this point I'm calling it Network Realism"
>> http://booktwo.org/notebook/network-realism/, or ideas evidenced on
>> his "hand-drawn" website: http://shorttermmemoryloss.com/moleskine/
>> to his audition "tape" for TED2013:
>> makes me curious?
>> And if Bridle is indeed covertly emulating an entrepreneurial model,
>> and is in fact a concept-"manifestering" mastermind, we're all
>> playing our roles perfectly, with me more than most:
>> | http://www.vizify.com/mez-breeze
>> | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mez_Breeze
>> On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 4:48 AM, Patrick Lichty
>> <plichty at colum.edu<mailto:plichty at colum.edu>> wrote:
>> September on --empyre soft-skinned space: The New Aesthetic: Seeing
>> Like Machines
>> Moderated by Patrick Lichty (US) with invited discussants:
>> Rahel Alma, David M. Berry, Ina Blom, Nick Briz, Amber Case, Marcelo
>> Coelho, Michael Dieter, David Golumbia, Julia Kaganskiy, Michelle
>> Kasprzak, Jon Lebkowsky, Patrick Lichty, Joanne McNeil, Hrag Vartanian
>> The New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Machines
>> It's been months since Bruce Sterling delivered his endnote talk at
>> SXSW highlighting James Bridle et al's panel on The New Aesthetic,
>> and there have been furious conversations about it. If we take the
>> replies by Watz et al on the The Creators Project blog as an
>> indication, there is a bit of dismissal of the idea from my
>> interpretation. However, many of us are still talking about the idea,
>> but why? I still believe that a cultural chord was struck that is a
>> result of extant developments in contemporary digital art of the
>> 2000's that lead right to The New Aesthetic blog, or something like
>> it. Where I and others argue that The New Aesthetic might be a
>> non-movement, I would like to re-imagine that it is actually
>> indicative of other cultural phenomena and New Media proto-movements.
>> These have to do with issues of curation, precedents in New Media
>> "movements", and the shape of culture in New Media society. Where I
>> think Bridle et al might have done a disservice to the idea of NA is
>> through a partial superficiality in the case of a subject, while
>> ephemeral, is not superficial at all.
>> Why? It is for the reason that in the current day and age,
>> ephemerality is often mistaken for superficiality. Net.culture by
>> default is mercuric, and technoculture is typified by the fact that
>> things like the iPad and tablets have become nearly ubiquitous within
>> two years of the technology's emergence. This is reflected in online
>> culture, through the torrent (pun intended) of images spilling
>> through social media like blogs, Facebook, image boards, and tumblrs
>> like The New Aesthetic. Love or hate it, what Bridle describes is a
>> phenomenology of this torrent of images as an aesthetic and their
>> generation by technology. For this month's discussion on Empyre which
>> will last only three weeks due to the disappearance of a week in the
>> black hole of the start of the academic semester, we will have a
>> floating group of key correspondents on the subject who have been
>> posting and publishing around the Net on The New Aesthetic.
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Dr. David M. Berry
> Senior Lecturer in Digital Media
> (Associate Professor in Media Studies)
> Department of Political and Cultural Studies
> Swansea University
> Singleton Campus
> SA2 8PP
> Tel: 01792 602633
> Room: Room JC015, James Callaghan Building
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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