Dangerous Aesthetics


Well, I thought I’d post my first real term paper of my PhD program. It is entitled “Dangerous Aesthetics.” I have tried to make it as readable as possible, but I’ll let you be the judge! The paper is an exploration of the morality of aesthetics. In other words, is it possible to use those things that give us visual pleasure to manipulate us? The Nazis used visual imagery like it was going out of style. Walter Benjamin called this politics made aesthetic, that is, you turn the regime into something that generates visual pleasure of one sort or another. What I’ve done is to look at the issue from the standpoint of Immanuel Kant’s aesthetics, and ask if there is a way of protecting beauty from being used for purposes of terror? I’ll be giving a shortened version of this paper while I am in New York, as part of my IDSVA residency. I’ll add some images for the presentation, and share them with you, too,

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