Does The Aesthetic Of The Sublime Exist In Our Culture Today, In Architecture Or Other Media







Architecture’s function and role have been altered by an increasingly aestheticized society. The contemporary aesthetic paradigm ought to be understood with regard to an interactive culture. The contemporary culture is an interactive culture whereby, the spectacle has replaced sociality. This modern paradigm would be associated with the city as a historical milieu that has introduced and spread the practical experience of sociability (Baudrillard 200).

Does The Aesthetic Of The Sublime Exist In Our Culture Today, In Architecture Or Other Media?

In regard to idealist aesthetics, sublime is interpreted as an increasingly violent, instantaneous, and powerful style of beauty. It literally signifies loftiness, or height. It is regarded as a reinforcement of the theory of elevation, linked with the emotionally inspiring, the exaggerated, or heroic. The sublime discourse is expressed in metaphorical language, eruptive volcanoes, mountainous peaks, mean icebergs or related spectacular natural phenomenon. This discourse has embraced monumentalism with undertones that are moralizing (Lebbeus 105).

The sublime has been interpreted in other diverse ways. Derived from an old-fashioned tract of expression, the phrase was introduced into the embryonic aesthetic discourse. In its original text, the sublime, or hypsous in Greek, meant the unpredictable and expressive turns of discourse. A linguistic skill not intended at compelling but at stimulating the active, open, and, relational state of passion. The sublime as an imperative characteristic of orally executed aesthetics, it designates the exaggerated, hyperbolic, or elevated. It also designates the less grandiose and transient stylistic figures of gradual intensification or amplification, such as rings of water that reinforce the moving and outreaching effect. It is also as outreaching and expressive stroke that the sublime re-enters into the aesthetic discourse. The Centre Beaubourg was the first turn towards the sublime. This is a synthesis in architecture of full aestheticization, and a singular, historical experience, entirely opposed to contemporary symbolic orders (Baudrillard 201).

With the exception of this turn in the direction of the sublime, a different redirection of aesthetics can be distinguished. Aesthetics is construes the hyper-real as a dynamic sphere, a sphere whereby signs and representations are understood predominantly as plastic entities. Signs and representations in aesthetics are also construed as substance for figurative agency, as something performed instead of pre-formed. Therefore, aesthetics opens up as the regime of such workings and performances. It also turns out as a regime that deals with the incessant torrent of micro-events that convey diverse things, phenomenon, and people jointly in co-existence. The contemporary aesthetics of the performative depict a modest kind, in contrast with the aesthetics of the sublime, which intrepidly focuses on the dissensual, and un-cultural. The critique of idealism in the aesthetics of the sublime is unobtrusive. In contemporary culture, it neither declares to provide emancipating differences, nor to change the world. Rather, it builds on the un-remarkable reorganization of those images and objects that make up the common surrounding in its current form. This is referred to as “faire-avec”, meaning an incessant creation of micro-situations that in regardless of all bear the potential of transforming relations and postures (Lebbeus 110).


There is in contemporary urbanist practice and architecture an ambiguous linkage to aesthetics in most cases as well as to the fundamental process of aestheticization particularly. Nevertheless, there is a confirmatory stance, a rather across-the-board embracement in regard to aestheticization. This provides a new responsibility for spatial practitioners as the decisive agent of brand. As demonstrated through the transgressive theory of the sublime, and through humble and unpretentious interference, aestheticization ought to be understood as a political and relational process, an expressive inquiry into of all varieties of supremacy.

Works Cited

Baudrillard, J. ‘The Singular Object of Architecture, Minneapolis,’ Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. Print.

Lebbeus, N. ‘Architecture as a Political Act’, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002. Print.

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