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Lyotard and the Inhuman ConditionReflections on Nihilism, Information and Art$
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Ashley Woodward

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697243

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697243.001.0001

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Aesthēsis and Technē: New Technologies and Lyotard’s Aesthetics

Aesthēsis and Technē: New Technologies and Lyotard’s Aesthetics

(p.134) Chapter 5 Aesthēsis and Technē: New Technologies and Lyotard’s Aesthetics
Lyotard and the Inhuman Condition

Ashley Woodward

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines Lyotard’s consideration of the way that technologies, and in particular information technologies, reconfigure the nature of aesthetic experience. When art uses communication technologies themselves as its matter or medium, the “traditional” model of aesthetic experience becomes problematised. Lyotard argues that this is the case because information technologies determine or “program” a conceptual meaning in advance of an aesthetic experience. Therefore, we no longer have a situation of the “free play” between sensible forms and concepts that constitutes the aesthetics of the beautiful for Kant. Lyotard argues, however, that this decline in aesthetic experience as traditionally conceived need not be understood negatively: rather, it may be seen positively in so far as it furthers experimentation with materials, and activates an aesthetic of the sublime.

Keywords:   Jean-François Lyotard, New Media Art, Art and Technology, The sublime

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