Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

September 21, 2017
by Matt Strohl
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Against Rotten Tomatoes

For Matt’s updated thoughts about this topic, see his book, Why It’s OK to Love Bad Movies. Rotten Tomatoes was in the news this summer, as reports were made that the teams behind the Baywatch reboot and most recent Pirates of the Caribbean installment blame the critical aggregator for the films’ poor performance at the box office.  Both films had tested well, and the studios believe that audiences skipping the films in light of their poor Rotten Tomatoes scores otherwise would have attended and enjoyed them.  There is some evidence that the impact of Rotten Tomeatoes on box office earnings has in fact been minimal, but it’s hard to deny that the website has seen an increase in influence in recent years.  There’s no longer any need to actively search for RT scores.  If one simply Googles the title of the movie one is hoping to see, the RT score has … Continue reading

February 10, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Yougov Survey Answers Perennial Question: Can Video Games Be Art?

Survey says… No. :'( But tattoos can be, and many other things. Internet-based market research company YouGov asked over 1500 Brits whether they thought various mediums could be art. Their results: Unsurprisingly, results varied a lot across age groups, and some across class. Take a look at YouGov’s write-up of these surveys, and their detailed survey results. This updates some older results they got in 2014. Well, I guess we can shut things down around here. Thanks to everyone for playing! p.s. But seriously, stay tuned for the next JAAC x AFB Discussion on this beloved non-art-form. We’ll be discussing Grant Tavinor’s JAAC paper “What’s My Motivation? Video Games and Interpretive Performance”. Photo credit: Ryan Quick, The Art of Video Games via Flickr

December 6, 2016
by Aesthetics for Birds
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New Blog: Ad Populum

Philosopher Nils-Hennes StearNils-Hennes Stear (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) has started Ad Populum, a blog for philosophers to “use the tools of our philosophical training to dissect issues of interest to popular culture writ large, and to demonstrate the usefulness of careful and critical thinking about matters big and small.” The blog so far features Nils as well as guest posters on topics from Skittles and Syria to the media reception of sports protests. It looks very cool! The most recent post, especially, might be of interest to AFB readers: “The Comedian as Philosopher, David Chappelle on the Election of Donald Trump” by Michael L. Thomas (Stanford). Image of Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles courtesy of Jules Antonio via Flickr