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On the Arts: A Three Month Review
And a Thank You to Subscribers
It’s been about three months since I first launched On the Arts, so it seemed like an opportune time to reflect on what I’ve written – and to share older content with new subscribers.
It’s also a good time to say thank you for subscribing! If you find On the Arts interesting, please consider sharing it with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Below is a list of every article published on the site since launch. As you can tell, we’ve covered a wide variety of topics, from mosques to wind turbines.
Plastic palm trees and inflatable pineapples – Just where did all those gimmicky plastic bananas and piña coladas come from? An interview with Max Ryynänen on the “tropical kitsch.”
Gore Vidal Was Everywhere and Now He Is Nowhere – When he was alive, Gore Vidal was one of the best-known writers in America. Today, a mere decade after his death, most have forgotten his work. What happened?
Modern Culture is Too Escapist: Part 1 – In this first part of a three-part series, I argue that the arts today are too focused on escaping the world, rather than enhancing it.
The Necrologs of Bulgaria – What is the best way to remember the dead? In Bulgaria, they put up small posters called “necrologs.”
The Paradox of the Garden of Eden – The Garden of Eden is, paradoxically, not actually a garden. An interview with Professor David Fenner.
The Sea Has Always Looked the Same – Stand on an empty beach and cover your entire vision with the water. The image you’ll see is almost exactly what people saw thousands of years ago.
Istanbul’s Blue Tile Paradise – Discussing the hidden mosque of Rüstem Pasha, which is covered in thousands of hand-painted tiles.
What Does Wabi-Sabi Really Mean? – Explaining an over-used and often misunderstood idea in Japanese culture.
From Gothic Invaders to Mall Goths – How an ancient Germanic tribe gave its name to a modern subculture.
How to Start Learning About Aesthetics – A guide to learning about aesthetics, the philosophical study of art, beauty, and the senses.
Are wind turbines ugly? Could they be beautiful? – How to make ugly things appear less ugly – or appear like something else entirely.
How Wittgenstein Watched Movies – After lectures, the philosopher would ask a friend, “Could you go to a flick?”
The “Scenic Route” in Google Maps – Taking the most beautiful path from A to B, not merely the quickest one.
Art Nouveau vs. Art Deco: What's the Difference? – Art Nouveau and Art Deco are often confused with each other. Learn how to tell the difference between the two.
What’s in store in the future? More and better, hopefully.
Interviews – I’m currently in the midst of interviewing 5 different artists/academics, so their interviews will be live on the site in the coming weeks.
Classic academic papers on aesthetics – In a similar vein, I plan on covering some of the most “classic” papers in aesthetics. For example, Plato, Schiller, Danto, and other works included in this book.
Original essays on artistic/aesthetic topics – I’ll also be publishing more of my “original” work. This is a bit more difficult than summarizing an art movement or exploring an author’s biography, but sharing my own ideas on the arts was and still is one of the main goals of On the Arts.
Paid memberships? – This is still months away, but I’ve begun to brainstorm what might be compelling enough to incentivize a paid membership. For now, I have two benefits in mind: paid members will be able to ask interviewees questions and receive a monthly roundup of interesting links pertaining to the arts. Any thoughts? What would make you become a paid member?
A podcast? Video interviews? – I’m not sure that the time is right yet for a podcast or video series, but it’s something I’ve started to explore. Would you listen to a podcast or watch a video series – or do you prefer reading? I’m a bit hesitant to jump into a podcast, but I think a well-crafted one might be worthwhile.
Other suggestions or comments? Feel free to reply to this email or post a comment on Substack.
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