AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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HAPPY ARTSY HALLOWEEN!

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In the past, AFB has posted a few appropriately themed music videos for the holidays (see, e.g., here and here). But we’ve decided to take it up a notch!

When a holiday rolls around, various regular contributors to AFB will spotlight holiday-appropriate works of art. These are not necessarily works that the particular contributor thinks are the absolute best (although they might be), and they are not necessarily unfamiliar or particularly avant-garde. But hopefully the mini-essays included will introduce you to a new perspective on at least some of these works, or even just remind you of really cool works that fit that into the holiday mood!

In the future we plan on setting these up as a series of week-long mini-posts leading up to the holiday in question, but this Halloween we’re just going to throw a few of them at you all at once. So here goes! Continue reading


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PUNK ROCK PHILOSOPHY: INTRODUCTION

In a 2014 article in Philosophy Compass titled “The Aesthetics of Punk Rock” Jesse Prinz (who guest-blogged for AFB here!) presents an aesthetic analysis of punk rock aimed at both fostering a deeper understanding of the genre and at teasing out larger lessons for the philosophy of music (and the philosophy of art more generally).

His analysis comes in two stages. First, he provides a framework for understanding punk rock music (and the punk subculture within which it is produced and consumed) in terms of three central themes:

  1. Irreverance.
  2. Nihilism.
  3. Amateurism.

Prinz then uses this three-part story to draw two larger conclusions:

  • Punk rock involves an explicit rejection of traditional aesthetic norms, illustrating the plasticity of taste (and as a result serious consideration of the genre recommends a rejection of global norms of “goodness” or “good taste”).
  • Punk rock provides a fertile testing ground for the idea that art and identity are (often) irreversibly intertwined, and thus a full understanding of (at least some) musical genres is impossible without an accompanying story about social identity formation (including fashion, politics, and lifestyle) within the subculture.

Over the next few months, I will be posting a series of essays further exploring and complicating Prinz’s discussion of each of these ideas (in posts titled Punk Rock Philosophy), with the possible exception of “irreverence” (about which Prinz’s discussion seems straightforward to me, and pretty much exactly right). In this initial post I want to set up some of the requisite background, and outline the approach (and one or two controversial assumptions) I will be making in the posts to follow. Continue reading


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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.

Continue reading


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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