The New Aesthetic • 11 December 2011 • The SnowBlog

The New Aesthetic

Is it patronising to call James Bridle a 'Snowbooks alumni'? Perhaps I should simply say that he was responsible for a number of our books in years gone by before he headed off to do all sorts of new and interesting things. One of which I was finding highly entertaining the other day (until my internet connection refused to fetch the second half of it). James gave a keynote talk at Web Directions South in Sydney about something he had, in a slightly tongue in cheek way, named 'the new aesthetic'. As I say, I've only managed to get my hands on the first twenty minutes of the talk but it's a very interesting exploration of the way that certain artistic sensibilities are being influenced by the 'digital' realm. The web gives us eyes and ears on the world, it becomes part of our sensory apparatus, so perhaps it's no surprise that it also changes how we perceive reality and gives artists opportunities to mix and blend features of the digital with aspects of reality. If that sounds too abstract (probably because I'm failing to explain it well) let me give you a tiny example from James's talk: a square of turf cut out of a public park by the artist Helmut Smits which is of the correct size so as to appear like a dead pixel on your monitor when you view the park on Google Earth. Lots more novel ideas and fresh concepts in James's talk which you can find here.


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