Wednesday, April 14, 2010

unearthing everyday urban life

To be able to pay close attention to and at the very same time to be critical of everyday urban life we need an adequate approach. Aesthetics is such an approach. Aesthetics should here not be understood as a prescriptive theory of what beauty is or should be, but, on the other hand, as descriptive. And this should be understood in two ways: describing the forms everyday urban life takes, and because these forms escape conventional research methods we need to develop forms to describe the forms of everyday urban life. Aesthetics is then a way to register what remains so far unregistered so that we come to acknowledge the extraordinary in the ordinary, the nontrivial in the trivial. It is therefore no surprise that the everyday urban life has so far best been described by novelists; Pamuk's Istanbul is a good example.

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