- We have been contemplating Art under the same aesthetic rubric since Kant and the Romantic era
- Life is inherently more interesting, beautiful, sublime, etc. than art
- Poetics rather than Aesthetics (Aesthetics is spectatorship)
- The politicization of art can also be considered within the aesthetic sphere, because the work then creates and treats a political issue, or ideology, as attractive or not (art as political advertisement, superfluous when it achieves its goal)
- From the perspective of aesthetics, art has no privileged position (important delineation)
- Aesthetic discourse when used to legitimize art, effectively serves to undermine it
- A generation of image production rather than image contemplation
- The politics of art has to do less with its impact on the spectator than with the decisions that leads to its emergence in the first place.
- Poetics as in autopoetics, or ‘the production of one’s own public self’
- Development of a brand, commercial image production, trendsetting, etc
- Today, every public persona is also a commodity (self-commodification)
- Market forces: everything can be interpreted as the effect of market forces. Groys then claims this to be a null interpretation of things because it is to evaluate art without its history (Art has existed before capitalism, etc.)
- A sociological analysis of art considers an art as emerging out of, or being the product of, a present or past social context (and encapsulating this context) but, this isn’t a sound evaluation because the social and cultural milieus that supposedly art exemplifies are ‘artificial’ in themselves because they are the creation of artists, of a persona
In response to Nick Bilton’s resolution to schedule some “unplugged” time and program some “daydreaming” into his daily life, Nicholas Carr has coinedthe phrase “the industrialization of the ineffable.” I’m pretty sympathetic to Carr’s complaint here (and in his previous post) and to the idea that the technological capture of larger and larger swaths of everyday life is eradicating the space in which our experience can feel genuine to ourselves. What we process as “genuine” seems to depend on what is socially structured as “spontaneous,” which may be the currently most salient version of what defines the authentic.
With the 18th century sensibility cult, this manifested in part in the paradoxical procedure of consuming novels (an early mass-produced, mass-distributed good) in such a way as to experience “spontaneous” emotional reactions. If the book made you cry, you proved to yourself that you had an emotional core that was untouched by the rising shopkeeperization of everyday life, while at the same time you got to partake in the novel experience of reified novelty, of keeping up to date through exposing oneself to material things (as opposed to, say, local gossip). Hence it was a kind of programmed spontaneity, a industrialized ineffability. But the novelty of vicarious participation in emotional life always contained within it a critique of itself, a hope that each specific instance of it was an exception to a general rule of how false the whole process was.
Something similar seems to be happening with social media, which inspire a similar ambivalence. It is an exciting arena in which to perform for social recognition, but it bears with it a sense of self-alienation and phoniness, a surrender of the true self in the eagerness to share it. So there are efforts to participate in social media in ways that repudiate it (blogging about not blogging; tweeting about how we have to stop tweeting so much, etc.) […] The pretense is that there can be nothing deliberate about the emotional life, that it consists of pure reaction or else it is a sign that we are being manipulated, controlled by cultural industries or by the tech companies trying to subsume our identity and program it for their purposes. If we unplug from the internet, we will once again have real emotions, not convenient or marketable or marketed ones.
Much as the actual untruth of the proposition is irrelevant to the conclusions drawn in the result clause, so the truth of the crime (in name only) hardly matters by the time we come to the end of the sentence. Though out of time, the if clause sets in motion a provisional series of events. Something appears from what is now not not not the case—or, rather, from what was not not written.