The Aesthetic Imperative: Writings on Art
May 2017, Polity
In this wide-ranging book, renowned philosopher and cultural theorist Peter Sloterdijk examines art in all its rich and varied forms: from music to architecture, light to movement, and design to typography. Moving between the visible and the invisible, the audible and the inaudible, his analyses span the centuries, from ancient civilizations to contemporary Hollywood. With great verve and insight he considers the key issues that have faced thinkers from Aristotle to Adorno, looking at art in its relation to ethics, metaphysics, society, politics, anthropology and the subject.
Sloterdijk explores a variety of topics, from the Greco-Roman invention of postcards to the rise of the capitalist art market, from the black boxes and white cubes of modernism to the growth of museums and memorial culture. In doing so, he extends his characteristic method of defamiliarization to transform the way we look at works of art and artistic movements. His bold and original approach leads us away from the well-trodden paths of conventional art history to develop a theory of aesthetics which rejects strict categorization, emphasizing instead the crucial importance of individual subjectivity as a counter to the latent dangers of collective culture.
This sustained reflection, at once playful, serious and provocative, goes to the very heart of Sloterdijk’s enduring philosophical preoccupation with the aesthetic. It will be essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy and aesthetics and will appeal to anyone interested in culture and the arts more generally.
I. WORLD OF SOUND
La musique retrouvee
Remembrance of Beautiful Politics
Where Are We When We Hear Music?
II. IN THE LIGHT
Clearing and Illumination. Notes on the Metaphysics, Mysticism and Politics of Light
Illumination in the Black Box: On the History of Opacity
The Right Tool for Power: Observations on Design as the Modernization of Competence
On the Charisma of Symbols
For a Philosophy of Play
IV. CITY AND ARCHITECTURE
The City and its Negation: An Outline of Negative Political Theory.
Architects Do Nothing But ?Inside Theory?: Peter Sloterdijk in conversation with Sabine Kraft and Nikolaus Kuhnert
For a Participatory Architecture - Notes on the Art of Daniel Libeskind with reference to Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Paul Valery
V. CONDITIO HUMANA
Essay on the Life of the Artist: Heretics *Wastrels* Falls/Cases* Inhabitants
Confessions of a Loser
Minima Cosmetica - An Essay on Self-Aggrandizement.
The Museum ? School of Disconcertment
World Museum and World?s Fair
VII. ART SYSTEM
?I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself?
Art is folding into itself
Emissaries of Violence - On the Metaphysics of Action Cinema
Good-For-Nothing Returns Home or The End of an Alibi - and A Theory of the End of Art
Afterword by Peter Weibel: Sloterdijk and the Question of Aesthetics
Claire Colebrook, Penn State University