Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

May 22, 2018
by Aesthetics for Birds

Art and Monuments: the Case of Trump’s Border Wall

What follows is a guest post from K. E. Gover (Bennington College). Monuments are inherently political in a way that other kinds of artworks are not. As the recent controversies surrounding the removal of civil war monuments has made painfully clear, monuments make a public statement about what citizens should value and remember. The Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Büchel has recently proposed that Trump designate as a “national monument” the eight border wall prototypes located along the US-Mexico border, claiming that they have “significant cultural value and are significant land art.” By petitioning that the wall prototypes be preserved indefinitely as a kind of memorial to bigotry, Büchel implicates anti-immigration Trump supporters and the liberal elite art establishment under the same proposal.

January 20, 2017
by Aesthetics for Birds

Citizen Trump: an Inauguration Day Special from AFB

Did you know that Donald Trump’s favorite movie is Citizen Kane? Did you know that the famed film director (and one-time Berkeley philosophy PhD candidate) Errol Morris interviewed him about it? And did you know that LitHub’s Anthony Audi interviewed Errol Morris about that? On Rosebud, Morris recalls: It’s fun to hear Trump talk about how Rosebud somehow works, the metaphor works, “I don’t know why it works, but it works. After all, Steven Spielberg paid a lot of money for it, so it must work. Paid a lot of money, maybe seven figures, six figures.” This comment is in reference to Spielberg’s having purchased the sled used in the film for $60,500 in 1982. (In fairness, that is six figures in 2008 dollars – about $135k.) Humor aside, Trump seems to be suggesting an aesthetic theory on which money is evidence of – or perhaps constitutive of – quality. (Surprising, … Continue reading

November 15, 2016
by Rebecca Millsop

Artists Respond to the 2016 Election Results + Auden Poem

Follow these links for some great coverage on how artists are responding to the 2016 election results. Please feel free to share any information about how artists are responding to the election results in the comments below. ArtNet News: Here’s What Artists Have to Say About the Future of America Under Donald Trump ArtNews: Morning Links The Art World Reacts to a Trump Victory Hyperallergic: Artists Respond with Devastation, Then Determination, to the Election of Donald Trump For your viewing pleasure, here is the cold open from Saturday Night Live this past weekend. A response to the 2016 election results and Leonard Cohen’s death from the obviously multi-talented artist and comedian, Kate McKinnon: [youtube] In conclusion, an Auden poem: September 1, 1939 | W. H. Auden, 1907 – 1973 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest … Continue reading