Tuesday, August 07, 2001

"The 'eye' is a product of history reproduced by education. This is true of the mode of artistic perception now accepted as legitimate, that is, the aesthetic disposition, the capacity to consider in and for themselves, as form rather than function, not only the works designated for such apprehension, i.e., legitimate works of art, but everything in the world, including cultural objects which are not yet consecrated - such as, at one time, primitive arts, or, nowadays, popular photography or kitsch - and natural objects."

Returning to Bourdieu's Distinction I find the reasoning behind my view of aesthetics, that which I have not made explicit in the last chapter. Then the question is: does aesthetics have a value when it's just the result of history and education? Should I even try to mess with the "aesthetic qualities" when they do not exist independently, but as a sum of factors?

I say yes. Aesthetics is still a product: it's an evaluation method developed to suit a purpose... and as such it says as much about the purpose as does any other method I could choose in research, journalistic, scientific or just with the investigating imagination of town gossip. Any method aims at including and excluding certain variables - what variables does the aesthetics of computer games play around with?

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