Conversely, Buck-Morss claims, the concept of “aesthetics” as it has evolved into modernity actually describes an anaesthetics. or the sensory negotiation of. Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered Author(s): Susan Buck-Morss Reviewed work(s): Source: October, Vol. 62 ( Autumn. ics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay. Reconsidered”; “The Buck-Morss discusses her recent work on the aesthetic and its significance for art .

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The outbreak of war made such denial no longer possible. Cassirer is citingGoethe’s commentto Chancellor von Muller,April It is the correlateand coun- terpart of shock. This was its meaning for Baumgarten,who firstdeveloped the “aesthetic”as an autonomous thematicin philosophy. To record the “breakdown” of experience was the “mission” of Baudelaire’s morse This “firstimpulse” might,in fact,be considered superior.

Aesthetics and Anaesthetics, Part I

Much of “art” enters into the phantasmagoricfield as entertainment,as part of the aesthetice. In a Hartford,Connecticut,dentistperformedtooth extractionswith nitrous oxide. Likewise,the physicalthing,”myBody,”is heated or cooled through For Kant the conditions of possibility of experience do not include a brain.

This point anc seem trivial, or unnecessarily sophistic. Phenomenologyuses the termhyle,undifferentiated, “brute” matter-to describethatwhichis perceivedbut not “intended. Haxthausen and Heidrun Suhr Minneapolis: Joan Rivere [New York: The moral will,cleansed of any contaminationby the senses which,in the FirstCritique,are the source of all cognitionsets up its own rule as a universal norm.

Adorno makes the point that “in advanced bourgeois civilizationevery organ of sense apprehends. Jacques-Alain Miller and trans. Vorlesungen, [Frankfurt a. Curiously,it is preciselyin thiscastratedformthatthe being is gendered male-as if, having nothingso embarrassinglyunpredictableor rationallyun- controllableas the znd, it can then confidentlyclaim to be the phallus.

Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics: psychoanalysts

Hal Foster has situated this theoryin the historicalcontextof early fascism,and pointed out the personal connections between Lacan and Surrealist artistswho made the fragmented body theirtheme. Ernst Cassirer, Kant’s Life and Thought,trans.


As a result,the systemreversesits role. In order to differ- entiate our descriptionfrom the more limited,traditionalconception of the human nervous systemwhich artificially isolates human biology fromits envi- ronment,we will call this aestheticsystemof sense-consciousness,decentered from the classical subject, wherein external sense-perceptionscome together with the internal images of memoryand anticipation,the “synaestheticsys- tem.

Thus the simultaneity of overstimulation and numbness is characteristic of the new synaesthetic organization as anaesthetics. This point may seem trivial,or unnecessarilysophistic. As fear increases into an agony of terror. It demands a critical, exoteric explanation of the socioeconomic and political context in which the discourse of the aesthetic was deployed, as Terry Eagleton has recently demonstrated in The Ideology of the Aesthetic.

Aesthetics and Anesthetics | susan buck-morss –

Again, for Kant the aesthetic aesthetifs Critique and the anaesthetic third Critique are able to be distinguished but mors thereby escape one another because they are limits of one another.

We are to assume that both alienation and aestheticized politics as the sensual conditions of modernity outlive fascism — and thus so does the enjoyment taken in viewing our own destruction. Descartesgave thesoul protectionfromthe “bodymachine” of the brain-nerves-muscles by locating it in “a certain extremelysmall gland” suspended in the middle of the brain see The Passionsof theSoul.

Once art is drawn into politics Communist politicsno less than Anaestheticz politics ,how could it help but put itselfinto its service,thus to render up to politicsitsown artisticpowers,i. Morton administeringanesthesiaat theMassachusettsGeneral Hospital, October16, On it the three aspects of the synaesthetic system — physical sensation, motor reaction, and psychical meaning — converge in signs and gestures comprising a mimetic language.

Its potencyis in its lack of corporeal response.

Columbia UniversityPress, p. Fiat ars-pereat mundus”[create art-destroy the world],7says Fas- cism, and expects war to supply,just as Marinetticonfesses that it does, the artisticgratificationof a sense perception that has been altered by technology.

The same aestheticsis visiblein the Soviet “plan”; its organizationchartof shows the entiresocietyfromthe perspectiveof centralizedpower in termsof its productiveunits-from steel to matchsticks. This is all the more the case, as the comfort-character [read phantasmagoricfunc- tion] of our technology merges ever more unequivocably with its characteristicof instrumentalpower. It affirmed the aesthetic beauty, first and foremost, of the male body.


This included, explicitly, his sensual relationships with beautiful young men. In abandoning its senses, it, of course, gives up sex.

Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics

The factory system, injuring every one of bick human senses, paralyzes the imagination of the worker. As a result, the system reverses its role.

The factorysystem,injuring anadsthetics one of the human senses, paralyzes the imagi- nationof the worker. Oxford University Press, ; and the many books by prolific author R. Adorno cites “evidence fromWagner’s immediatecircle”: The mistakeis to presume thattoday’ssocietiesare accurateexpressionsof thisbiologicalinstinct. But we usuallyemploy these expressionsas metaphors,littlesuspecting how close is the analogy,and how far it will bear carryingout.

Young, Philosophy and theBrain New York: Was it merelya coincidence that Kant praised as sublime preciselythose Swiss alps, the size and precipitous appearance of which so appalled Winckelmanthat,upon coming withinsightof them inhe abandoned his planned returnto Germanyand turned back to Italy?

Inthe Britishnaval surgeon John Woodall advised prayer before the “lamentable” surgeryof amputation: Whereas aesrhetics addicts confronta societythat challenges the realityof their altered perception,the intoxicationof phantasmagoriaitselfbecomesthesocial norm. As an unstable repetition the form of WWI newsreels is undoubtedly categorizable as mathematically sublime, or the sublime as an infinity which proceeds one by one by one, again and again, more and more and more, forever outwards to an unreachable destination – as opposed to a dynamical sublime, like a close-up shot which jumps to its infinite point all at once.