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Warren Ellis

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The New Aesthetic [May. 22nd, 2011|09:09 am]
Warren Ellis

James Bridle for RIG:

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…

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

Matt Jones for BERG:

I guess – like NASA imagery – it doesn’t acquire that whiff-of-nostalgia-for-a-lost-future if you don’t remember it from the first time round. For a while, anyway.

‘Sensor-Vernacular’ is a current placeholder/bucket I’ve been scrawling for a few things… an aesthetic born of the grain of seeing/computation. Of computer-vision, of 3d-printing; of optimised, algorithmic sensor sweeps and compression artefacts. Of LIDAR and laser-speckle. Of the gaze of another nature on ours. There’s something in the kinect-hacked photography of NYC’s subways that we’ve linked to here before, that smacks of the viewpoint of that other next nature, the robot-readable world.

It’s the lossy-ness that reveals the grain of the material and process. A photocopy of a photocopy of a fax. But atoms. Like the 80?s fanzines, or old Wonder Stuff 7? single cover art. Or Vaughn Oliver, David Carson. It is – perhaps – at once a fascination with the raw possibility of a technology, and – a disinterest, in a way, of anything but the qualities of its output. Perhaps it happens when new technology becomes cheap and mundane enough to experiment with, and break – when it becomes semi-domesticated but still a little significantly-other…

And James’ dedicated tumblr for exploring the idea.  Both posts are worth reading in full: all kinds of really interesting stuff that I just scraped the surface of here.

What I will say is that, although there is no one future to be predicted or inferred — that the idea of the consensus future is resolutely 20th century and should be put to rest — it’s really nice to see people looking for what’s next again.

(Automatically crossposted from warrenellis.com. Feel free to comment here or at my message board Whitechapel. If anything in this post looks weird, it's because LJ is run on steampipes and rubber bands -- please click through to the main site.)

[User Picture]From: longhairedhippy
2011-05-22 04:26 pm (UTC)
My first thought on seeing that jet was that it looks like someone's built it out of Lego, but didn't have quite enough grey.
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[User Picture]From: warren_ellis
2011-05-22 04:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, LiveJournal. You never disappoint.
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[User Picture]From: djinnthespazz
2011-05-22 04:52 pm (UTC)
Here, too!
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[User Picture]From: wiredwizard
2011-05-22 06:48 pm (UTC)
I was thinking something along those lines too... (maybe someone swiped their grey bricks to finish that NASA building?)
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