The symposium focuses on the question of how the age-old notion of beauty can regain an importance appropriate to the 21st century.
Our need for beauty has not diminished, as hard as modernism tried to erase it from art and life and supplant it with the sublime. It was a sublime that increasingly associated itself with negation and deconstruction. In contrast, vital beauty, as defined by John Ruskin more than 150 years ago, is a beauty of sympathies and affinities with life forms. Yet vital beauty must be reinvented, since life forms today can be technological as well as natural. The concept of vital beauty raises the question of how we should design our environments, our objects and even our lives, and of how we might one day invent a politics of beauty.
“Beauty is the one aim which by its very nature is selfjustifying.” – Alfred N. Whitehead
Thierry Bardini’s prensentation Hints of a Junk Aesthetic will develop on the idea of “junk beauty” by showing how beauty has to do with the capture of code in a specific insect-flower sexual relationship.
Other participants are : Wendy Steiner, Arjen Mulder, Tim Ingold and Philip Beesley.
The symposium on Vital Beauty will be held at De Balie in Amsterdam, Nederlands this coming Wednesday, May 16h 9:00am to 5:15pm.