Beauty & Artistic Taste: Tumblr Aesthetic
I had a great experience with my last vacation and have shared the same on my tumblr aesthetic channel as well. For as long as I can remember, I am very aware of beauty and ugliness with aesthetic clothes, clothing stores and brands. Beauty is a slippery subject. As everyone knows, discussions about beautiful and ugly soon became involved in involving aesthetic propositions constructed by personal taste. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder , so to speak. Yet there are undeniable issues about which there is a remarkable consensus: for example, I have never met anyone who finds the Amsterdam canals ugly. It seems obvious to me that there is such a thing as universal beauty. Two weeks ago I visited my in-laws. They live in a maisonette above a shopping square on the Pieter Calandlaan in Osdorp. The square has a number of kiosks connected via dry walking and is therefore seen as a special example of post-war architecture. I know people who like the complex of shops and homes. I also know people who think the square is very ugly. How does the appreciation for the Grachtengordel now differ from that for the Calandlaan? I am convinced that unlike the canals, the shopping square does not meet the characteristics of universal beauty, that it is an acquired taste . I posted a photo of the square on Twitter, with a negative caption. In the responses I was accused of erratic subjectivity. Someone assured me that I would like the complex in ten years. The writers of the reactions clearly assumed that beauty is completely subjective. Fifty years ago I would have found the Jordaan ugly – apparently one sees me as a follower. With reference to the book La distinction by sociologist and anthropologist Pierre Bourdieu, beauty as a universality was resolutely rejected by the twitterers. Bourdieu’s theory of taste is a sociological classic. According to Bourdieu, different classes use their tastes to distinguish themselves and children are programmed according to their parents’ aesthetic preferences. That explains, for example, why, despite a noisy professed love for unmodern cityscapes, I have my house full of designer furniture. But La distinction has no answer to the question why there are so many buildings, cities, landscapes and people that everyone finds beautiful. Related Resources: Best Sex Ed For Amazing Results For All Tumblr Aesthetic Tumblr Background Tumblr Pictures Bourdieu has a long tradition of thinking about beauty. Until the eighteenth century, Western philosophers were convinced that beauty resulted from applying proportions and measures based on the ideal human body. This theory of relationships was narrated from classical antiquity through Vitruvius’ works on architecture. Around 1750, lighting philosophers from the Scottish School began to challenge the universal claims of classical aesthetics. David Hume wrote in 1757: “Beauty is no quality in things themselves; it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them. Each mind perceives a different beauty ”. Since then, several attempts have been made to formulate universal foundations for beauty, including by the conservative Edmund Burke in hisA Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). In the nineteenth century, universal beauty gradually faded into the background and the concept of taste became central to the discourse on aesthetics. Until the modern movement, bored by the academic nibbles about taste and beauty, declared the categories beautiful and ugly irrelevant. Since then, a completely new and somewhat foggy vocabulary has emerged that makes it possible to speak about visual and artistic quality without taking the words nicely and ugly. Partly as a result of this, the discussion about aesthetics has necessarily gone underground. At the cocktail table, as always, bold statements are made about what people see about artistic products around them. Have the fine arts now lost contact with the cocktail table, or is the cocktail table not yet sufficiently lit? I read in De Volkskrant that brain guru Dick Swaab is researching what happens in our brains when we find something beautiful. My suspicion is that the brain scanner will reveal universal characteristics of beauty. I also think that these characteristics will not differ much from the traditional theory of relationships. That would mean that David Hume was wrong and his almost forgotten opponent, the common sense-realist Thomas Reid deserves a certain revaluation. This means that the importance of taste, of personal preferences, on the appreciation of our environment will not disappear. Nor will it lead to the ultimate recipe for beauty. Pure beauty is not necessarily something worth pursuing. People get bored quickly, have a constant need for disruption and want to distinguish themselves by appropriating the deviant. As with so many things it will become clear that our sense of beauty is partly a matter of nature and partly of nurture . To return to the Pieter Calandlaan: despite this fact, I am committed to ensuring that a good city meets the sense of beauty of as many people as possible. The Amsterdam canal belt proves that this is possible without falling into templates. Does designing according to some progressive architects around 1900 mean that “designing the greatest common denominator”? Maybe. The radical deviation from universal beauty certainly does not lead to wide appreciation. Architecture historian Nancy Stieber laar in her book Housing design and society in Amsterdam(1998) see that the first modern architects fit perfectly in Bourdieu’s taste theory. They moved away from the classical tradition only to distinguish themselves from the bourgeoisie. Since then ugliness has been imposed on us everywhere. At least that’s how people feel without the minimum required amount of cultural capital. But also the cultural elite who do not believe in universal beauty prefer to settle in the midst of what is generally considered beautiful. All their cultural capital does not prevent the fine fleur of designers, artists and intellectuals from getting as close as possible to the universally beautiful Canal Belt. Declaring a modernist shopping square to be a monument is one thing, looking out for it day in and day out is something completely different. Yet the fierce resistance to the idea of universal beauty is understandable. This means, after all, a considerable curtailment of the artistic freedom of everyone who designs our collective living environment. Because although the good city is not purely clean, it will still have to fall within a certain aesthetic bandwidth.