DAHNKE AESTHETICS LEXICON / Defining Terms

In order to help clear any semantic confusions, avoid talking-past-one-another and minimize the possibilities of misinterpretation, I've created the following lexicon as a support to the concepts inherent in the Dahnke Aesthetic school of thought. Some of the terms are newly invented to express original ideas, concepts or describe new styles. The rest are technical terms with their standard definitions intact, or terms which I've redefined to express with more clarity just what, based on their use, I think the words actually refer to.

Note: words that are both Italicized & Capitalized are defined elsewhere in the lexicon.  

If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.
— Votaire
 Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965

Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965

Aesthetic Value/Beauty / Efficient Communication of Values

Aesthetic Era / Meta-Era which the ideology of  Polymathic Aestheticism predicts will follow the Postmodern Era. Characterized by the use of the Arts as its model to promote the ideals of freedom, autonomy, innovation, imagination and creativity.

Aesthetic Ethics / An ethical system characterized by a view that Aesthetic Value is the ultimate type of value and constitutes a larger, overriding value, or set of values, of which ethical value is a smaller, necessary—but not sufficient, subset. The main claim is that the field of Ethics can uncover unrealized ethical truths and offer a better explanation of how and why ethical value forms when we use an aesthetic framework to evaluate value. The set of arguments comprising the Aesthetic Ethics together form the code of ethics for Polymathic Aestheticism.

Aestheticism / 19th century European art movement that emphasized art, beauty and aesthetic value as primary, while regarding ethics and practical matters as secondary or indifferent.

Aesthetic Turn / A paradigm shift in the field of Philosophy which realigns the focal point of its methodology and criteria for truth to center primarily around Aesthetics thus positioning Logic as a secondary tool. Aesthetic philosophers rely primarily on implicit and action based modes of conducting and presenting proofs and theories. Logic and explicit reasoning are seen as mere tools to guide decision making. Philosophy of action is the focus of investigation over philosophy of language. Semiotics are emphasized over linguistics—praxis over proof. Topics of interest in Aesthetic philosophy include: aesthetics, art, dream interpretation, myth/folklore, archetypes, Somatics and dance/music interpretation.

Art Per Se / The inner breath of the Breadth of Art. Focuses on the artist in itself—their inner world and the ability to hone in on their creativity, expressions, values and volition.

Breadth of Art / A binary gradient expressing two fundamental, oppositional, polar projections that future art content can represent. The concept analogizes the field of Art to a living, breathing entity. Its inhale or inner breath, dubbed the Art Per Se, explores the inner workings of the human body and mind. The exhale or outer breath, dubbed Enterprise Art, seeks to materialize the worlds that many artists envision in drawings, paintings and concepts, so as to construct them as habitable worlds or Real experiences.

Constituent / A necessary component or part of a greater whole.

Contradiction / Having both a property and the negation of that same property at the same time and referring to the property in the same sense.

Dialectic / A threefold repetitive developmental process. The first step begins with the presentation of a thesis, which gives rise to an oppositional contradiction or negation—the anti-thesis. The two find resolution in forming a synthesis which in turn is itself a new thesis. The process then continues on in similar fashion.

Efficient Communication / A measurement of both Speed (a qualitative property) and Reach (a quantitative property) of any particular communication medium. An increase in either property correlates to a state of efficient communication while conversely a decrease in either property results in inefficient communication. In other words, efficient communication occurs when the message being communicated is readily understood and able to reach a large number of individuals.

Emergence / An asymmetrical dependency relation between properties in which the emergent property is qualitatively distinct from, dependent upon, but not reducible to the basic properties that make it up.

Enterprise Art / The outer breath or exhale of the Breadth of Art. Its art form focuses on making large scale, practical, habitable worlds or experiences for long term, sustainable duration. In this way art approaches entrepreneurship and in turn entrepreneurship borrows from the values of art.

Etherealpunk / A future style and technology based on the water element. Its technology primarily uses waves (water, sound, radio . . . etc.) or mist (particles) to power its devices. As an aesthetic style: textures appear water worn, washed out, faded, ruffled, wave like, smooth or speckled. The etherealpunk color palette is a combination of pastel tones accented by hints of neon/bright colors. Colors blend together with soft or blurry/hazy borderless edges, or they "sprinkle/sparkle" in and out of the visual field in an iridescent fashion. While the primary design element of Etherealpunk is minimal and raw, it is complemented with accents of highly ornate design. Other qualities include fluidity, flow, transformation and a deep sense that in the end, nature always wins.

Exist / Any Possibility that has been Reified and has Reality.

Existence/Being / Any thing that has the capacity to be conceived or experienced in the most basic sense, i.e. everything.

Fine-tune / Somatic technique used to develop higher awareness and sensitivity to the body. Involves developing a familiarity with certain signs and symptoms associated with stressors or using biofeedback to make slight adjustments to develop more beneficial behavior patterns.

Ideology/Worldview / Often used interchangeably an Ideology more specifically refers to any system of standard beliefs a person or persons subscribe to. A Worldview is more of a comprehensive fundamental cognitive orientation of a person or persons. All belief systems count as Ideologies or Worldviews independent of any sort of justification of the veracity of the beliefs.

Incommensurable / Incapable of being measured by the same standard.

Inscrutable / Incapable of being analyzed or scrutinized.

Necessity/Necessary / Something that holds true in all possible worlds. Properties or truths required or indispensable to experience itself in its most fundamental form.

Neo-surreal / Style of Surrealism that in addition to addressing the subconscious and dream states of mind, attempts to capture a more broad scope of lesser explored experiential phenomena and mental faculties such as feelings, emotion, memory, imagination, illusion, hyper-reality, action, movement . . . etc., all within a single composition or work of art.

Nothing/Non-existence / A false concept that can only be expressed in a roundabout, counterintuitive fashion for there is only existence—nothingness cannot exist.

Paraphotography / The use of photography as an artistic medium, without necessarily using a camera. Instead, images are reconstructed using different materials and techniques including but not limited to photographic emulsion, collage, gelatin-silver prints and photo-sculpture. The term was originally coined by L.A. based artist Robert Heinecken.

Polymathic / Applying to many different subjects or fields of interest within the spectrum of human experience.

Polymathic Aestheticism / Adaptable grand narrative meta-ideology emphasizing the values and principles of creativity, autonomy and beauty. Seeks to empower individuals with the tools to be their own leaders.

Possible/Possibility / Anything conceivable that does not contain a Contradiction as one of its properties and has the ability to influence action. 

Reach / A quantitative property of communication—Reach measures the number of individuals that receive the message being communicated. This is calculated both in terms of a single, simultaneous moment (static reach), and also over a temporal duration (dynamic reach). Reach increases as static and dynamic reach increase. This property constitutes the objective aspect of Aesthetic Value/Beauty and is a significant factor in influencing choice of communication medium.

Real/Reality / That which persist with the most consistency.

Reify / To solidify or materialize that which is abstract or ethereal.

Screengaze / Newly emergent visual art genre that either sources images from a screen based medium (television, film, computer . . . etc.) and/or produces images to be displayed on a screen based medium (animation, VJ, film . . . etc.). Other common characteristics include: a multiplicity of imagery and the ability to readily shift focus. The philosophy of the genre is to emphasize the infinitude of possibility simply by softening one’s gaze or viewing a thing from a different perspective.

Semiotics / A formal science that studies signs and symbols as a process of meaning making and communication.

Somatic / Pertaining to the body, primarily as experienced from within—subjectively. 

Somatics / The formal science of the body used to achieve greater subjective awareness.

Speed / A qualitative property of communication—Speed increases when the content being communicated relates to a subject's familiarity with a particular action or experience, especially one they value, thus making it more readily understood. This property constitutes the subjective aspect of Aesthetic Value/Beauty.

Subsist/Subsistence / Anything conceivable that also has the ability to influence action.

Value/Values / A qualitative measurement and prime motivator for all action—Value justifies meaning and purpose. Value can be measured by two fundamental components: 1) the ability to sustain a Vehicle of Experience and 2) the ability to create new experiences. Sustaining a vehicle of experience breeds basic values such as food, safety, shelter, which in turn create habitual patterns that give rise to tradition. The call to create new experiences works in opposition to established traditions and is characterized by originality, innovation and procreation. When these two components are both maximized in their expression yet simultaneously balanced (without one's maximization sacrificing the others), value approaches its highest quality.

Vehicle of Experience / The material conditions necessary to support a sentient being to the extent that is demarcated by the magnitude of that being’s volition.

 

 

 

Jeremy Dahnke