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Wolfgang Welsc h

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CRITIQUE _ OF TODAY’S AESTHETICS _ by Wolfgang welsch Important Fragments and Texts

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creating our own realities

Nietzsche: the aesthetic-fictial charaacter of knowledge of reality.

'He forgets that the original perceptual metaphors are metaphors and takes them to be the things themselves.' (43) We do indeed produce our realities but we hide this from ourselves or forget about it - and the appearance of objectivity arises in this way. (44) The fabric of reality in general rests on primary aesthetic or poetic projections- it is founded on 'free inventive' human activity, and thus an 'aesthetics relation' (45) but usually it's precisely this which we don't admit, but rather forget and suppress. It was Nietzsche who made us aware of this suppression of the basic aesthetics process. ‌ like artists or virtuosic constructors we produce our system of understanding, erect artistic constructions, which although they refer to reality, do so not through representation, but invention, and which take account of the non-fundamentalism of reality altogether: 'The is no "reality" for us [‌].' (47) So according to Nietzsche our sketch of reality not only contain foundational aesthetics elements, but are altogether aesthetically tailored: they are generated poetically, structured by fictional means, and in their entire mode of being of that suspended and fragile nature which one had traditionally attested to and throughout possible only for aesthetic phenomena. With Nietzsche reality and truth in general become aesthetics.

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pleasure, amusement, enjoyment

the most superficial aesthetic values dominates:

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Aestheticization as a general trend, but in varying ways.

without consequence

The cheapest form of behavior towards the new and pressing topicality of the aesthetic consist of simply denying the phenomena - because what's not permissible cannot be; and because what one doesn't perceive doesn't exist. People all too easily make use of the conceptual trick of speaking of aesthetics per definitionem only with a view to art. Such escapism may well be necessary for anxious souls… It is important to look at the diverse Aestheticizations unabridged, to  differentiate and to reflect. Let's look back again at the tableau of ‘Aestheticization processes’. Aesthetic elements are on the advance at a superficial level in both objective and subjective reality: faces are becoming prettier, shops more animator, noses more perfect. But Aestheticization reaches deeper too, it affects foundational structures of reality as such: of material reality in the wake of new material technologies, of social reality asa result of its mediation though media, and of subjective reality as as result of the dissolution of moral standards by self-styling. 'Aestheticization' basically means that the unaesthetic is made, or understood to be, aesthetic. This is exactly what we are currently experiencing all around. This Aestheticization might not follow the same pattern everywhere, and the type of aesthetic glaze applied to the non- aesthetic can be different from case to case: in the urban environment Aestheticization means the advance of what's beautiful , pretty, styled; in advertising and self-conduct it means the advance of staging and life-styling; with regard to the technological determination of the objective world and the mediation of social reality through the media 'aesthetic' above all means virtualization. The Aestheticization consciousness ultimately means that we no longer see any first or last fundaments, rather that reality for us assumes a constitution been produced, being changeable, unobligating, suspended, and so on. In this details,. then, Aestheticization results in varying ways, but taken collectively the result is a general condition of Aestheticization.

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AEsthetics is everywhere

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Hedonism as a new cultural matrix

Ethical Hedonism is the idea that all men have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every man's pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Along with those ideas ethical hedonism supports that idea that it is morally and ethically right to do what is needed to achieve such pleasure.

Aristippus of Cyrene [1]. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good [2]. He also said that everyone should try to attain pleasure at every time they possibly could. [1] (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, pg. 567 vol. 6) [2] (pg.567 2nd paragraph)

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Beauty is able to assimilate all elements relating to the sensuous and summarizes them in a peas full perspective. Aesthetic is often use synonymously with beautiful.

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beauty denotes the perfecting form of the sensuous and this perfection consists of a free joining of the pieces to a whole, that is of reconciliation.

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in summary: the different usages of the expression ‘aesthetic’ are overlapping and crossconnection between each others the diversity of meanings.

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(8)

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(8) Ibid., p. 103e [309]. — This is how Wittgenstein anwsered the question as to what is ‘aim in philosophy’ was. (16) morre in ‘aesthetics and anasthetics’ in aesthetic Tkinking. (17) Cf. the essay ‘Contemporary Art inPublic Space: AbFeast for the Eyes or an Annoyance?’ in the present volume.

‘to show the to the other flies, the way out of the fly-bottle’

...but there are good reasons to escape from the aesthetics: artistics equation or to quote Wittgenstein again.


Some flaws in the globalized anesthetization.

We where convinced that a globalization of aesthetics would altogether improve the world. Is this so? Consequently old aesthetic dreams are being redeemed in the present anesthetization. But the irritating fact which demands explanation is that the results today are quite different from the original expectations. They are, at the very least, disappointing. What was meant to endow our world with beauty ends up in more prettiness and obtrusiveness, and finally generates indifference or even disgust — at least among aesthetically sensitive people. In any case, nobody would dare to call the present anesthetization straightforward fulfillment. Something must then be wrong with this redemption of old aesthetic dreams. Either the current application of old programs is inadequate, or these venerable programs themselves already contained a flaw, one which has  just redemptions can equate to revelations. This, I think, is the case with the current anesthetization. / What are the reasons for disappointment with the present anesthetization? What are the critical points to be highlighted by an aesthetic reflexion on these process? I want to mention three points. Firstly, fashioning everything as beautiful destroys the quality of the beautiful. Ubiquitous beauty loses its distinguished character and decays into more prettiness or becomes simply meaningless. You can't make what's exceptional a standard without changing its quality.

space today, then it consist not in introducing ever more beauty into already over-embellished environment, but in stopping this aestheticization-machinery by creating aesthetic fallow areas and deserts in the midst of the hyper aesthetics. (17) / Aesthetics has usually praised beauty and beautification, and believed it had good reasons for doing so. But it never considered the consequences of the globalized beautification which it advocated and which we are today experiencing. It never even considered that globalized embellishment might disfigure the world - instead of perfecting, or even redeeming, it. Moreover, the acclamation of beauty championed by traditional aesthetics has repeatedly served as rhetorical support for the current anesthetization processes. The traditional passion for beauty kept us from considering the negative effects of anesthetization, even when these had long since become obvious. The supportive, legitimating and idolizing power of traditional aesthetics is at least partly responsible for the modern tendency toward anesthetization, as well as for the blindness towards its negative effects.

breaking the stereotypes

Secondly, the strategy of globalized anesthetization falls victim to itself. It ends in anesthetization. The globalized aesthetic is experienced as annoying and even as terror. Aesthetic indifference then become a sensible and almost unavoidable attitude in order to escape the importunity of this ubiquitous aesthetic. Anesthetization - our refusal to continue to perceive the divinely embellished environment — becomes a survival strategy.(16) Thirdly, instead of this a need for the nonaesthetic arises — a desire for interruptions and disruptions, for breaking through embellishment. If there's still a task for art in public NEXT PAGE


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Is it The Truth, ‘WHAT YOU SEE ?’

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Comparable observations are to be made when one goes from material and social reality over to subjective reality, to the form of individuals' existence. Here too there is a superficial and obvious aestheticization, but this too is underlain by a deeper aesthicization. The current aestheticization could even be said to attain its perfection in individuals. We are experiencing everywhere a tiling of body, soul and mind- and whatever else these fine new people might want to have (or acquire for themselves). In beauty salons and fitness centers they pursue the aesthetic perfection of bodies, and in meditation courses and Toscana seminars the aesthetics spiritualization of their souls. Future generations should have it easier stright away: genetic engineering will already have come to their aid, this new branch of aestheticization which holds out the prospect of a world full of perfectly styled mannequins. Individuals' interaction with one another is also increasingly being aesthetically determined. In a world in which moral norms are disappearing, table manners and etiquette — the correct choice of glass and of the suitable accompaniment to the respective occasion — still seem to hold firm the most easily. Aesthetic competence — propagate by lifestyle magazines and acquired in etiquette courses — offsets the loss of moral standards. In such processes, homo aesthetics is becoming the new role model.(4) He is sensitive, hedonic, educated and above all of discerning taste — and he knows that you can't argue about taste. This affords new security amidst the insecurity which exists all around. Free of fundamentalist illusions, casually distanced, he enjoys all life's opportunities. The Kierkegaard literature waxes one again (5).

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(4) Cf. here for a critical consideration: Luc Ferry, ‘Homoa estehticus’ (Paris: Grasset 1990). (5) Its affiramtive version today stems from Foucault, who is all too sweepingly rated as being subversive. Faucault’s aesthetics of existence is largely an acclamation of aesthetic selfstyling in contemporary spirit. Although Foucault thinks that independent and resistant subject would emerge in this way, de facto they instead turn out adapted and fit themselves into the objective aestheticization like decoratice puppets. (Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Vol. 2: The Use of Pleasure, translated Robert Hurley, NY: Vintage 1990, p.11). NEXT PAGE


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Experiences,indeed are not any more true experiences  — They are rather weak, empty. That is why people quickly start to seek the next experience and thereby they rush from one disappointment to another. Beautiful forms drift into prettines, and sublimely intended staging descends into rediculousness. Is this aim of beauty? PREVIOUS PAGE


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on of eveThe ae stheticiz ati me a comco be s ha ' life ryd ay e which on m, monplace ter atche s the scr y rel me en oft orary culsurface of contemp minates illu ture. This study of ae scs mi na dy er ep the de philo a m fro thetic reality . ive ect rsp pe al hic sop r of the Welsch , the autho Thinkcs eti sth Ae al nti influe rtant po im an s ing , de velop mporary nte co of sis aly an ilosophical culture with ph global ae ss bite. He ex amine enomena, ph n tio iza thetic ship of on ati rel probe s the mporary nte co for cs eti sth ae also arthinking. The book thought of s gues that mode realm c eti sth ae the from parl nta me da comprise fun rstanding de un for s igm ad e implicatod ay's reality. Th architecof s tions in studie Interthe , ing tis ver ad ture, of the on pti rce pe r net and ou life world . tex t written by h Professor Scott Las

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Undoing  

Interpretation of book Undoing Aesthetics. Critique written by Wolfgang Welsch. Part of my graduation project.

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