So, what is The New Aesthetic? It’s a buzzword for sure, but no one seems to be able to define it. Even the question whether it refers to an art movement, a style in design, or just simply a Tumblr-blog isn’t easily answered. SETUP Utrecht put together a small exhibition around this phenomenon and invited three speakers to help clear the picture. After an introduction by Tijmen Schep of SETUP, it was up to artist Darko Fritz, designer Frank Kloos, and researcher David M. Berry to get the discussion going.
It all started with James Bridle’s Tumblr, followed by a much-discussed essay by Bruce Sterling. Think of portraits made out of pixels (or sculptures even), #iseefaces, but also soundscapes constructed through algorithmic software. No wait, actually it started in the 60’s, as Darko Fritz showed. The first computer art was made; multidisciplinary artists used biology, artificial intelligence and well, art, to create a new vision of reality. Now this ‘computer art’ has exploded into the new aesthetic, boasting neon colour, freaky videos and retweets. How does the computer see the world? How does it recognize humans? Interpret patterns? And how do we in turn respond to that? Tijmen Schep called it ‘painting the black box colourful again’ (but also asking whether it would not be better to actually open it) – which resonated nicely with Frank Kloos proclaiming Malevich Black Square the first (and most radical) pixel painting ever. Read the rest of this entry »