Framing and the Ontology of the Art Work: Kendall Walton and Jacques Derrida

In his 1977 paper “Categories of Art” Kendall Walton argues that aesthetic categories like “piano music” or “bust” determine how an audience ascribes aesthetic significance to the non-aesthetic properties of the work such as their shape, matter or sound. Walton calls the perceptible properties that determine whether it belongs to a given category of artwork […]

Biomorphic Horror: from zoe to zero

Biomorphic Horror. With an effort, Dr Nathan looked away from Catherine Austin as she picked at her finger quicks. Unsure whether she was listening to him, he continued: ‘Travers’s problem is how to come to terms with the violence that has pursued his life – not merely the violence of accident and bereavement, or the […]

Claire Colebrook on Art and Catastrophe

Here, one of my favourite critical theorists/philosophers Claire Colebrook talks about the role of art in thinking and imagining the end of the world. The bottom line, for her, is that only a certain idea of art as decoupled from our immediate practices and functions, that which always relates to other worlds, allows us to […]

Blade Runner 2049 – first thoughts

I’m still cobbling together thoughts about Blade Runner 2049. At a cinematic level, I appreciated its measured pace. It has an understated melancholy that one often projects onto characters in Dick’s novels. Its architecture of ruination provided a formal theatrical, even operatic, counterpoint to the isolation and brokenness of its protagonists. There were performances to […]