Aesthetics and the Logics of Evaluation

Authors: Nina Williams*,
Topics: Geographic Thought, Social Theory
Keywords: Evaluation, Aesthetics, Values
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Bonaparte, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper draws attention to the logics used for interpreting aesthetic research in geography and the social sciences. The key argument I want to make is that we need to rethink our modes of evaluation in order to challenge the dominant ways of thinking about creativity and cultivate a broader playing field on which to transform concepts and practices of aesthetics. This is important because the intervention of aesthetic research must be coupled with a framework that can amplify it and make it count thereafter, or we risk returning to a familiar conceptual apparatus over the greater challenge of developing what emerges in creative practice.
The paper thus problematises certain stakes of evaluation by drawing upon Deleuze and his reading of Nietzsche. This reading by Deleuze on Nietzsche is crucial for highlighting a pluralistic rather than universalising mode of evaluation, where a thing is seen to have many senses, as “this and then that” (1986: 4). Taking this approach forward, I stage three modes of valuation used to make sense of an audio exhibition, entitled Sounding the City. The aim is to explore alternatives to valorising art that don’t subscribe to rationales constituted before or after the event, but are rather emergent within and alongside it. Aesthetic evaluation emerges, then, as something more chaotic – as a part of the encounter and as a process that may not fit preconceived frameworks of how to judge something.

Deleuze, G. (1986) Nietzsche and Philosophy, London: Continuum

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