Socializing the aesthetic
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In Improvisation and Social Aesthetics, Georgina Born, Eric Lewis, and Will Straw have curated a collection of essays that boldly reimagines accounts of aesthetic judgment and experience as part and parcel of the social. While dominant discourses on aesthetics have been largely preoccupied with Immanuel Kant’s disinterested universalisms or David Hume’s normative claims of taste making as the rhetorical province of expert critics, here, contributors propose and develop a “social aesthetics” that advocates the centrality of subjects’ social location as the critical point of departure linking social and aesthetic experience. The analysis of art and performance, in this framework, is not limited to questions of what constitutes “good” versus “bad” taste according to some generalizable scheme of form and technique. Rather, social aesthetics, it is argued, investigates how our experiences of art objects are constructed and mediated through interactions with individuals, groups, and...
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