AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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EDITOR-ARTIST INTERVIEW: PETER MOMTCHILOFF

OUP Editor and Indie Rock Legend Peter Momtchiloff interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

Peter Momtchiloff has been philosophy editor at Oxford University Press since 1993. He studied classics at Oxford. He has played guitar in many bands, including Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, and currently the Would-be-goods and Les Clochards. Continue reading


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ARTIST INTERVIEW: IVAN ANDERSON OF SWEET FIX

Musician Ivan Anderson interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

Ivan Anderson is a guitarist and copyeditor living in New York City. He graduated from Brown University. Ivan plays lead guitar in SWEET FIX, a neon, futuristic, cyber rock band in NYC. Their first full-length album, Golden Age, was produced by Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kil Moon, Firehorse, Black Lab). Members of SWEET FIX are endorsed by Godlyke Distributing, Jo Lyon Underfashion, and ZU Shoes.
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PHILOSOPHER-ARTIST INTERVIEW: THE COUNTERFACTUALS

Philosophers and Musicians “The Counterfactuals” interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

The Counterfactuals play an addictive brand of indie jangle-pop, with a signature blend of golden hooks, Americana, and a dose of grit. Their debut album, Minimally Decent People, was released in January 2014, and has been met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. After hearing one demo, 89.3 FM The Current dubbed the band “must-hear music” and later featured their single “If you go then you go it alone” as their Song of the Day. The Counterfactuals are heading into the studio to record their second album this summer. You can read some of what people have said about the band at The Daily Album, The Current Local Blog, and Tropics of Meta.

Andy Flory (bass) teaches course in American music at Carleton College. He has written extensively about American rhythm and blues and is an expert on the music of Motown. His book, I Hear a Symphony: Listening to the Music of Motown, is forthcoming from The University of Michigan Press. Working directly with Universal Records, Andrew has served as consultant for several recent Motown reissues. He is also co-author of the history of rock textbook What’s that Sound (W.W. Norton).

Jason Decker (guitar, sound engineer) is Assistant Professor of philosophy at Carleton College and interested in epistemology, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and just about any philosophical problem worth its salt. He has published papers in journals such as Synthese, Erkentniss, Analysis, Analytic Philosophy, and Philosophy.

Michael Fuerstein (drums, sax) is Assistant Professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College where he works on issues concerning the social distribution and advancement of knowledge, particularly in political and moral contexts. He has also more recently become interested in the moral aspects of contemporary capitalism, and has been involved with a newly formed “Society for Progress” devoted to bringing together business leaders, business scholars, and philosophers. His work has appeared in venues such as Episteme, The Journal of Political Philosophy, and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy.

Daniel Groll (vocals, guitar) is an Assistant Professor in the philosophy department at Carleton College and an Affiliate Faculty Member at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. He works on issues at the intersection of normative ethics, epistemology, and medical ethics and has papers published or forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Analytic Philosophy, Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Pediatrics, and Philosophy Compass. Continue reading


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Interview with Punk Rock Legend Tesco Vee

Photograph by Joe Gall courtesy of Tesco Vee

Tesco Vee…Drum Major in the Squadron of Doom and sworn enemy of the politically correct…is the creator of Touch & Go Magazine and soon to follow Record label and has been plying the punk rock waters off and on for the last 35 years. He hath resurfaced once again with the first new platter of Meaty originals in almost 2 decades and sat down with Christy for some heartfelt anti-social intercourse.
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Interview with Visual Artist Curtis Gannon


Curtis Gannon (b. 1974) completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Houston, and then received an MFA in Painting at San Diego State University. Using American action comics as source material, Gannon creates collages, sculptures and installations that reference the Pop language of the medium and its influence as a universal form of visual communication. Gannon’s works have recently been exhibited at Blaffer Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Williams Tower, and Lawndale Art Center. Gannon lives and works in League City, TX.

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Interview with Philosopher & LEGO Sculptor Roy T. Cook

Roy T. Cook is an extremely nerdy associate professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, a resident fellow of the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, and an associate fellow of the Northern Institute of Philosophy – Aberdeen, Scotland. He has published over fifty articles and book chapters on logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of art (especially popular art). He co-edited The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach (Wiley-Blackwell 2012) with Aaron Meskin, and his monograph on the Yablo Paradox is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He is also a co-founder of the interdisciplinary comics studies blog PencilPanelPage, which recently took up residence at the Hooded Utilitarian, and hopes to someday write a book about the Sensational She-Hulk. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife, two cats (Freckles and Mr. Prickley), and approximately 2.5 million LEGO bricks.

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Interview with Film & Television Writer/Creator Kyle Killen

 

 

Kyle Killen is a film & television writer and producer. He is the creator and showrunner for the critically acclaimed Fox television series Lone Star, Awake (NBC), and Mind Games (ABC premiere Feb. 24th). He also wrote the screenplays both for the films The Beaver (2011), starring Mel Gibson and directed by Jodie Foster, and Scenic Route (2013), starring Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler and directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz.

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Interview with Artist The Sucklord

 

SUCKADELIC is an evil arts organization based in Chinatown New York City. Specializing in Bootleg Toys, illicit remix records, and duffed out Supervillain Soap operas. More of a degenerate con-game than a real company, Suckadelic is universally regarded as the sleaziest brand in the game. Ruled from a hidden Sweatshop by the intergalactic criminal and self-serving megalomaniac, the SUPER SUCKLORD, Suckadelic has continued to pump highly addictive pop culture crap into the veins of willing victims since 1997. Greatest hits include the legendary STAR WARS BREAKBEATS album, The GAY EMPIRE Homotrooper action figure, and the epic TOY LORDS OF CHINATOWN misadventure serial. Despite revealing a softer side of himself on Bravo TV’s hit Show WORK OF ART: The Next Great Artist, The Sucklord remains a reviled gangster, feared for his smooth tyranny and the ruthless exploitation of his fans. He is the Greatest Supervillain ever to operate in the world of popular culture. Made in USA.

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Interview with Philosopher-Poet Troy Jollimore

 

Troy Jollimore is Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He is the author of Love’s Vision (Princeton University Press, 2011) and On Loyalty (Routledge, 2012) as well as over a dozen articles in journals including Midwest Studies in Philosophy, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and American Philosophical Quarterly. He is also the author of two collections of poetry: At Lake Scugog (2011) and Tom Thomson in Purgatory, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2006. He is a former External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center and is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.

AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS: Aesthetics for Birds recently featured an interview with poet and critic David Orr, author of Beautiful and Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry. Much of David’s work as a critic aims at demystifying poetry for a modern audience. Of course, philosophical enquiry can be said likewise to aim at the demystification of its subject matter. Given your status as a philosopher-poet (a designation perhaps few other than yourself can genuinely pull off without seeming for all the world a Class-A poseur), in what ways have you found philosophy to help or to hinder the study, practice, or appreciation of poetry (whether in general or more specifically in terms of your own work)?

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Interview with Musician Matt Kadane

Photo by Bob Andrews
 

Matt Kadane is a founding member of the bands Bedhead, The New Year, Overseas, and Consonant and played for five years with Silkworm. He is currently chair of the history department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the author, most recently, of The Watchful Clothier (Yale UP, 2013).

 
AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS: The way in which most contemporary audiences engage with rock songs suggests that they regard lyrical content as something deeply personal and wholly subjective in its interpretation or alternatively something requiring nothing more than the most superficial of attention. [After all, what else might explain why so many wedding DJs un-ironically play Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” or “Every Breath You Take” by The Police and why Wendy’s and Pepsi Cola saw no problem setting adverts respectively to Violent Femme’s “Blister in the Sun” and “Brown Sugar” by The Rolling Stones]. Do you think that your songs, insofar as you take them to mean or to be about something, mean or are about what you intended them to mean or to be about? In what ways, if any, might your training and work as a historian influence your position on whether song interpretation more or less concerns audience recovery of the artist’s intentions?

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