Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life

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Ben Highmore

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Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life

  1. 1. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben HighmoreZELİHA UYURCAID 501 - Advanced Project Development in Industrial Design
  2. 2. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Outline Science of Singularity Neoliberalism Ordinary Habits: Keep calm and Carry on Habit, Keeping on keeping on
  3. 3. Science of SingularityRichness of Ordinary Lives (Particularity of examples)The Habitat Chair (specific examples) representing a world of chair sitters entagled withMore ordinary life and forces (only visible when they shape our practises and passions) Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  4. 4. Neoliberalism SingularityFormative Neoliberalism in BritainMargaret Thatcher (Prime Minister of Britain) Provided the conditions for form of individualism – still shaping global finances and global culture. Stated that: • There is no such thing as society. There is [a] living tapestry of men and women and people, and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.(Thatcher in Keay 1987: 8–9)You are on your own in both failure and success. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  5. 5. Neoliberalism SingularityNeoliberalism: •Not a simple name given specific governments (Covernment of Conservative Party, Republicans) •Political Form Govermentality: (As Anna McCarthy suggest) •A concept – providing a powerful model for understanding the cultural and political manifestation of neoliberalism. • Name for a collective fashioning of the self, which works on an aesthetic register, shaping emotional and sensorial experience. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  6. 6. Affect and Emotion •Affective life of people, and sensual and sensible descriptions of cultural and social life. •affect and emotion with an interest in the senses and with the experience… as time and memory in the name of a more general social aesthetics. “Does such an orientation occlude politics?” (“Science of singularity” is actually symptomatic of neoliberal culture itself.) may not be incompatible with the individualizing tendencies of neoliberalism. “What sort of a politics could „a science of singularity‟ carry on its necessarily narrow shoulders?” Modest and experimental and involves a sense of how an aeshetic of ordinary life could be invoked for a world that seems simultaneously fragile,capricious and conformist. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  7. 7. Ordinary Habits: Keep Calm and Carry on Govermentality Ordinary, Habit, Everyday Life Establishing Altering Habits Keeping up Habits New Habits 9/11 Attacks in NY. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  8. 8. Keep on Keeping on • how consistently people seem to live their everyday lives under conditions of catastrophe: •...people just keep on keeping on, in a sort of twilight sleep in which they are conscious of nothing except the daily round of work…(Orwell 1945: 435) • not let the extraordinary overcome the world of the ordinary. What about Without Habit: •Uprising of poor, no miners in the darkness,… Habit: •maintains the status quo and the inequalities of its structure and expression •ability of human life to be transformed Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore
  9. 9. Habit • potential for change, for adjustment (the „becoming‟ of habit), • coupled with its conventionalizing and conservative power. This conflict is irreconcilable. • To imagine culture is to imagine a culture of habit as a dynamic set of features that includes established habits and the becoming of the habitual. • The work of an aesthetic politics of the ordinary may be to produce imaginative acts For thinking the seemingly impossible: a culture that encourages habits of generosity and world-enlarging improvisation and adaptation, while also maintaining habits of comfort and stability. Towards a Political Aesthetic of Everyday Life Ben Highmore

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