I stumbled upon this idea called “The New Aesthetic” yesterday while I was thinking about photographers harnessing and making sense of the photographic noise online. When I think about people tackling projects that are important and ambitious they almost always include writing, photography and video. What I see as the elephant in the room is ignoring the millions of images already available and sitting online in social applications and the images being churned out by the second as you work on your project.
But, when I mention curation the immediate thought is to see yourself sifting thorough piles of crappy images looking for gems to add to your project. So, when JB sent me a link to hyperallergic.com and I discovered a story titled “Is the New Aesthetic a Thing? ” I had a Eureka moment. New Aesthetic is “an aesthetic influenced by the way computers see the world” which is being interpreted in many ways (including annoying 8-bit despite the fact that everyone is raving about retina displays), but what makes sense to me is that what’s online is presented in ways that only computers can. Mostly I think of algorithmic interpretations where programs do the sifting, but there are other examples of people using the resources to create interesting works:
Michael Wolf’s street view.
Pep Ventosa’s collective snapshot.
So, after reading lots of articles on “The New Aesthetic” (new-aesthetic.tumblr.com, An Essay on the New Aesthetic, Noisy Decent Graphics,Why the New Aesthetic isn’t about 8bit retro, Responding To Bruce Sterling’s “Essay On The New Aesthetic, Report from Austin, Texas, on the New Aesthetic panel at SXSW. ) I honestly don’t know what it will look like when people apply the idea to their projects, but I do see an elephant in the room, so instead of reacting with fear I think everyone should be thinking of ways to own and incorporate “The New Aesthetic” into projects.