beyond the aesthetic and the anti-aesthetic!

The newest episode of Bad at Sports, a podcast about contemporary art, is an interview with Jim Elkins about this past summer’s Stone Summer Theory Institute.  Elkins, professor at the School of the Art Institute in Art History, Theory and Criticism and also in Visual and Critical Studies (my department), organizes the Theory Institute, a yearly conference that seeks to bring together theorists, critics, students, and etc to have conversations, every summer for the past 4 years.

I participated in this year’s seminar: Beyond the Aesthetic and the Anti-aesthetic, so listening to his interview is an interesting re-cap and experience for me.  This summer’s conference explored the tension between the modernist idea of the aesthetic and the postmodern notion of the anti-aesthetic, a term coined by Hal Foster for his edited volume The Anti-Aesthetic written and edited in 1983 that has influenced many artists working since the 80s and today.

The interview is an interesting discussion of what happened at the seminar, contemporary art practices, and the possibilities of what’s to come.  Also, to give myself some credit, Elkins discusses the youtube videos that I suggested we watch during one of the seminars: Double Rainbow and the parody Doublicious…

To listen to the podcast, click here to visit the Bad At Sports site to download it.


I had to get stitches this morning – 7.  well, something like that.  deep ones and top-layer ones.  i don’t know how many of each.

in the past couple weeks i’ve been poked, scraped, cut, etc., etc.

A cervical biopsy one day because of a consistently recurring dysplasia (an abnormal development or growth), acupuncture the next day (where i had 12 needles: one in each ear, one in my forehead, one in each foot, one in each forearm, one in each shin, and three on my belly), blood labs drawn the next day (my usual bimonthly labs, but this time i was also being screened for diabetes), and then a mole removed.

This mole came back dyplastic as well, so this morning i had more tissue removed and stitches put in.  mind you, this week i have been participating in the brutally exhausting Stone Summer Theory Institute at the Art Institute of Chicago.  let’s just say that conferences are not very accommodating for those with autoimmune disorders.  does this mean that i shouldn’t participate fully?  or that they should be more accommodating in the first place?  who knows.  whose problem is this really?

it is also interesting to note that all of these doctors/practitioners know about the other cuts/incisions/invasions, and still participate in that activity.  when can we say that there have been enough invasions?  i understand that all of these activities are suggested with my best interests in mind and that essentially i make the decision to be cut, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

suggestions don’t always feel like suggestions.