Traditionally, aesthetics is related to high culture and attached to certain experientials domains. However, within recent decades a departure from the Kantian aesthetic judgement of taste has taken place, in which not least a number of German philosophers and sociologists have aimed at developing a new aesthetics that addresses sense phenomena – such as atmosphere and affect. This project is also critical of tendencies in ‘aesthetic capitalism’ (Böhme 2016). It is a matter of aestheticization permeating everyday life, so that today it increasingly affects both public and private life.
This issue of Academic Quarter aimes at identifying several facets of aestheticization. After the introduction – that follows the development from classic aesthetics to aestheticization of today – the first perspective focuses the social, political, and identity psychological aspects of the tendency towards aestheticization or, if you like, social psychological aspects of aestheticization. Three contributions fall within this scope. Henrik Kaare Nielsen, ”Forms of Aestheticization in Politics” (“Æstetiseringsformer i politik”), Bent Fausing, (The Dynamics of Aestheticization. Walter Benjamin’s theory of Aestheticization” (”Æstetiseringens dynamik. Walter Benjamins teori om æstetisering”), and Carsten Friberg, ”Identity and Aestheticization”, (”Identitet og æstetisering”). In continuation of these contributions, in terms of content, Erik Svendsen discusses Poul Henningsen’s conception of aesthetics in a light of aestheticization, “Art as Basis. Poul Henningsen’s paradoxical Concept of Culture”, (”Kunsten som basis. Poul Henningsen paradoksale kulturbegreb”). The second perspective presents a sample of phenomena that reflects aestheticization, from chappism to the application of darkness, and finally to the staging of “Nordicness” in current magazines. Contributions are Jørgen Riber Christensen, ”The Situationist Commodified Aestheticization of the Chap”, Julie Bouchet and Rasmus Grøn, ”The Enchanting Aesthetics of Darkness – on the Framing of Darkness as an Experiential Phenomenon.”, (“Mørkets fortryllende æstetik – om framing af mørket som oplevelsesfænomen”), and , finally, Lars Pynt Andersen, ”The Aestheticization of Place, Politics and Products: Selling ‘The Nordic Way of Life’”.
The third and final perspective has two items that both focus on aesthetic devices applied for purposes of aestheticization. The first is Iben Bredahl Jessen’s social semiotic analysis of Nespresso’s Danish website, ”Autheticity and Enchantment – on Forms of Aestheticization of Coffe”, (”Autenticitet og fortryllelse – om kaffens æstetiseringsformer”). The second and concluding item is Christian Jantzen’s exemplary application of Roman Jakobson’s aesthetic function, “Nothing New under the Sun. Strategies for Everyday Aesthetic Curating Practises”, (”Intet nyt under solen. Strategier for hverdagsæstetiske kurateringspraksisser”).
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