The Beautifully Imperfects project is a natural online extension of some theoretical reflections on the evolution of the modalities of distribution, and the fruition of cultural objects resulting after more than 10 years of the diffusion of file-sharing platforms. These reflections were first the subject of a talk given at Video Vortex 4 (Split, 21-23 May 2009) and later have been extensively deepen during the research on the aesthetics
of web forms which has resulted in my book: Web Aesthetics: How Digital Media Affect Culture and Society, Amsterdam / Rotterdam: Institute of Network Cultures / NAi Publishers, 2010.
The main question for me was: How aesthetic perception is affected by the altered production and distribution of cultural materials exchanged in P2P (peer-to-peer) networks?
I believe that this issue can be approached from two points of view: First, these practices seem to prelude to new forms of aesthetic experiences that I have termed ‘disturbed’, and secondly, it is also possible to observe an increasing taste for broader imperfection in the media system. By identifying the historical premises of these two developments, I had traced the distinguishing aesthetic features of the new sensibility being formed before our very eyes. This analysis is dependent on a series of examples, each of which leads me to the hypothesis that a taste for imperfection is growing in all fields of visual culture, including cinema, art, advertising and pornography.
As we credit to truthfulness only imperfect images and sounds, we have increasingly
developed a sort of generalized distrust of the cold perfection of the cultural industries.
This blog serves as a meeting place of ideas in relation to the hypothesis that our age is marked by ‘disturbed’ aesthetic experiences, so everyone can express their opinion about it (the blog is slightly moderated solely to avoid spam).
Another objective of this initiative is to collect examples of diffusion of the taste for imperfection in the most various fields. I therefore invite you to post here your own examples of ‘beautifully imperfect’ cultural products and media objects .
For those who want to deepen the theoretical aspects of the project, you can find the core of my thoughts in the second Video Vortex Reader, available in printed book form, as well as a free pdf download.
A more extensive treatment is offered by the Chapter IV of my book Web Aesthetics.
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