Comment: Extreme Aesthetics

Concrete Design — Arises out of its own means and laws, without these having to be derived or borrowed from natural phenomena.

This term is important. It lends itself to the idea of social conditioning, which pushes beyond the idea of naturalness. What is art without social engagement?

What is a city without social engagement? Do cities arise out of concrete design?

What are its own means? How does it have it’s own laws?

But also, what is natural? Jorn says that man’s nature is just to cultivate and nourish his urges. The image of nature is merely a distorted image of capitalist society. “There is nothing so unnatural for a man as what the bourgeoisie call naturalness.”

Important quote from page 47: “The whole environment created by us, from the spoon to the city, had to be brought into harmony with social conditions, which implied shaping those conditions too.”

Max Bill believed in guarding against the danger of going by appearances, and instead, focusing on combining contemporary powers to form “one harmonious balance.” This balance was known as the good form.

Bill’s declaration that “art is an order, a prototype of harmony” couldn’t have been further from Jorn’s understanding of Bauhaus artists. Naturally, Jorn revised and expanded upon his own writings on form, wherein he made the claim: “culture no longer takes place in a situation, because we can only speak of a situation when there is an event, and an act only becomes an event at the moment it is able to trigger sensation.”

the rationalists seek an absolute symmetry between form, structure, and function, while evolution occurs precisely through an increasing dissymmetry among these 3 elements.

Evolution of form is driven by dreams, longings, imaginary aims, the desire for sensation.

Connecting back — reframing is sensational. Reframing attempts to shift the narrative in an image, and in our age, communication shifting toward imagery is carrying communication in our society. Modifying an environment shifts the narrative, causing changes in the way people feel when they interact with it.

Art is experimental social practice which transforms nature into second nature, but without reducing nature to essence/order
Aesthetic has the capacity to become a part of people’s habits of life. The aesthetic is a cultivating factor, forming and transforming habits of life. 

Art banishes stagnancy. With art, we grow.