The New Aesthetic continued …

In addition to my first post on the New Aesthetic, I would like to add Borenstein’s definition to the list and to provide a few examples that I find to be particularly interesting.

Greg Borenstein, in “What It’s like to be a 21st Century Thing,” [1] argues that the “New Aesthetic is not simply an aesthetic fetish of the texture of the images, but an inquiry into the objects that make them. It’s an attempt to imagine the inner lives of the native objects of the 21st Century and to visualise how they imagine us.”

In relation to how machines imagine us, I came across some cool videos while researching that offer an insight into this alternative perception of reality through the lens of technology.

How a robot sees you: http://thecreatorsproject.com/blog/this-is-how-a-robot-sees-you-exploring-machine-visions-eerie-aesthetic

Self-driving cars: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/all/1

For Borenstein, the New Aesthetician’s goal is to amplify “the particular frequency of ‘black noise’ these New Things emit.” Tim Arnall attempts to achieve this, as can be seen from the videos below.

Tim Arnall: http://www.elasticspace.com/

Light Painting Visualisations of Oslo’s Wifi Network: http://www.thecreatorsproject.com/blog/light-painting-visualizations-of-oslos-wifi-network

Edit:
Having said that, when watching the video of how a robot sees us, I can’t help but question: “What is new about this?” and “Where have I seen this before (many years ago)?”. Viewing how a robot views us actually reminded me of two of my favourite films: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and Predator (1987). As the release dates of these films show, this concept of machine-perception of reality has already been seen and is perhaps rather outdated.

Maybe Damien Walter is correct after all in saying there is nothing new about the New Aesthetic other than the fact that the technological tools we use have become deeply embedded in our daily lives.

[1] Borenstein, Greg. “What It’s like to be a 21st Century Thing”.

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