A Disturbing Aesthetic Lexicon – The Brooklyn Rail

aesthetic: organization and orientation of desire and matter in/as body; formation and function of sense, of sensibility, of common sense.

away (of dictation, “she comes from afar”): elsewhere; somewhere else; beyond; a work of art is always a view of beyond Where without.

animated: Antonym of life; liveliness, applicable specifically to Asia/n: foreign; robotics; machinery; cyborgian; artificially intelligent; like a doll; cartoonish; monstrous; grotesque.

body: sp. Detritus, organization of matter into (see aesthetics).

traffic: as objects; material circulation, knowledge, discomforts and affections within individual, networked and planetary bodies.

clutter: we are always a crowd, even when it seems that we are singular, discreet, indigenous.

Culture: the limited sphere of appropriate content for Asian American art (my culture, your culture, their culture).

decomposition: the dis/organization of matter, materials, matter, into forms that shape and urge recognizability, knowledge, understanding, desire.

sickness: discomfort around certain bodies, environments, ideas, aggravated by fear of bodily infection (see Body).

dice/use (of dictation): the one who speaks, and whose speech causes disease.

[alt. crowdedness/decomposition]: “individuals” (images/objects) already substitute for (represent) the crowd, and are required to Get up for (represent) the crowd. The mob (aka “Asian horde”) is perpetually degenerate.

desire: driving, dissolving, determining, devastating.

tangle: the condition of being indiscreet, non-sovereign, irrevocably relational.

Illiberal human(ism): what and who we are standing for and accompanying aesthetics, rationalities, social formations, infrastructures, etc.

privacy: knowledge and experience through the scales of space and time, of the body and of being situated in the bulk and the thickness; dwell/stand within (art/text/object) – dissolution of the subject/object divide.

missing: a racialized correlation with Freud castration complex; not possessing or not having enough of those virtues signified by the term(s) American).

life—vividness (see too): in spite of, in spite of, inspiring.

mutual/ity (see entanglement): alternative way of conceiving the body; overcrowding; privacy; thickness.

thickness: the distance between opposite sides of something: Asia >; the density of time: ante-Asia >

too: —too Asian to be American; too American to be Asian; too ugly, too colorful, too busy, too cluttered, too patterned, too decorative, too cheerful, too self-effacing/feminine, too indulgent, too lighthearted, too unruly, too unknowable.

unfinished (see life—vivacity): missing; can never be complete or made whole.

in and unlike: defamiliarizing, disturbing, disidentifying.

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