The new aesthetic?

There is quite a bit of on-line discussion at the moment about what has been termed ‘the new aesthetic’ – see for example Bruce Sterling’s article in ‘Wired’. The basic idea of this ‘aesthetic’ is that it involves the movement of visual phenomena from the virtual to the actual: the manifestation of the digital in the physical. Different things are being framed by this idea. Primarily it seems to involve a set of stylised representations of the digital as an aspect of the graphic designed and consumerist environment, alongside other examples of on-line graphics presented in some off-line context. Whether this constitutes a new aesthetic or a new way of seeing is up for debate. It seems persuasive to argue that computer based, virtual, digitised culture itself involves new aesthetic phenomena of a significant nature that requires in-depth analysis. However it is questionable whether some of this ‘new aesthetic’ stuff is really equivalent to this. Is it not just old fashioned graphic design, with a new digital influenced look? Go to the ‘New Aesthetic” tumblr and see for yourself.



About Art Theory and Practice

BA Contemporary Art History Manchester School of Art

One comment

  1. Pretty images. Can you explain ‘on-line graphics presented in off-line context’?

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