Byung-Chul Han is a Korean-born Professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies who teaches at the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin. He is the author of more than 20 books including The Scent of Time, The Transparency Society and The Burnout Society.
Beauty today is a paradox. The cult of beauty is ubiquitous but it has lost its transcendence and become little more than an aspect of consumerism, the aesthetic dimension of capitalism. The sublime and unsettling aspects of beauty have given way to corporeal pleasures and 'likes', resulting in a kind of 'pornography' of beauty.In this book, cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han reinvigorates aesthetic theory for our digital age. He interrogates our preoccupation with all things slick and smooth, from Jeff Koon's sculptures and the iPhone to Brazilian waxing. Reaching far deeper than our superficial reactions to viral videos and memes, Han reclaims beauty, showing how it manifests itself as truth, temptation and even disaster.This wide-ranging and profound exploration of beauty, encompassing ethical and political considerations as well as aesthetic, will appeal to all those interested in cultural and aesthetic theory, philosophy and digital media.
1. The Smooth2. The Smooth Body3. The Aesthetics of the Smooth4. Digital Beauty5. The Aesthetics of Veiling6. The Aesthetics of Injury7. The Aesthetics of Disaster8. The Ideal of Beauty9. Beauty as Truth10. The Politics of Beauty11. Pornographic Theatre12. Lingering on Beauty13. Beauty as Reminiscence14. Giving Birth in BeautyNotes
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