Aesthetics of the mundane

The two artists I chose, although very different, draw on the aesthetics of the mundane as a humanizing gesture.   In this survielled, globalized, corperatized society – small things, even mass produced items, are signs that we are still human in the midst of these objectifying technologies.  Mass produced items are no longer a source of anonymity and consumerism, but in the context of contemporary society,  they are this things that distinguish us.  We cling to them, because there is a larger, technological, big brother architecture, with its own aesthetics, which we may now contrast (with some nostalgia), with aesthetics of a previous era.

Hasan Elahi is an artist who unexpectedly found himself on the terrorist watch list.  He responded by making work while her survielled himself, so that his activities and whereabouts were accessible to the authorities .  This work uses various media, but primarily photography, to document his own surveillance.  This documentation tends to revolve around mundane things, as to highlight the absurdity of constant surveillance.

http://elahi.umd.edu/

Nancy Davenport is an artist who uses photography and installation to explore and critique peoples relationship to intuitions.  He work relies heavily on institutional aesthetics and architecture, and how it interacts with the population it serves.

http://www.nancydavenport.com/index.html

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