The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age

The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 1845110773

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The notion of ""the real"" continues to be hotly debated in an era when the internet, virtual reality, cybertheory and bioethics challenge the very nature of ""reality"". Combining the advantages of a critical reader with the immediacy of cutting-edge debate, practitioners and commentators provide crucial insights into contemporary aesthetics, engaging with the ideas of critics and thinkers from Linda Nochlin through to Lyotard and Baudrillard.

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different ways circumvent intentional search – looking sideways, outside the frame, via anonymity, banality and intimacy – arrive ultimately at the same place, in an affirmation of ‘the real’ displaced as ‘irreal’. In avoiding the extraordinary and the transcendent, we achieve a provocative banal. Photographs ‘apparently created in an artificial manner…reveal the natural’.41 Coming full circle, in avoiding one kind of objectivity (or subjectivity) there is immersion in another. Rather than

engagement of the photographic work under discussion here.6 Richter represents a particular moment when German art came to struggle with its troubled past – not only in relation to Baader–Meinhof and the Red Army Faction, but, by contagion, with all that lies repressed in Germany after World War II. What is particularly significant here is that Richter based his series on news photos. For example, his Atlas, a selection of his source imagery, contains many images of the Third Reich, the Holocaust

‘fake’ guests had been hired through an agency) and, predictably, a handful of docusoaps. What most of these cases focused on were interventions by the filmmakers to shape or influence what was happening in front of the camera, and the extent to which such interventions, and reconstructions in documentary in general, can be considered legitimate. Reconstructions have been standard practice in most of the history of documentary filmmaking, certainly in the early days of Robert Flaherty and John

biotechnology. We see ourselves pursuing this line of research until we have achieved a series of six successful prototypes. We see great opportunity, conflict and complexity with this type of production – this instance of overlap between art and science. Returning to the case of Steve Kurtz, we can see now how this confirms Gessert’s above statement that, ‘[t]o the extent that art favors awareness, the more artists who cross the line the better’.20 134 / THE STATE OF THE REAL BIOTEKNICA

photographs, then interpolated, generated into 3D, wrapped and fused with other layers of visual elements such as computer-generated enhancements (like glistening glass, bullet wakes and blood). If the world has disappeared into image – the real ‘that which is always already reproduced’ – then, indeed, image today is birthed from image.47 This break posed by virtual cinematography has to be distinguished from previous conventional uses of digitality in cinema. The application of digital

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