Yesterday UiB hosted the “New Aesthetic Technologies Conference”, which I really would have loved to attend! Firstly because I really want to know what my (?) university department thinks about aesthetics and new media – because I’m not sure I know. Two years ago (good golly – has it been that long?) – the brilliant Rune Klevjer put together a conference called “The Aesthetics of Play” – it’s just such an excellent title, don’t you think?
I remember talking to a student who was there to take notes on anything to do with aesthetics for the head of the department. Now – I really respect this student and she is just soooo much smarter than me – so when I said “Ohh – you must be franticly writing down page after page, then. It’s all about aesthetics.” I remember being completely gobsmacked when she said “So far I haven’t heard anything about aesthetics.” I felt like I was going to sink into the ground. Had I completely misunderstood everything? Ofcourse – I was still in the ignorant and arrogant faze of my masters, thinking that I understood it all because I had read a few measely papers and finished my research playing of The Sims Online. Oh the embarrassment of thinking about my stuck-up attitude at that time! I knew nothing! Although I have to admit that I kinda missed having that arrogant attitude at The State of Play conference. There, I knew I knew nothing – even though I had studied the subjects discussed for 3 years! I suppose it’s a process. Oh dear – I’ve rambled right off subject haven’t I?
Anyways – the word aesthetics has caught my eye – and I’ll be trying to figure it all out. There’s so many different uses of the word aesthetics in the stipend guidelines for what I’m hoping to get a phd grant from. I mean, there’s a verb form here – which I don’t know – ‘aesthetisation’ (?) and there’s lots of other goodies: aesthetical practices, aesthetic classes, aesthetic studies, aesthetisation of every day life, aesthetic objects and categoriunderstanding and aesthetic value. I’m just roughly translating as I go here. I’m confused about aesthetical practices – but I feel that it has something to do with playing with aesthetics. Or perhaps I should say, the aesthetisation of aesthetics? I’m starting to doubt that “estetikk“ is aesthetics, have I completely misunderstood everything, yet again? – I’m rambling again – gorr – I’ve sooooo missed writing freely here!
I would have really loved to hear Kjetil Jakobsen’s “Phenomenology versus Archeology in New Media Studies. On Mark B Hansen’s critique of Friedrich Kittler” – I would have been so much smarter after experiencing such a talk! Really freakin interesting.
And of course I would have adored getting the opportunity to experience N. Katherine Hayles. It’s impossible not to worship someone who titles their book “My mother was a computer” - although I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read the whole thing yet!
But alas – I could not go! And I screamed my frustration on Mr. Rettberg’s blog – so incredibly sorry about that! You would have thought I had learned to not comment when emotional – but naw – I’m obviously not a learner! I’ve spent my days off work on other things, such as a copyright symposium and a norwegian games event. It would have been much more time management smart of me to go yesterday – but by the time I found out about it – it was too late!