What is The New Aesthetic?

What is The New Aesthetic?

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Every once in a while the art, design and tech communities around the world decide a nomenclature for a certain ‘supposedly novel concept or idea’. The New Aesthetic is one of those terms.

The New Aesthetic is one of those buzzwords that has recently taken the blogging and web community by storm. For those of you that haven’t been crawling the web, scouring for everything written on the subject, today’s your lucky day because I am about to share with you a short overview of the topic.

The New Aesthetic is a research project, undertaken by UK based author/ technologist James Bridle. It started off as his now famous Tumblr blog, and was a part of an SXSW talk. As described in his blog, The New Aesthetic is ‘a new way of seeing the world, an echo of the society, technology, politics, and people that co-produce them’. The New Aesthetic is not a movement, it is not a thing that can be done. It is a series of artifacts of the heterogeneous network that recognize the differences and gaps in our overlapping but distant realities.

Images of pixel manipulations, animated GIFs, computer vision, glitch art and a veritable mishmash of various technologies, thought processes and art that seem to have come together to vaguely define the term. The interesting bit however is that everyone ranging from artists, designers, scientists, programmers, writers and curators seem to relate to it instinctively. I suspect this is because aesthetics have always been a matter of perception and judgement. The topic is subjective and lends itself to differing and diverse opinions and views.

The real wind to the fire was Bruce Sterling’s 500 page essay on the subject, which has given rise to a series of other essays on the subject. Essays and talks aside, it makes me slightly relieved. It was about time that a rush was started to exactly define or maybe just chat about what the art forms of the future might be and how the ‘digital will erupt in the physical reality’ by giving examples of how it already has.


Pixel Art

For those of you who’d like to read more, here are a few links:






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