The zany the cute and the interesting saturate postmodern culture they dominate the look of its art and commodities as well as our discourse about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire in this radiant study sianne ngai offers a theory of the aesthetic categories that most people . Sianne ngais our aesthetic categories zany cute interesting is about aesthetic judgments an inquiry into the terms and origins of taste how do we decide what we feel about the latest chantal akerman film or the fiction of javier maras an alexander mcqueen ball gown or an episode of . Our aesthetic categories though argues on behalf of aesthetic experiences that arent quite so awe inspiring or raresitting before your computers or walking the streets of your town you dont encounter beautiful things as frequently as you do interesting momentarily arresting ones and as for the sublime when was the last time you experienced catharsis. Cute interesting and zany are based on the complex feelings that arise from our encounters with notably formless forms the squishy blob the indefinite series the chaotic flow of activity yet all make the claim to universal validity that every aesthetic judgment makes and in the same distinctively performative mode if perhaps not with the same degree of affective force as our . Zany cute interesting sianne ngai on our aesthetic categories the commodity aesthetic of cuteness the discursive aesthetic of the interesting and the performative aesthetic of zaniness help us get at some of the most important social dynamics underlying life in late capitalist society today
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