The New Aesthetic (+10)

May 6, 2021

This post was originally written by James Bridle for the Really Interesting Group blog, on May 6th 2011. It is re-posted here for archive purposes, and can also be found in the Internet Archive. See also these reports from SXSW 2012, the essay The New Aesthetic and its Politics and the ongoing New Aesthetic tumblr.

For a while now, I’ve been collecting images and things that seem to approach a new aesthetic of the future, which sounds more portentous than I mean. What I mean is that we’ve got frustrated with the NASA extropianism space-future, the failure of jetpacks, and we need to see the technologies we actually have with a new wonder. Consider this a mood-board for unknown products.

(Some of these things might have appeared here, or nearby, before. They are not necessarily new new, but I want to put them together.)

For so long we’ve stared up at space in wonder, but with cheap satellite imagery and cameras on kites and RC helicopters, we’re looking at the ground with new eyes, to see structures and infrastructures:

– Guardian gallery of agricultural landscapes from space.

– Updates on Bin Laden’s Death, New York Times

 Tracking iPhone locations with iPhoneTracker, from Ben on Flickr

The map fragments, visible at different resolutions, accepting of differing hierarchies of objects.

– Tracking iPhone locations (Ongoing personal project)

– Landscape Permutation 2 (2010), David Semeniuk

Views of the landscape are superimposed on one another. Time itself dilates.

– Three screens (for London 2010)

– FER IN 1970 & 2010, Buenos Aires, Back to the Future Series, Irina Werning

– Luminant Point Arrays, by Stephan Tillmans

Representations of people and of technology begin to break down, to come apart not at the seams, but at the pixels.

– Diptych 1 on Flickr (ongoing personal project)

CV Dazzle by Adam Harvey

– Megabytes of SpringReed+Rader for

(I could put a whole load more animated gif stuff in here like this and this and this and this. But I won’t. Except to say: animated gifs are the first artform of the internet, and they are in some way the future.)

– German Tornado fighter with splinter camouflage.

– Low resolution Lamborghini Countach, by United Nude

– Lo Res Shoe, by United Nude

– Fabricate Yourself, Karl D.D. Lewis

– Telehouse West, by YRM Architects

The rough, pixelated, low-resolution edges of the screen are becoming in the world.

– Robert Hodgin’s Kinect Fatsuit

– NYC Street Art, photographed by Benjamin Norman

– Minecraft

– Embryo Firearms by Cornelia Parker

And so on and so forth.

UPDATE: continuing the exploration at – submissions welcome.

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