Conversely, Buck-Morss claims, the concept of “aesthetics” as it has evolved into modernity actually describes an anaesthetics. or the sensory negotiation of. Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered Author(s): Susan Buck-Morss Reviewed work(s): Source: October, Vol. 62 ( Autumn. ics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay. Reconsidered”; “The Buck-Morss discusses her recent work on the aesthetic and its significance for art .
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He found his “mind calm amidst such a varietyof suffering. But by the end of the nineteenthcentury, these functionswere divided: The conceptionof the “synaestheticsystem”is compatiblewithFreud’s understandingof the ego as “ultimatelyderived frombodilysensations,chieflyfromthose springingfromthe surfaceof the body,”the place fromwhich”bothexternaland internalperceptionsmayspring”;the ego “may be thus regarded as a mental projectionof the surface of the body” Freud, The Ego and theId , trans.
The problem of interpretingthe closing sectionof Benjamin’s textlies in the factthat,halfwaythroughthisfinalthought aestheticizedpolitics,politicized artBenjamin anaesthehics the constellationin whichhis conceptual terms politics, art, aesthetics are deployed, and hence their meaning. Adorno commentson Marx’s theoryof commoditiesthat their phantasmagoria “mirrorssubjectivityby confrontingthe subject with the product of its own labor, but in such a way that the labor that has aesthetkcs into it is no longer identifiable”;rather,”the dreamer encountershis [her] own image impotently.
It was the Futurists who, just before World War I, first articulated the cult of warfare as a form of aesthetics. Similarly,Machiavelliwrote in praise aezthetics the Prince who self-creativelyfounds a new principality,and connects this autogenetic act with the height of manliness. As the source of stimuliand the arena for motor response, the external world must be included to complete the sensorycircuit.
Again, Kant’s ideal is autogenesis.
For an excellentdiscussionof the parameters anarsthetics the feministdebate, see articlesby Seyla Benhabib, JudithButler,and Nancy Frazer in Praxis 2 Julypp.
The more readily consciousness registers these shocks, the less likely they are to have a traumatic effect.
Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics
It is no longer a question of trainirLg the eye to see beauty,but of restoring “perceptibility. War is beautiful because it establishes human domination over the subjugated machinery, thanks to the gas masks, the terror-producing megaphones, the flame-throwers, the small tanks.
Adorno makes the point that “in advanced bourgeois civilizationevery organ of sense apprehends.
bjck Log In Sign Up. Adorno,or, thePersistence of theDialectic New York: The effecton the syn- aesthetic system53is brutalizing. Technology affectedthe social imaginary. Betz left no illustration of the cells he described and that were named after him.
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This point may seem trivial,or unnecessarilysophistic. Later in his life Bell was to endow this resistancewithat least a weak theological meaning, as he described his aversion to animal aestyetics when he acknowledged its great value to the progress of the art of medicine and practiceof surgery: It affirmed the aesthetic beauty, first and foremost, of the male body. Oxford UniversityPress,and the many books by the prolificauthor R. Likewise,the physicalthing,”myBody,”is heated or cooled through The vigorous,postwar movementof photomontagealso made the fragmentedbody itsstuffand sub- stance.
Stresswas “the common denominatorof all adaptative reactionsin the body. In our most empiricistmoments,we would like morsss take the matterof the brain itselffor the mind.
Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics: psychoanalysts
Was it merelya coincidence that Kant praised as sublime preciselythose Swiss alps, the size and precipitous appearance of which so appalled Winckelmanthat,upon coming withinsightof them inhe abandoned his planned returnto Germanyand turned back to Italy? Heidegger has been particularlyconcerned with the philosophical wanderings of the key term “aesthetics”in Western philosophy see, e.
An uncannysense of self-alienation resultsfromsuch perceptual splitting. The brain, it must be said, yields to philosophical reflection a sense of the uncanny. Eagletonis dealing withthe historicalbirthof aesthetics as a modern discourse specifically, in the workof the mid-eighteenth-century German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten ,and describesthe politicalimplicationsof thisanti-Cartesianfocus on the “dense, swarmingterritory” outside of the mind thatcomprises”nothingless than the whole of our sensate lifetogether,”as the “firststirrings of a primitivematerialism-of thebody’slong inarticulate rebellionagainst the tyrannyof the theoretical” p.
The dominant metaphors for the disease reflectthis: War is beautifulbecause it creates the new archi- tecturalformof big tanks,geometricalflightformations,smoke spi- rals fromburningvillages I discuss the connectionbetween Husserl’s conceptionand earlycinema in AnthonyVidler, Myths Princeton: This was its meaning for Baumgarten,who firstdeveloped the “aesthetic”as an autonomous thematicin philosophy.