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Aesthetics in a Changing World—Reflecting the Anthropocene Condition through the Works of Jason deCaires Taylor and Robert Smithson

Aesthetics in a Changing World—Reflecting the Anthropocene Condition through the Works of Jason... This article focuses on an important aspect of aesthetics in the context of the Anthropocene: the situatedness of aesthetic techniques and operations within earth’s (changing) materiality. Aesthetics is not only a way of making sensible but also contributes ontologically to the world it makes sensible. In this view aesthetics does not rely on a subject’s capacity to apprehend the world as a perceptually objectifiable entity. Focusing on works by Jason deCaires Taylor (Anthropocene and La Gardinera de la Esperanza) and Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), the authors interrogate how artistic engagements with anthropocenic materiality and temporality have the potential to articulate a double bind between aesthetics and ontology. Both artists not only allow recipients to be confronted with complex earthly entanglements but also have a material and aesthetic impact on their respective sites. Discussing deCaires Taylor’s and Smithson’s works, the authors argue that the artists’ aesthetics is not only a way of granting experiential access to an earth that resists objectification but also a manifestation of the processes through which earth’s materiality transforms throughout time. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Humanities Duke University Press

Aesthetics in a Changing World—Reflecting the Anthropocene Condition through the Works of Jason deCaires Taylor and Robert Smithson

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Copyright
© 2021 Philip Hüpkes and Gabriele Dürbeck
ISSN
2201-1919
eISSN
2201-1919
DOI
10.1215/22011919-9320222
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article focuses on an important aspect of aesthetics in the context of the Anthropocene: the situatedness of aesthetic techniques and operations within earth’s (changing) materiality. Aesthetics is not only a way of making sensible but also contributes ontologically to the world it makes sensible. In this view aesthetics does not rely on a subject’s capacity to apprehend the world as a perceptually objectifiable entity. Focusing on works by Jason deCaires Taylor (Anthropocene and La Gardinera de la Esperanza) and Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), the authors interrogate how artistic engagements with anthropocenic materiality and temporality have the potential to articulate a double bind between aesthetics and ontology. Both artists not only allow recipients to be confronted with complex earthly entanglements but also have a material and aesthetic impact on their respective sites. Discussing deCaires Taylor’s and Smithson’s works, the authors argue that the artists’ aesthetics is not only a way of granting experiential access to an earth that resists objectification but also a manifestation of the processes through which earth’s materiality transforms throughout time.

Journal

Environmental HumanitiesDuke University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2021

References