♥ Book Title : The Aesthetics of Artifice
☯ Full Synopsis : "Drawing on feminist and psychoanalytic theory, this study exposes the ideological foundations of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's L'Eve Future, a late 19th-century revision of the Genesis story. Villier's future Eve, who owes her life to man's manipulation of sculptural techniques, photography, and film, symbolizes the complex conjunction of literature, art, technology, and the feminine in the late 19th century. The novel thus charts modernity's restructuring of traditional aesthetics to accommodate the age of mechanical reproduction. The female body becomes the locus of this manifesto of technology, producing a discourse on artificiality and and the feminine which Lathers's study exposes in detail. It also relates this monstrous tale to other versions of woman's fabrication in this and the last century, and interrogates theories of the aesthetic, the technological, and the feminine from Hegel and Baudelaire to Benjamin and Barthes. It is a contribution to current debate centering on the construction of gender and its place in literature and art."Article| Marie Lathers| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : Artifice and Design
☯ Full Synopsis : ""As familiar and widely appreciated works of modern technology, bridges are a good place to study the relationship between the aesthetic and the technical. Fully engaged technical design is at once aesthetic and structural. In the best work (the best design, the most well made), the look and feel of a device (its aesthetic, perceptual interface) is as important a part of the design problem as its mechanism (the interface of parts and systems). We have no idea how to make something that is merely efficient, a rational instrument blindly indifferent to how it appears. No engineer can design such a thing and none has ever been built."—from Artifice and Design In an intriguing book about the aesthetics of technological objects and the relationship between technical and artistic accomplishment, Barry Allen develops the philosophical implications of a series of interrelated concepts-knowledge, artifact, design, tool, art, and technology-and uses them to explore parallel questions about artistry in technology and technics in art. This may be seen at the heart of Artifice and Design in Allen's discussion of seven bridges: he focuses at length on two New York bridges—the Hell Gate Bridge and the Bayonne Bridge—and makes use of original sources for insight into the designers' ideas about the aesthetic dimensions of their work. Allen starts from the conviction that art and technology must be treated together, as two aspects of a common, technical human nature. The topics covered in Artifice and Design are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, drawing from evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, and the history and anthropology of art and technology. The book concludes that it is a mistake to think of art as something subjective, or as an arbitrary social representation, and of Technology as an instrumental form of purposive rationality. "By segregating art and technology," Allen writes, "we divide ourselves against ourselves, casting up self-made obstacles to the ingenuity of art and technology.""Article| Barry Allen| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Jeering Dreamers
☯ Full Synopsis : "The re-emergence in recent years of Villiers de l'Isle-Adam as a key figure in fin de siècle literature can be attributed in large part to the intense interest his prescient l'Eve future (1886) has generated among scholars. In effect, the novel confronts with breathtaking focus central taboos and ambivalences about the decadent period. It posits an inescapable, mechanistic linkage between desire and technology; it suggests the constructed nature of gender; it casts woman down so as to exalt her, even as it intimates the arbitrariness and fragility of the empowerment prerogatives implicit in such an operation. It is this mine for the study of fin de siècle mentalities that the present volume explores. Begun at the 1992 NCFS colloquium at Binghamton University as a collective project of the Friends of Villiers, Jeering Dreamers brings together 13 essays by Villiers scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. Their work promises, in the words of the eminent Villièrien Alan Raitt, to 'Éclairer l'Eve future d'un jour nouveau-ou, plus exactement, de plusieurs jours nouveaux."Article| John Anzalone| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Aesthetics of Democracy
☯ Full Synopsis : "This book offers an original and interdisciplinary interpretation of the relation between aesthetics and modern liberal democracy, uniting the fields of art theory with the democratic political philosophy and modern liberal economic theory. The central argument of the books offers an explanation of the theoretical limitations of the contemporary discourse concerning “political art,” while at the same time illustrating historically how the European and American discourse of modern democracy and political economy developed an explicit stance against the conflation of art and politics. Exposing the unstated presuppositions about our modern liberal democracy, Craig Carson opens a new field of inquiry concerning the role of art, media, and televisual “theater” central to modern politics."Article| Craig Carson| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Between Artifice and Actuality
☯ Full Synopsis : "This thesis is concerned with metafiction or self-conscious fiction. After discussing the status of metafiction from its postmodernist heyday (both its proponents and its critics) to current criticism, an analysis about the role of aesthetics and ethics in literature follows. The novels Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (and associated texts) are then analyzed in their own chapters. Nabokov is considered as an author averse to moral didactic fiction and enamored with aesthetically focused fiction. For Nabokov, metafiction is used as an escape from the world and into "aesthetic bliss." Mitchell, on the other hand, uses metafiction to instruct us to make our own ethical decisions without the presence of an author's guiding hand. Neither author is able to use metafiction to escape from reality as all fiction remains connected to the material world. In the conclusion, metafiction is presented as a fictional form with strengths and flaws like any other."Article| Trent A. McDonald| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Aesthetics of Disturbance
☯ Full Synopsis : "Explores interconnections among early 20th-century visual, literary, and performance art"Article| David Graver| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Modernism and the Aesthetics of Violence
☯ Full Synopsis : "This book addresses the subject of violence as it features in celebrated modernist works from the early twentieth century. It traces the modernist fascination with violence back to the middle decades of the nineteenth century, when certain writers in France and England sought to celebrate dissident sexualities and stylized criminality."Article| Paul Sheehan| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Aesthetic Reason
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Article| Alan Singer| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : MASKS
☯ Full Synopsis : "This interdisciplinary anthology explores the complex relationships in an artist’s life between fact and fiction, presentation and existence, and critique and creation, and examines the work that ultimately results from these tensions. Using a combination of critical and personal essays and interviews, MASKS presents Bowie as the key exemplifier of the concept of the 'mask', then further applies the same framework to other liminal artists and thinkers who challenged the established boundaries of the art/pop academic worlds, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Søren Kierkegaard, Yukio Mishima and Hunter S. Thompson. Featuring contributions from John Gray and Slavoj Žižek and interviews with Gary Lachman and Davide De Angelis, this book will appeal to scholars and students of cultural criticism, aesthetics and the philosophy of art; practising artists; and fans of Bowie and other artists whose work enacts experiments in identity."Article| Jamie Curcio| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Unmanning Modernism
☯ Full Synopsis : "The essays in this collection explore the aesthetic similarities and differences between male and female constructions of modernism. The contributors draw on postmodern and feminist theory to discuss the works of both well-known and lesser-known writers, including Djuna Barnes, Zora Neale Hurston, Lytton Strachey, Radclyffe Hall, Louise Bryant, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Arguing for a radical re-evaluation of the modernist aesthetic, the essayists consider how women writers created their own version of modernism through the use of sentimental and domestic subject matter, by writing about maternal concerns, and through experiments with plot, voice, and points of view. The essays also interrogate the role of gender in modernist debates regarding high and low art and show how women writers responded to the anxiety of influence. An illuminating and multivocal commentary on the process of modern canon formation, Unmanning Modernism adds to the evolving critical concept of a gender-conscious and political modernism."Article| Elizabeth Jane Harrison| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Flamingo in the Garden
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Article| Colleen Josephine Sheehy| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Art and Embodiment
☯ Full Synopsis : "Arguing that art can bridge the gap between philosophy's traditional striving for generality and completeness, and the concreteness and contingency of humanity's basic relation to the world, Crowther proposes an ecological definition of art."Article| Paul Crowther| Statement ..."