Monday, March 5, 2018

Just How Important Are Aesthetics To You?

Aesthetics: The overarching word that is slapped onto this that and everything else to express a landscape and pastiche that is our visual lives. It is the new ‘contemporary’ the snobby ivy league cousin of ‘style’ it is misused often because it’s one of those words that make you fall asleep while also comforting you. Anyways, I am definitely an over user of the word, aesthetic, but I mean it! I swear! I’ve been thinking about what it means to care about ‘aesthetics’ in art and in life and how to understand/see/suss it all out.

Do you have bad taste?

Seriously, evaluate your immediate surroundings. Start with the selfyour clothes, face, haircut, and makeup if you wear ittip to toe surmise. Next the space you are in. Your desk, room, whatever/wherever you have spend time in by force or by choice and see how it feels, looks, the lighting quality, and the objects in this same space with you. Next think about your sphere of friends. Imagine them; look at them, through them to who they are and why you interact with them. Then look at your representations of self.  Via face-to-face interactions and also mediated platforms. What is the difference/similarities/desires for these personifications?

After doing all that, you still might not know if you have ‘bad’ taste. And it really doesn’t matter all that much because bad/good/blah can all be flipped and self devoured onto it self BUT let’s be really-really honest. You do know what’s bad and good taste. You might like the bad taste things because it’s so bad it’s good and all that clever crap, but you know. You know and I know and we all know that everyone knows.

Taste. What is taste?

Style. What is style?

And why is the word ‘aesthetics’ in this seemingly vapid category of taste and style? Well, because I am one who believes that the whole art is life and life is art mumbo jumbo is pretty on point and actually important.

The way that one lives in the world through the way they dress, present themselves, surround themselves via objects, people, lifestyle is a strange, but true, measure of the type of life/philosophy and even politics one holds.

This has been done for a really long time, style reflecting your micro tribalism, but an aesthetic way of living goes beyond just clothing or group access. It’s a way of arranging and pursuing a quality and path of living.

I know I’m being super vague. It’s hard to talk about without sounding like some shallow judgy arty brat but it’s really important and I think something that is overlapping and affecting how we are viewing art and the trends within it.

The looseness of the style/taste/aesthetics dichotomies within the art world and its participants is super fluid and non-specific, but there are bounding lines that corral and shape what is happening. Some might hate this and rebel against it. Which is totally expected, and built into this system, but there is a point where it’s so outside of the net of topics of care/relevance that it pops off into zero gravity.

What am I trying to say?? This is a lot harder to express then I thought…

I guess what I’m saying is that if you try too hard, so hard to be an outlier in art (or wherever), we (the collective we) can all see it. We get what you are doing and because of that it is flaccid, boring, ineffectual and reductively, ‘bad.’

Am I saying that trying and changing things is bad? NO! What I’m saying is that being a part of an aesthetic world, of expressing style and taste is not done in a vacuum. We are all watching and participating and sharing a databank of information, references and ques. Sometimes we fail in this activity, sometimes we don’t even know we are participating but we all are, we all always are.

I guess this is a long and meandering way for me to say: If you have bad taste, try too hard and have a chip on your shoulder about it. Relax… It’s all okay, all excepted but just look at what it is you are doing and ask yourself if that’s what you really, truly want to look like, feel like, and be like.

It doesn’t seem like it matters but it does. The whole, everything matters/nothing matters is all one coin with two sides. And even if you don't care which side it lands on, we are all watching despite ourselves.