AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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FREEDOM, OPPRESSION, AND BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS IN “GET OUT”

The following post appears as part of a partnership with the APA Blog. The original appears here.

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Having recently viewed Jordan Peele’s award-winning Get Out (2017), political theorist Derefe Kimarley Chevannes was prompted to discuss the film with philosopher Lewis Gordon, whose writings include discussions of race in horror films and literature. Continue reading


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ARTIST INTERVIEW: MICHAEL THOMAS CONNOLLY

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Musician, recording engineer, and producer Michael Thomas Connolly interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Michael Thomas Connolly is a musician, recording engineer and producer in Seattle, WA. Obsessed with learning new skills, Michael is avid multi-instrumentalist and performs professionally on fiddle, mandolin, upright bass, accordion, piano, Hammond organ, guitar, dobro, bagpipes, flute and pennywhistle. He runs the venue and recording studio, Empty Sea Studios, and has engineered approximately 100 full-length records in approximately 20 years of multitrack recording. He has performed and toured with Coyote Grace, and has appeared on ABC’s The Gong Show. He is a ham radio enthusiast, computer geek, motorcycle rider, and cat lover, and has recently switched to decaf. Continue reading


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PHILOSOPHER-ARTIST INTERVIEW: SCOTT WALDEN

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Autoportrait, Scott Walden

Philosopher and Photographer Scott Walden interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Scott Walden’s research focuses on the intersection between the philosophies of art, mind and language, with an emphasis on photography. These philosophical interests inform his photographic practice, which has been recognized by multiple grants and the 2007 Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography from the Canada Council for the Arts. As Associate Professor at Nassau Community College he is a 2016 recipient of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Walden divides his time between New York and Newfoundland.

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ARTIST INTERVIEW: LAUREN KALMAN

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Artist Lauren Kalman interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Lauren Kalman is a visual artist based in Detroit and an assistant professor at Wayne State University. Her practice is invested in contemporary craft, video, photography and performance. Kalman’s work has been featured in exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Cranbrook Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Mint Museum, and the World Art Museum in Beijing, among others. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Detroit Institute of Art. She currently has a solo show at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, running through March 15, 2017, as part of their MAD POV series; as well as an installation at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, PA, running through February 12, 2017.

[Ed. warning: this interview contains some nudity, may be NSFW]

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ARTIST INTERVIEW: JÖRG RECKHENRICH

Chalk board drawing, series Film Stills, “Appropriation” (2016)

Artist Jörg Reckhenrich interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Jörg is a Berlin-based artist. With an understanding of art – shaping the social space – he takes the creative principles to the world of organizations. Art, he believes, can open our eyes to understand that we are not moving forward to a goal, we are at the goal and changed with it.

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PHILOSOPHER-ARTIST INTERVIEW: ANNELIES MONSERÉ

Philosopher and Musician Annelies Monseré interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Annelies Monseré is a post-doctoral researcher at Ghent University (Belgium) and a musician. Her philosophical work focuses on definitions of art. Her PhD thesis investigated the metaphilosophical assumptions underlying the project of defining art. Currently, she is working on the implementation of a normative approach to defining art, an approach she defended in her thesis. Annelies has been a recording and performing artist since 2000. Her music has often been described as minimal, dark and experimental. She has put out two LP’s and many EP’s. A third record is to be released soon. Moreover, she has collaborated with other musicians, most notably Jessica Bailiff, and she is currently playing her music with a band. For more, visit Annelies’ Bandcamp Page.

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ARTIST INTERVIEW: JEFFREY BROWN

Jeffrey Brown (photo by Jill Liebhaber)

Comic Artist Jeffrey Brown interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

Jeffrey Brown was born in 1975 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While earning his studio MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown abandoned painting and began drawing comics with his first autobiographical book Clumsy in 2001. Since then, he’s drawn nearly two dozen books for publishers including TopShelf, Chronicle Books, Simon & Schuster, and Scholastic. Brown has also directed an animated video for the band Death Cab For Cutie, had his work featured on NPR’s ‘This American Life,’ and co-wrote the screenplay of the film Save The Date. His book Darth Vader and Son was a NYTimes #1 bestseller, and its sequels Vader’s Little Princess, Goodnight Darth Vader, and Darth Vader and Friends, along with his middle grade series Jedi Academy, were also NYTimes bestsellers. His art has been shown at galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Now teaching comics at SAIC, he lives in Chicago with his wife Jennifer and two sons.  Continue reading


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ARTIST INTERVIEW: RACHEL HECKER

Visual Artist Rachel Hecker interviewed by Alex King for AFB

Rachel Hecker is a visual artist and an Associate Professor of painting at the University of Houston School of Art. Her conceptually based projects, from contemporary portraits of Jesus to levitating bottles of Xanax, have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces throughout the US. She’s received many awards, among them Art League Houston’s 2013 Texas Artist of the Year. Continue reading


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ARTIST INTERVIEW: RABKAR WANGCHUK

Painter Rabkar Wangchuk interviewed by Alex King for AFB, with help from Nic Bommarito

Rabkar Wangchuk is a Tibetan artist, thangka painter, and sculptor. Born and raised in the Tibetan exile community in India, he is currently based in Queens, New York. At the age of seven, he was admitted to the Gyudme Tantric Monastery in south India where he began twenty years of training in various types of Tibetan art. During those twenty years, he mastered and pursued perfection in woodcarving, butter sculptures and, sand mandala (for which he was awarded an appreciation certificate from the Gyudme Tantric University). He also served as the head of the art section of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Art (TIPA) in Dharamsala, India. His work has been exhibited in various venues throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. Recently, he exhibited his unique arts at the Trace Foundation and Queens Museum in New York City. He will have work on display at Transcending Tibet, opening in New York, March 12–April 12, 2015 organized by the Trace Foundation.

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PHILOSOPHER-ARTIST INTERVIEW: R.A. BRIGGS

Philosopher and Poet R.A. Briggs interviewed by Alex King for AFB

R.A. Briggs is a philosopher and a poet. She has been a Research Fellow at the Australian National University and at Griffith University since 2012. She has published widely on issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and decision theory. Her poetry has also been published many venues, but you can get a lot of it in one place in her book, Free Logic, which won the 2012 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for emerging poets in Queensland and was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Award in the poetry category. Continue reading