I teach the paradox of tragedy (e.g. why do people go to see films/plays they know to be sad if people normally dislike feeling sad?) but I find the grounding examples a bit suspicious. Please tell me a film that i) you definitely treasure and would be willing to watch again but which ii) has a definite sad/tragic ending? [more inside]
Where can I find inspiration for planner decoration that is geared towards various alternative/weirdo types - e.g. queers, geeks, artists, activists, certain subcultures? [more inside]
My dad and I were recently talking about aesthetics of new and popular music. He was telling me his reasons that he believes 4'33" isn't music. I disagree with him wholeheartedly, but it led to an interesting discussion. I think he'd enjoy reading about it more so I'm looking for some book and/or websites that we could both read and then talk about. [more inside]
What are some works of SFF that showcase beautiful language on a par with All The King's Men, Gilead, and Raymond Chandler's detective novels? I've read plenty of SFF that has transported me, but little that's struck me as gorgeously written. Thanks!
A colleague and I are starting some new research in which we are interested in whether we can influence people's interpretation of emotionally-mixed music and language. We easily found music of mixed emotional tone (studied in the article linked here; paywalled, but I can share if anyone is interested), but it's been far harder to find mixed-emotion language that meets our constraints. More details follow. [more inside]
My music taste is quirky and mutable. Perhaps MeFites can help me find some new indie-ish wholesome-ish tunes. Details inside. [more inside]
Art and philosophy people -- I need your help figuring out how to talk about the difference between art that is highly constricted by form vs. art that is very open-ended -- sonnets as opposed to free verse, men's clothing as opposed to women's clothing, calligraphy as opposed to sketching. [more inside]
How do I practice better taste - in my art, music, and other kinds of cultural consumption - without being a prude or curmudgeon or elitist? [more inside]
I'm well-read but pretty uneducated when it comes to philosophy, aside from having a working knowledge of the Post-Structuralists. I'm looking for philosophical books (it doesn't matter it they're canonical or not--I have not read most of the canon, but I also haven't read a lot of related books) that explore one or more of these areas: beauty, art, or narratives. (I just started Lyotard tonight, so no need to suggest him.) [more inside]
I'm looking for an in-text reference for a concept apparently put forward by Immanuel Kant. I would like to know where in his own writings this concept was actually addressed. [more inside]
My current poetry project is poems that deal with subjects fitting into the above categories. Mata Hari's body never being collected and donated to medical school? Check. Evita's body being hidding away in a casket named Maria Maggi in Italy for years? Check. Poem about the relics of St. Therese going into space? Check. Female sideshow freaks? Check. Elvira as death incarnate? Check. You (kinda) get the idea now of what I'm trying to write about--weird stuff that's happened to women's bodies, especially when that brushes up against pop culture. I can try to explain more if this admittedly vague criteria is still unclear. Anyway, I'm looking for more topics to write about. Please throw out anything that might fit. Thank you!
My sister and I like matchy books: works by a single author or in a thematic series in new, nice, editions. Preferably hardcover, preferably freshly typeset, preferably authoritative and not decorative. [more inside]
Designers of all sorts (clothes, industrial, visual, graphic ones, etc) how do you make choices when it comes to aesthetics? [more inside]
Students of art, lovers of philosophy, can you recommend a book I can buy as a gift for a friend? [more inside]
I'm looking for 'Folk' Web Cultures. I am thinking of the recent take-down of Geocities, which seemed to refresh people's love of the naff, kitsch aesthetic it was famous for, as a prime example. What are some other folk cultures still lingering in the dark corners of the web? [more inside]
Best practices for moving computer and printer into living area without it looking terrible? [more inside]
There was a chess match once between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky where Fischer deliberately made a wrong move to confound and confuse Spassky. Does anyone the details of this story? [more inside]
I need a book on web design. Or maybe just design. I can program just fine, what I'm looking for is aesthetics. Why some things work and why others don't. Color choices, proper spacing etc. [more inside]
I realized recently that I prefer licorice when it's gone so stale it's almost rock-hard, and similarly I also would much rather eat dry, horribly overcooked turkey than a properly-cooked, moist bird. I think pristine new leather on bags or furniture looks ugly, and prefer it when it's battered and beaten up. I understand and appreciate the qualities that makes the "good" versions of these things good, but they just don't dovetail with my subjective experience. What are some other things that are better when they're worse?
I have access to a large poster printer and want to fill my office with beautiful prints of Van Gogh's paintings. Please lend me your aesthetic guidance on how to make this awesome, not tacky or crowded. [more inside]
A friend of mine wants me to review his business' web site. I have, and it looks awful. Problem is, I'm not a web designer/graphic designer/etc. I wouldn't know where to start giving him feedback. [more inside]
How do I get this look when editing my photos? It seems to be characterized by high contrast in the midtones but muted contrast at the extremes, along with desaturated neutral colors but saturated vivid colors. I've tried and tried, but I can't seem to figure it out. [more inside]
Is there an Asian practice of placing dots in the corner of paintings to show imperfection / humility? [more inside]
Help me find music that makes me feel small and insignificant. [more inside]
Top-notch dentist or prosthodontist in NYC to fix small chip on front tooth asap. [more inside]
Looking for articles/writings based around the premise that ethics are an extension of a larger sense of aesthetics. [more inside]
What are your favorite novels from an aesthetic/writing style point of view? [more inside]
Help me find examples of literary criticism adopting the Jungian idea that all the characters are aspects of the same person. [more inside]
Why are sine waves considered "pure" tones? Why do we consider sinusoids the building blocks of periodic functions? [more inside]
Can a plastic surgeon just make you attractive? [more inside]
I'm looking for a (UK based) knowledgable speaker on advertising and its relationship to the aesthetics based politics. [more inside]
Hegel's "Aesthetics"-filter: I'm wondering what the German original is for the word "glance" in the English text? Blick? Flüchtiger Blick? Augenblick?" An English version of Hegel's Aesthetics can be searched here, fwiw. Thanks.
Sir Lepel Griffin. Need help identifying and locating a source. [more inside]
What does English sound like? [more inside]
Does anyone know the source for the following quote by George Santayana: "Americans love junk; it's not the junk that bothers me, it's the love"?
Why was everything so ugly in the 1980's? [more inside]
What is art? I mean, can someone explain to me how a couple rectangles thrown on a canvas is "art" and can sell for thousands of dollars? For that matter, that whole toilet scam just befuddles me - people actually fall for that and spend good money on it? Help me out here, what am I missing? Feel free to flame on this question. Let the debate begin.