Theses on a new aesthetics

I’m continuing my efforts to think about a theory of aesthetics that builds on Badiou, but attempts to go further in two regards: (1) I want to be explicit about how particular aesthetic practices are to be regarded as inaesthetic; (2) I want to underline the political nature of all events.  I’m currently trying to formulate an argument that would argue that the dominant ideology the state of the situation, is interconnected for all truth procedures.  Anyway, here is it what I’ve been working on:

1) All aesthetic practices are divisible into two categories: those which aspire to truth and those which aspire to entertainment.
– Those which aspire to truth correspond to Badoiu’s categories of didactic,  romantic, and inaesthetic.
–  Those which aspire to entertainment correspond to Badiou’s category of  classical.
2) All aesthetic practices that aspire to entertainment are defined by the problematic of the dominant ideology (in the Althusserian sense of these terms).
3) Within the category ‘aesthetic practices that aspire to truth’ the didactic and romantic are also determined by the problematic of the dominant ideology.
–  The dominant ideology subordinates aesthetic practices to philosophy.  This subordination is the logic of the didactic.
–  The essence of this dominant ideology is not the favouring of philosophy, but the logic of subordination.  Thus the romantic, as the inverse of the didactic, is equally placed within the problematic of the dominant ideology.
4)  Aesthetic practices in the category of inaesthetics are characterised by the following:
–  They are faithful to an event (i.e., L’année dernière à Marienbad is faithful to the event of the French New Wave).
–  This faithfulness is defined as an operation by which a medium explores itself  as a medium (Schonenburg explores the definition of the medium ‘music’ by  tonality).


One comment

  1. This sounds promising. Though not strictly in the Badiouian mould (next to no film theory is!) most work on cinema and ideology, particularly in traditional Western film theory traces itself back to the work of Jean-Louis Comolli. (cf. “Technique and Ideology: Camera, Perspective, Depth of Field” (Parts 3 and 4)). His insights on the cinematic apparatus are quite Althusserian in the sense you’ve already outlined, what becomes difficult to discern though is how Badiouian subtraction can be applied in order to discern the inaesthetic from already ideological image. This is something I’m quite curious about.

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