afternoon dust

dance & aesthetics, mostly

Tag Archives: aesthetics

Beauty happens

Pàisa revis(it)ed — Pisa (by Tchacky)

Pàisa revis(it)ed — Pisa (by Tchacky)

On the bus home last night I was sat upstairs, right at the front. A combination of condensation on the inside of the window and rain on the outside made the lights of cars and streetlamps appear as soft glowing circles, like miniature suns in yellow, red and green. It was a beautiful sight. Naturally, I knew in my head that the effect was produced by the refraction and dispersion of light as it passed through water droplets and glass. But something in my head registered these little mini-suns with a sense of pleasure and even delight, as if I were a dancer, and the optical effect of the circles the steps, in a little dance called beauty. Then I got off the bus, and stopped being a dancer, and things were just cold and wet and dark again. Read more of this post

Judith Butler goes to the ballet

Judith Butler is a name that crops up a lot in recent writing on performance, so I thought I’d better get myself acquainted with her work. Her first book Gender Trouble was published in 1989, and succeeded in stirring up a storm of controversy, establishing the terms of debate for much of her later writing. In the book, Butler contests the widespread notion that gender is a cultural expression of a pre-existing, biologically-determined sex. Instead, she argues that both gender and sex are produced by a cultural discourse that, in the very act of producing them, sets limits on what the two terms can mean. Read more of this post

Forming an Intention: Alan Singer’s Aesthetic Reason

On the seafront a shirtless man is hurling abuse at the two coffee sellers whose stall stands every day by the path near the yachting club, a few metres from where the shirtless man now stands, yelling obscenities. He has been going for some time, without apparent cause: when I walked past about quarter of an hour ago he was already at it. The two coffee sellers, a man and a woman, keep their heads down and try to ignore their antagonist, though they clearly feel intimidated. As I pass them again on the way back to the high street, the woman turns to me and smiles a little desperately: “Coffee?” Read more of this post