What is an aesthetic?

According to Merriam-Webster, it is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty.

My personal aesthetic feeling that I have discovered over the course of this project is that of structure. It is in some way a part of all art, beauty and even taste. A definition of structure is the aggregate of elements of an entity in their relationships to each other. Not all beautiful things have structure, but all things with structure can be beautiful. As it is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Most structure is not created in an instant. Even in the most instantaneous occurrences, there is some precursory action that leads to this instant- conceptualizing, planning, structure– and that ensues over time.

I feel as though structure is the underlying aesthetic of my blog because of the terms I have repeatedly used and the emblems and analogies that I have chosen. Only in reflection and revision of my entire blog have I realized this motif.

To start with Lightness, the emblem I have chosen is a feather. Without structure, the feather would not be of any use to the animal to which it belongs. The rigid stem is integral to the functionality of the feather and as such, the extending fibers have something on which to depend for support and therefore also provide protection and flight ability.

For Quickness, I chose the internet as an emblem and roller coasters as an analogy. Both of these imply and necessitate structure, for without it they would not function. The internet, short originally for network, is just that- a network of servers and millions of pieces of information. It is the worldwide connector, a portal to endless information. Without structure, the internet would not be possible. It requires immense organization and security so that users can find functionality as well as safety in their employment of it. Structure is just as integral, if not more so, to roller coasters. Because people’s lives are literally at stake, the structural integrity of a roller coaster is of utmost importance. There has to be support and physical balance to ensure the success of the ride and the safety of the riders.

The examples I chose for Exactitude also imply and necessitate structure: a Rubik’s cube and the process of chemistry. A Rubik’s cube is essentially nothing but structure. It is a series of cubes, 27 to be exact, that one must manipulate but only on the X and Y axis and in no other direction. It is a purely geometric figure and as such is symbolic of structure and its purposes. There is also structure in chemistry, with the fusion and fission of particles, the atomic structure that elements maintain, as well as in the processes of chemistry such as creating new drugs, chemicals and substances. Without structure or organization, serious problems could occur and harmful results can ensue.

The rainbow I chose as an emblem for Visibility is a fourth example of structure. Although a rainbow is not a physically tangible item, there is structure in the prisms of light that we perceive to be able to see the rainbow. If there were not structured water molecules and light beams in the air interacting in a specific way, the “structure” would not exist.

Finally, for Multiplicity I used the examples of a bee hive for an emblem, and color guard as an analogy. Like the others, structure is pertinent and an inherent factor to their functionality. A bee hive is the home base for its bees who are working collectively for the common goal of pollination and honey-making. The honeycomb is a perfect example of structure in nature with its geometric shapes and sound construction. Color guard also requires a great deal of structure and organization because of the chaotic nature of the members’ movement in various directions all over the floor. If there was not specific structure and instruction on where to move and how, dangerous collisions would result and the artistic nature of the sport would not be achieved.

All of these examples illustrate some characteristic of art or beauty or both. From their uses of color to architecture and pattern, they appeal to they varying and vast tastes of all audiences.

The emblem I have chosen to represent my aesthetic is a clock, and therein more specifically, time. Time is the essence of all being. Without time, there is no existence. It is the driving force behind life, behind the evolution of society and therefore all that is within society. Time is all-inclusive. In time, we learn. In time, we create. In time, there is destruction. In time, there is beauty. In time, there is love.

The motto I have chosen for my aesthetic is Tempus vincit omnia.

This motto, meaning “Time conquers everything” is not just interpreted in terms of the passing of time. I feel as though this is a perfect motto to complement my emblem of time because it implies and therefore supports my aesthetic of structure. The act of conquering something entails overcoming an entity or force- a structure- be it physical, emotional, psychological, etc.

Furthermore, on a sense-based, aesthetic level, I have been careful to select a particular clock that represents my aesthetic and motto in every way. The clock image itself suggests structure in its composition and purpose because of the beams that surround it, while the motto ties everything together in an aesthetically and philosophically pleasing unit.

Not only have I chosen structure as my aesthetic because of its physical implications to my emblems and analogies, but also because structure is something that I have a great appreciation and need for in my own personal life. I am a very detail oriented person, as well as a person who likes to plan and think ahead- by use of time- and if there is no structure to which I can apply my plans and thoughts I feel lost and frustrated.

As an example, the first few weeks of every semester are the most difficult for me, not because of the work load of classes, but because I have to establish a new daily routine and process- a new structure.  For at least two weeks I feel as though I am struggling to keep up or stay motivated because the structure of my life from the previous semester has changed.

For reasons such as this and to overcome all other obstacles or create structure in my life, I can turn to my the sum of my aesthetic, my motto, tempus vincit omnia, time conquers all.


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