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Aesthetic Theory (German: Asthetische Theorie) is a book by the German philosopher Theodor Adorno which was culled from drafts written between 1961 and 1969, ultimately published posthumously in 1970. Although anchored by the philosophical study of art, the book is interdisciplinary and incorporates elements of political philosophy, sociology, metaphysics and other philosophical pursuits in keeping with Adorno’s boundary-shunning methodology. It retraces the historical evolution of art into its paradoxical state of “semi-autonomy” within capitalist modernity, considering the socio-political implications of this progression. Some critics have described the work as Adorno’s magnum opus and ranked it among the most important pieces on aesthetics published in the 20th century.Comments
With a jump back to the future, the duo of artists HeHe has been carrying out The Train Project, developing unconventional prototypes of railway vehicles tested on abandoned tracks in the form of performances.
They made their own rail transport. Are they going to offer it as a public service?
A video about cybersecurity that you should really watch
Dan Geer’s Black Hat 2014 talk Cybersecurity as Realpolitik (also available as text) is thoughtful, smart, vital, and cuts through — then ties together — strands of security, liability, governance, privacy, and fairness, and is a veritable manifesto for a better world.
All In – Buying Into the Drug Trade
Photographs by Graham MacIndoe
The images in this series are of heroin baggies collected years ago during a period of addiction.
I became intrigued by the typography and design of the glassine envelopes used to package dope, stamped with references to popular culture like Twilight, Crooklyn and New Jack City. Dealers branded and marketed their product like entrepreneurs in any business, pairing names like Dead Medicine with a skull and crossbones to appeal to risk-takers, or an airplane labeled First Class to give the illusion of grandeur.
The addict becomes the ultimate consumer of the ultimate product — following a trail of quirky street names carefully chosen to be instantly recognizable to those in the know. But there is nothing hidden about the references to good times (So Amazing, True Romance, Gold Rush), juxtaposed with reminders of the gamble (9 Lives, Black Jack) and the reality of addiction (Flat Liner, Undertaker).
Lou Reed wrote the song “Perfect Day” to describe being on heroin, and that’s what every addict chases. But the marketing of that drug, like any product, doesn’t always lead us to what’s promised. These images are a reminder of both the power of desire and the things we as consumers want to believe will somehow change our lives.
1925 photo of a Tibetan skeleton dancer
A remarkable photo by Joseph Rock, from 1925. (Via Magic Transistor)