Daniel Barnes
Philosopher

Aesthetics in the Digital Age
 
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery

Taking as its starting point the exhibition, 'The Whole Other' by Konrad Wyrebek and Sheree Hovsepian, the course explores recent developments in digital art through the lens of art history and traditional aesthetics. Aesthetics in the Digital Age raises questions concerning how we decode meaning, the relevance of process, the role of the artist and the identity of the artwork. The exhibition will be the constant point of reference for discussion, revealing a deeper philosophical strategy for dealing with the art of the immediate present and future.
 
The aim is to furnish students with the theoretical and critical tools to analyse the use of and reference to digital technologies in historical and aesthetic terms at the same time as developing a critique of the present state of art. The course will focus on the work of Arthur Danto, Jean Baudrillard and Walter Benjamin.
 
Lecture 1: The Changing Nature of the Artwork. A definition of art in terms of its mechanical reproduction, which involves both the loss of uniqueness and the radical possibility of dissemination.
 
Lecture 2: Art Historical Precedents. The art of today is the direct result of a seismic shift that occurred in the 1960s, often referred to as ‘the end of art’.
 
Lecture 3: Reading the Digital. Postmodern theories of mass culture suggest a way of understanding all of this through the distinction been high and low culture.