Aesthetics and Taste

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Aesthetics and taste

In the practices of looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, they discuss the topic of Aesthetics and taste. Sturken and Lisa argue that all forms of arts need judgement for their values and qualities and in order to do this; they need aesthetics and taste. They define aesthetics as the “philosophy and the arts” and taste as “matter of individual interpretation.” They give example from “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” (1979) by Pierre Bourdieu, a sociologist and philosopher, to explain the Aesthetics and taste. In the Distinction, he states three examples: Kitsche, Habitus, and culture. Kitche is the art object that is very popular but has very low quality and value in the past era. However, through the time, it has its own value of historical moment which brings it back to the modern time and has more value than before. It shows that the taste isn’t fixed which always calculates through the time period. Moreover, the taste is also impacted by Habitus-which is “set of dispositions and preferences.” Bourdieu believes that taste is established by the class position, education, and social standing which can be trained. If people learn the “corrected-taste” from certain level of social class, then they will know how to rank image by class-based values. Also in Bourdieu’s theory, he highlights the word “culture” while explaining the aesthetic and taste. He defines culture as “the idea of the best of a given culture.” He states that taste can trickle up to more powerful, culturally dominant groups. However, Sturken and Lisa dispute his theory by giving the example of the ‘Obey’ drew by Shepard Fairey from the street. This drawing is used to treat as a lowbrow but later, many people recognize it as a giving message from the street and use it in many different well named skating products. It shows that Bourdieu’s system doesn’t always work when it comes to the globalization-the goods are across the social strata...
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