vol. 5 No. 1 June 2021

Cloud Aesthetics: An Epistemological Challenge, Aesthetics from Below, and the Question of History
Author:Christine Blaettler    Time:2021-09-22    Click:

Cloud Aesthetics: An Epistemological Challenge, Aesthetics from Below, and the Question of History

Christine Blaettler

Page 015-025


Abstract: Clouds are often appealed to when an objection is raised to the rationalist knowledge paradigm of the clear and distinct, as formulated by René Descartes. In such cases, clouds serve to establish an anti-classically oriented, non-hierarchical and non-determinative, chaostheoretically informed counter-paradigm. Itself informed by this tendency, this essay proposes to examine clouds as an epistemological challenge, capable of exposing specific tensions in science, philosophy, and art alike. These fields negotiate questions of perception and representation, hence aesthetic problems, on the basis of which this contribution formulates an “aesthetics from below.” Such an aesthetics does not proceed from aesthetic theories, nor is it based on fuzzy concepts; rather, it begins with reflection on perception-based experience and specifically historical artifacts and seeks to lead these toward the work of theory. In this essay, this is accomplished through an examination of the significance of clouds in Siegfried Kracauer’s philosophical reflections on history.

Keywords: clouds, aesthetics, epistemology, history, Kracauer


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