An/aesthetics

February 3, 2005 at 12:04 am | In yulelogStories | 5 Comments

I’m so fagged out I considered just blogging a picture of my dog, captioned My yoga instructor, which I posted to Flickr yesterday. Would it be unseemly and too revealing for me to say that I think I must still be suffering from the anemia my doctor diagnosed …when?, several months ago? I’ve taken my iron supplements, but while I tried to keep up with the “tiger’s milk” concoction (a past winner in keeping mineral levels, including iron, at optimum), I lapsed after only a short while because I didn’t want to drink the stuff anymore. Now I wonder whether I’ve stinted on the supplements, popping just one pill a day instead of the three suggested by the label. I’m tired, tired to the point of feeling like my head is nailed to the floor and that I’m making gigantic, if useless, efforts to pull up the floorboards with my forehead. One tries not to get depressed, but one finds it difficult at times to maintain one’s equilibrium. If this keeps up, I’ll have to fire my yoga-dog. Hot dog.

The daffodils are late this year. Crocuses are all up, ditto other smaller bulbs. My neighbour across the street has a camellia in his front yard, facing west, which gets a lot of sun; it too has begun blooming. Some ornamental-type trees are blooming — blooms still closed, but coming along. Lots of different rhododendrons are blooming, too. This is the sort of thing we Victorianites love to lord over the rest of Canada, which is more often than not chest-deep in snow right around now.

Despite all this organic bounty, a vacation is in order. The world feels like it’s getting smaller, and furthermore, the virtual world is getting shrunken down to size, shrink-wrapped in the same whizz-bang formats, to the point where everything on the computer screen suddenly starts to look the same. The world outside my front door has a texture and mouth-feel (to steal a word from the food industry) that can’t be approximated in pixels.

Technology has an unfortunate tendency to make everything the same — and I say this with all due respect. Perhaps it’s inevitable. New technologies come along, people get excited and think, “yippee, this’ll change things,” and it does. For a while. But eventually, the technology gets used in predictable ways, namely to create more of the same. Most people use things in very average, ordinary ways to create what’s familiar and comfortable. Joseph Beuys might have thought that everyone, given the tools and opportunity, is an artist, but most people at heart want what they have, preferably just more of it. Perhaps that’s why we end up using technology to create homogenised products that don’t jab anyone the wrong way, products that create the look and the reality of more of the same. The divide between art and technology will not be bridged by a virtual revolution that creates products we already have and that facilitates eliding the corporeal nature of experience. Artists are supposed to bring the body back. Aesthetics — think about it — is the opposite of anaesthetics. The latter is what you get when you need to be knocked out, when you don’t want to feel pain with your aesthetically capable body. If you look at it long enough, the web is anaesthetic.

Blink. Blink. Blink.

5 Comments

  1. Great promotion for the cause or aesthetics and artists!

    Maybe you have the flu – I do and your description fits very well! Feel better soon, and enjoy those early blooms! They made me feel better when I poked myself outdoors to have a look ( in Vancouver area).

    Comment by Marja-Leena Rathje — February 3, 2005 #

  2. Oh Yule, I just realized what this post is about … after coming here a few times. Doesn’t that prove your point about the web being anaesthetic, now?

    My old site is unusable right now … and for a few hours today I have been walking around feeling like a free woman … in my body and mind, exploring the world without seeing it through the frame of the next post!

    The mouth-feel of pixels is getting stale on my tongue … but still, let me say that this post is truly delicious!

    Comment by maria — February 4, 2005 #

  3. Thanks, Marja-Leena — yes, it’s one of the benefits of living here: nature is very kind to us! Hope you kick your flu soon — if it’s the respiratory thing that’s going around, get lots of rest. It’s a nasty bug.

    Maria, I saw your new page, announcing the trackback- and comment-spam “mudslide” that contributed to destroying your blog! I hope you get whatever help you need to put it back together soon — I miss you!

    Comment by Yule Heibel — February 5, 2005 #

  4. Thanks Yule … and I am getting help, from the best out there, too, so I hope to be back on that site soon–maybe I shouldn’t say that I’ll be back with a vengeance, for that would be an open invitation to the spammers. I keep thinking it’s time for a remake of “Star Wars,” only this time, as the Blog Wars …. I even went as far as to start an outline for this. Made feel better, I can tell you, even if it’s not exactly great film material!

    Comment by maria — February 5, 2005 #

  5. I tried several times to leave a comment here the other day, Yule, and kept getting the strangest messages. And since I never did copy it first, I kept losing the whole thing, and after attempting to re-write it twice, I gave up. But … it was brilliant. LOL! (Nah, but I can say it, right?) I’ll try to remember what it was. I have such a hard time with memory anymore, it’s probably lost to the ether by now.

    I have to go visit Maria. If the spammers were responsible, can’t they be turned into the police for vandalism? What the hell. We can’t let these little shits get away with this crap.

    Comment by Kate S. — February 5, 2005 #

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