Take my eye off Anathema, and this happens:

It’s pulpy and narrative-driven, of course, but that surely has its place. Even within its limitations it helps to hold open the question — from which I’m far too easily distracted — what would an NRx aesthetic be? The thematic reflexivity is a part of that.

To be brutally frank, I’ve basically given up on the West as a source of continuing visual aesthetic achievement (symptom). Its global influence strikes me as radically toxic, promoting worthless pomo garbage wherever it gets its foot in the door, and whenever it tries to pull-out of its death spiral — to become neo-traditional — it sticks Roman columns everywhere and looks simply ridiculous. The last person who could get away with anything like that was de Chirico. Probably fascism wrecked it, as it did so many other things. Grumpiness aside, the importance of the discussion is undeniable. The consolidation which matters most takes place on the aesthetic plane.

ADDED: Huge twitter agitation about this, so I’m tacking it on, even though the connection is tenuous at best.

December 13, 2014admin 25 Comments »

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25 Responses to this entry

  • Cyber-Suicide | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 9:01 am Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    what would an NRx aesthetic be?

    Obviously decopunk.


    admin Reply:

    ‘Obviously’ to me, too (as you notice).


    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 10:24 am Reply | Quote
  • Manticore Says:

    They’re not fat enough to be believable. Otherwise, based.


    VXXC Reply:

    Based means solid ground or a good guy, good trustworthy person…in this case solid..right?


    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 2:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hattori Says:

    Well it cant just be Cyberpunk can it? It needs another twist.

    Despite this blog’s bias against the throne and altar, pre 20th century aesthetics, they can be quite powerful. Championing traditional Art is the most reactionary position one can take in academia, it’s a don’t fix what isn’t broken approach by refusing to absorb any modernist invention. It results in things like the Art Renewal Center
    Much like HBD, traditional art is forced to be political only to fight for it’s right to survive. It might reek of passive conservatism but reactionaries naturally gravitate around it for some reason. What’s a modern sculpture next to a Rembrandt?

    I wouldn’t know how these two aesthetic sensibilities can be reconciled. They probably cant, much like the different factions of NRx appear not to. You either think of roman columns or futuristic cities with people hooked to VR devices. You can think of futuristic cities with roman columns and gigantic gothic cathedrals I suppose, sounds an awful lot like the warhammer 40k illustrations.


    admin Reply:

    The Anathema site bears out your conclusions starkly. (Kitsch antiquarianism squashed up against Bladerunner cityscapes.)


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    There’s a way to combine them (such is the meaning of ‘synthetic’ or ‘synthesis’) but it’s a work of art and not of social! action! for! the! good! of! the! white! race!

    Ergo why Neoreaction can succeed where reaction has failed in this. Evola and Bowden would approve (both were involved in some avant garde art in their time.)


    Hattori Reply:

    Yeah of course.
    The appeal of trad Art is also that it emanates a pre-modern social order even in it’s very creation– The Master apprentice relation, the emphasis on craftsmanship as opposed to novelty, reverence for the old masters, a sense of continuity as opposed to constant revolution. To any natural born reactionary this is automatically attractive.
    If you even go back to before the renaissance, artists become mostly anonymous craftsman, many in service of the priestly class.

    I remember a video where Bowden says Europeans must not ignore modernism but steer it in this direction. Is that the path for a neoreactionary art? How would this avoid coming back full circle to fascist art?

    Whatever it could be you are definitely right, it must be a work of art above all else, by skilled artists, and not propagandizing.

    Roi Reply:

    I find this to be a pretty successful example of reconciliation. Even though I suspect most real traditionalists would oppose to the scale, it at least gives the sense that esthethic tradition is sacred

    soapjackal Reply:

    The relationship between technology and art need to be reconsidered. Its not just that the old art is most times better but it was reliant on much more rigorous standards than modern artwork. No need for deconstruction. Pragmatism, symbolism, and aesthetics should probably get together at one point.

    The generative approach is often the hardest but I see that it is the only way to reconcile walking forward while looking backwards.


    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 3:29 pm Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    I’m with you on despising the set of aesthetic renovations of the Romanesque sort. It’s wearisome hearing of Speer as the alternative to La Corbusier as though both aren’t suffering from the same malady, but in an opposite way. I’ve always recommended Christopher Alexander’s Nature of Order (I have yet to read A Pattern Language, it is more practical for architecture) as a place to start for understanding any kind of neo-traditional approach to aesthetics that is darkly enlightened (i.e. that can rescue beauty from the clutches of dull ape scientists.)

    As for the modernists, I’m with some others on liking art deco; art deco seems to have merely streamlined and refined traditional forms using new technology. It does fall into abstraction at times, though.

    I don’t know that we will get a single nrx aesthetic however, I would call the aesthetic of the poetry blog ‘a litany of veils’.


    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 3:49 pm Reply | Quote
  • Izak Says:

    Read Hard Boiled by Frank Miller, illustrated by Geoff Darrow.


    Izak Reply:

    Some pics that suggest a clear line of influence to the cyber-suicide picture:×1024.jpg×1024.jpg×679.jpg

    Look at all the shameless product placement.


    Mr. Archenemy Reply:

    I believe Darrow did a lot of the design in the first Matrix film.


    Izak Reply:

    I had no idea, thanks!

    Posted on December 13th, 2014 at 10:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • nydwracu Says:

    whenever it tries to pull-out of its death spiral — to become neo-traditional — it sticks Roman columns everywhere and looks simply ridiculous.

    Ah, so you’ve been to DC?

    The question of aesthetics is an important one, and it can’t help that the question of internet aesthetics in general is being answered by the insertion of progressivism into Geocities nostalgia.

    But it can’t be answered in any way but action.

    (I wish I had the time to act. I’ve been fucking around with intentionally-illegible Roman cursive calligraphy lately, but nothing beyond scratches in the margin yet, nor for another few months. Should sit down and learn how to actually art someday.)


    nydwracu Reply:

    …but it occurs to me that you may be looking in the wrong places.

    The art world is dead, but that doesn’t mean art is dead. When poetry became purely written, some people who weren’t poets came along and invented rap. Hopefully the correction process will hurry up, and this time not get sucked into the sort of phyle-loading that can only hold it back.


    Posted on December 14th, 2014 at 3:42 am Reply | Quote
  • birguslatro Says:

    Christopher Alexander is God, read A Pattern Language


    Posted on December 14th, 2014 at 11:07 am Reply | Quote
  • soapjackal Says:

    ” what would an NRx aesthetic be?” a question that requires a generative approach not a scavenging reflex.

    Although scavenging is what I’m good at.

    Whoever said decopunk has my thanks. Tear apart the old for the benefit of the new. At least its something other than steampunk.


    Posted on December 14th, 2014 at 11:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Roi Says:

    Some of you might like this tumblr. No traditionalism at all, but quite appealing none the less. A lot of the abstract stuff strike me as “organic”.


    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Need to work with understanding that true art is simply representation – what is valued is abstracted only inasmuch as is required to produce the desired representation of it. Christopher Alexander’s notion of ‘coherence’ is the correct gauge for comprehending why (questions of ‘value resonance’ aside) some art works and other work does not. It is very interesting, but Matisse is well rated while Picasso and others (later work of course) get butchered.

    I can only think that the obsession with abstraction was a kind of monkish attempt to ‘renounce the world’ (misguided in this case) and detach art from ‘worldly concerns’, i.e., representation. Get to the pure thing! But the pure thing IS simply representation; ergo you end up with art without art. Rap survives this problem by basically being (setting aside the underclass value resonance) the raw form of poetry: an imitation of a form of drama: a fight with words, the bragging of a warrior, or the telling of a tale.

    It seems to me that graphic novels certainly are not moribund, though they are far too ‘representational’ to ever be considered fine art by the high end, and they often concern themselves more with pandering (usually titillation) than is proper for really steadfast works of fine art. I do not, however, think they have the time left to mature. It will have to be carried over, so to speak.


    Posted on December 14th, 2014 at 2:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • Lesser Bull Says:

    Somewhat lifeless neotraditionalism is what comes next. The second religiosity isn’t just about religion. Like John Reilly put, ‘imagine an endless Gothic revival.’ Admin’s hope that we can consciously make up a new and vital art form is part of what makes him so endearing and, basically, a leftist.


    Posted on December 15th, 2014 at 3:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Porphy's Attorney Says:

    “To be brutally frank, I’ve basically given up on the West as a source of continuing visual aesthetic achievement (symptom). Its global influence strikes me as radically toxic, promoting worthless pomo garbage wherever it gets its foot in the door…”

    This is the stumbling block and stumper for me: if the non- West is less corrupted, how come the most pernicious visions of the West make such headway?

    Because it seems to me that almost anywhere and everywhere, it does: the most wretched aesthetics of the west carry the day to the point that rap (for example) is uttered in almost every language in the world.

    Where does this not carry the day? People can point to a few places where some Canute, through deliberate and active suppression, uses the powers of coercion to the best of his ability to hold back the tide of sewage.

    And yes, from an NRx PoV that shows what a dynamic ruler can do with the power of the state. But from a reactionary PoV beyond that, it is (or at least should be) deeply disturbing to the point of requiring much more analysis than it has been given (usually the analysis runs to the deep depths of “well, masses everywhere suck, so they need the goad” – Thanks for that on the spot report, Les. Your parting gift is a smack in the back of the head).

    So there seems to be a problem with “vital cultures” everywhere that makes them vulnerable to this kind of corrosive influence. (And corrosive it certainly is). And if any “vital culture unaffected by it” is only due to the active force of some Canute, then it is in a sense artificial – not an aesthetic *culture* or civilization as such, but one that will waver and succumb when that grip slackens, and fall prey to this (and this is what people will listen to and look at out of sight of the forceful hand; so it becomes a kind of Potemkin for people like us to admire from afar, while in the homes of people living in the places we point to as examples artistic vitality, people are actually listening too and looking at western swill with a local twist/voice – Gagnam style).


    Posted on December 17th, 2014 at 3:53 pm Reply | Quote

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