Aesthetica Issue 72 August/September

Aesthetica Issue 72 August/September

A word that keeps cropping up everywhere is “post.” Post-digital, post-internet, post-fashion, post-human, post-advertising and pretty much everything in between. But does that mean we’re post-digital? “Post” had a different meaning in the early days of postmodernist thought. The internet and technology still define our lives. Back in June with Brexit, everyone was glued to their phones and constantly checking the news. Is the UK post-Europe? We’ve all spoken about it to death, but the potential degree and level of change opens up a chasm of uncertainty larger than anything we’ve known for a while.

Much of this issue is about the relationship between our everyday lives and wider political forces. We start with the Venice Architecture Biennale, examining themes of Utopia through a greater understanding of our dystopian state, from the migrant crisis and the environment to sustainability and political systems.

New Romance, a collaboration between MCA Sydney and MMCA Seoul, looks at the role humanity plays in the future of the Earth. It’s a theme recently explored by other major institutions, but this survey directly interrogates what it means to be human. Mode in Flux picks up on this, exploring fashion’s role in a post-recession landscape, through wearable technology, interactivity and sustainability. In photography, these ideas are continued through Michael Wolf’s depiction of sprawling skyscrapers in Hong Kong whilst Vittorio Ciccarelli presents an urban atmosphere both full and devoid of human interaction. Gabriel Isak’s body of work acts as a metaphor for loneliness and hope.

We have also collaborated with London College of Communication to bring you the third instalment of The Next Generation, which surveys new practitioners who are responding to uncapped technological possibilities in an age of social, political and economic uncertainty. These young photographers are ones to watch in the future. Finally and fittingly, Rebecca Louise Law offers the last words on finding beauty in decay.

1. Photography by Corrie Bond. Courtesy of the artist.