Aesthetica Magazine Issue 79

October / November 2017

It’s hard to grasp the state of world. Whether it is North Korea, devastating hurricanes and terrorism or Brexit, populism and Trump, it feels as if we’re moving at 1,000 miles per hour but just about to run out of petrol. Last year “post-truth” was branded the word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. There is a macro level of world events, which operates on such a vast scale, it seems beyond our control and this creates a sensation of powerlessness. However, there is the micro level, and this unfolds with the individual. Desensitisation is the new normal and the realities of internet culture have damaged humanity. The consistent question remains: where do we go from here?

This issue looks at practitioners who are responding to the current global situation in intelligent and meaningful ways. Foto / industria in Bologna takes the relationship between humans and the environment to a new level. Featuring Arctic landscapes to suburban settings, this festival highlights the impact we are having on the planet. A+ Architecture: The Best of Architizer 2017 showcases the best projects of the past 12 months. It cannot be underestimated that architects currently have a huge role to play in adopting sustainable methods but also in developing a co-existence between the natural and the built world that is more harmonious. Firecrackers takes females photographers as its starting point. How are women moving forward in this form and what are the reasons for so many female photographers in recent years?

In photography, Eric Dufour harnesses architectural forms to make sculpture. Hayley Eichenbaum captures the beauty and timelessness of Americana. Metz + Racine and Kelsey McClellan use food as objects in what would be mundane moments; this is exactly what makes them imaginative and extraordinary. Kovi Konowiecki and Benoit Paillé take subtle images that are flooding with meaning, drawing out narratives of things that could or might have been. Our cover photographer Elise Mesner defies categorisation with a pop aesthetic. Finally, Alec Soth talks about the photograph as possibility.

Idealistic Surroundings

With a keen attention to textural detail, Elise Mesner finds unexpected dimensions and translates everyday scenery into a halcyon summer.

Vibrant Anonymity

Eric Dufour’s practice is based upon the desire to evoke a variety of emotions and concepts through compositions devoid of unnecessary content.

Illusory Enterprise

The third edition of Foto / Industria biennial looks at the wider effects of industrialisation and global development through contemporary photographers.

Abstract Iconography

Over the past four years, Hayley Eichenbaum has documented the remnants of Route 66, resulting in the pop-coloured The Mother Road series.

Taking Responsibility

Combatting waste in the fashion world, Port Zienna label looks to the future through using sculptural minimalism and creating affordable craftsmanship.

Emotive Subjectivity

Images from Benoit Paillé’s (b. 1984) Visions series consider artifice and natural life in juxtaposition, creating a dialogue with the landscape.

Temporal Visualisation

Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack, reflects upon Kovi Konowiecki’s home town, documenting people and places that create a sense of belonging.

Cultural Translation

Michelle Maguire and Kelsey McClellan translate the act of dining and fast-food iconography of Americana into innovative and visually satisfying compositions.

Material Playgrounds

Metz + Racine specialise in still life photography and moving image. Fashion, interior design and fine art come together in an expansive mix of kinetic energy.

Collective Landscape

A new book from Phaidon highlights contemporary structural theory through celebrated buildings that make use of space as a social connective.

Complex Perspective

A new anthology, edited by Fiona Rogers and Max Houghton, champions the works of emerging female photographers and offers unforeseen points of view.