stop it; your comment's generating friction.

ba dum dum dum ba dum ching!

I guess I just mean that I feel like there's this prominent aesthetic in a lot of things lately. It's not a visual aesthetic itself but an meta-aesthetic, or a technique of creation.

when faced with visual things you're/we're always wondering 'what is this?' and then maybe after, you/we think instead, 'well, how is this?'. It's the 'what is this?' that is either the point of art contemplation (see: stereotypical stereotype of museumgoers responding to pollock, etc) or is discarded away: "it doesn't matter what it _is_ per se; let's discard that question and talk about what it _does_ instead." hence the focus on phenomenology in relation to minimalism, etc. 'what is this' is a point that's either pointedly discussed or pointedly ignored.

it's interesting and maybe productive to think of this process of analyzing this 'what' in a linguistic fashion, since language is eventually a series of whats (the connection of words with meanings) aligned together in a sequence in order to illustrate a larger what.

I'm wondering if a constant habit of analysis from this point of view (of not worrying about the whats) also ends up generating a resistance or even hostility to that-which-is-easily-read. (or really, that which-appears-to-be-easily-read.) example: political/activist art is pretty crystal clear as to what it is saying, since in order to be political there has to be some sort of message, whether contextual or emotional.

I'm also reminded of the struggle within diagrams and information representation between aesthetics and content; part of the joy of graphical representation seems to be the acquisition of the interface of reading diagrams, which is itself a sort of obscuring of meaning. you have to break from your current mode of understanding things in order to understand Minard's diagram of Napoleon's journey, for example. once you've gone that far, I feel like you've already engaged in this tradeoff between information (which was something defined as organized in relation to your current mode of understanding) and aesthetics..

Or -- maybe I'm thinking this wrong, and really, diagrams are more of a battle between two different information systems or two different aesthetics, the introduction of one system into another. Maybe it's at this juncture where you're standing straddling two systems that the entrance into the more remote one feels like a journey in which everything jumps out as you as an aesthetic, a remote object?