Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

October 22, 2021
by utahphilosoraptor
3 Comments

The Challenge Of Canceling: Comedy, Chappelle, And The Closer

If Chappelle’s art dines on controversy, cancellation serves it dessert. Continue reading

March 31, 2021
by Aesthetics for Birds
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What Really Went Wrong at ‘Reply All’: Norms for a New Medium

To understand how ‘Caliphate’ and ‘Reply All’ have gone wrong, we need to understand how the conventions and function of podcasting have created distinctive forms of media. Continue reading

September 9, 2020
by Matt Strohl
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Arguing About Art on the Internet, Part 1: Why We Do It, and Why It Often Goes Badly

What follows is a co-authored post by Brandon Polite and Matthew Strohl. It is the first piece in a two-part series. See part two here. The ascendancy of the internet has generated a wide range of difficult new questions for philosophers of aesthetics. Our concern in this piece is the way the internet has reshaped aesthetic discourse and has made aesthetic disagreement far more immediate and pervasive. Social media allows users to broadcast their evaluations of artworks to hundreds or thousands of followers any time of day and, as a result, has ushered in the Golden Age of Everyone Having an Opinion. We are specifically concerned with the general tendency of the internet to promote hostility in aesthetic discourse. Rampant hostility has emerged in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from large-scale fan movements to remake a poorly received season of a widely loved television series or a controversial entry … Continue reading

May 21, 2020
by Alex King
2 Comments

AFB’S TERMS OF ART #39: MEME & MEMETICS

Now that increasing numbers of people are stuck at home and sheltering in place, I figured I’d do a little series. Every weekday for the duration of this intense period, I’ll post a short definition of some term in/related to aesthetics and philosophy of art. Let’s see how this goes! See them all here. Terms of Art #39: meme & memetics

July 20, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
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Emergent Poetry and Google Translate

Google Translate’s Emergent Poetry Some of you will be familiar with computer poetry, poetic compositions generated by computers using algorithms. Some of you may even be familiar with computer prose, as the book The Policeman’s Beard is Half Constructed (text here). There are lots of things to say about this. Who’s the author? Is it really poetry? And what does it say if computer poetry passes the Turing test? Last week, I stumbled upon something new in this neighborhood, care of Google Translate. You might think this would be generated by inputting something funny (but promising if you think about it) like assembly instructions or political speeches–or even something translated into a different language, then translated back. Instead, this Google Translate poetry takes as input a single, repeated Japanese hiragana character. As you can see above, the returns are surreal and delightful. (For all of these, I’ve used ‘ke’, け.) See here and here for … Continue reading

May 13, 2017
by Anthony C.
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PEPE IS DEAD! LONG LIVE PEPE?

This is an update to an earlier story that follows new developments in the Pepe meme story: Pepe’s death! Faithful readers of this site will be familiar with the saga of the internet meme Pepe the Frog. (For those of you who missed it, my earlier post on Pepe and the nature and value of internet memes is here.) The latest update: Pepe’s death! But first, a bit of background:

February 21, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds
2 Comments

Can #selfies be art? Saatchi says Yes

I’m going to go ahead and say Saatchi isn’t really that cutting edge on this one. People have been doing self-portraits for a long-ass time. Maybe those don’t count as “selfies” though? In any event, the famous Saatchi Gallery will host a show this spring called “From Selfie to Self-Expression”. This is funded together with the enormous Chinese telecom company Huawei. (Hm, I wonder why they’d be interested in selfies.) Maybe most exciting is for those artistic sorts who read the blog: You can enter your own selfie for a chance to be shown at Saatchi! They’re currently holding a selfie competition (entry rules here), open until March 12, 2017. You have to submit images via their website interface. For whatever reason, you can’t just post an Instagram with the #SaatchiSelfie hashtag and be entered. Although they do want you to use that hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, etc. Or you can just scope out … Continue reading