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Extra resources for Aesthetics and Hyper aesthetics. Rethinking the Senses in Contemporary Media Contexts

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There seems to be a definite lack of interest in such critique at the moment (possibly itself an indication of the concern with not falling behind). com, accessed 15/3/02. html, accessed 15/3/02.  Thus, vocational aptitude tests become constantly more important.  10.  82. 36 The present culture and rhetoric of intensity as performance has largely supplanted earlier discourses of stress in the workplace. Jolt’s hyping of the benefits of stimulation, conveniently eliding the less pleasant bits, is remarkably similar to the arguments advanced by critics of ‘stress’, who suggest optimistically (to put it kindly) that ‘stress’ should be embraced as opportunity.

More stimulation is invariably presented as desirable, to be embraced for the immediacy and excitement that allegedly come with it.  65­82. 40 IBM voice recognition advertisement (1996), The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 November.  9. 26 from boredom and dullness, whilst ‘stimulation’ is a central trope in the portrayal of contemporary media culture, particularly in terms of the senses. While this kind of appeal is generally not very challenging, theoretically speaking, often fetishising the commodity and the experience that allegedly follows a purchase, not to mention assuming an automaticity of response and affect, we start to see the possibility of other outcomes associated with hyperstimulation in the second and third advertisements, for Onkyo home theatre and Panasonic stereos respectively.

59 What this all points to is, I suggest, the ascendancy of hyper states at the present moment. An emergent ‘structure of feeling’ constituted by a cycle of intense stimulation and demand, hyper states have of late been accorded lifestyle characteristics, based largely on the repudiation of calm or more relaxed states. They are most often identified by the excessive quantities of stimulation involved – understood in terms of energies required or demanded – and the term’s links with hype and hyperactivity are not coincidental.

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Aesthetics and Hyper aesthetics. Rethinking the Senses in Contemporary Media Contexts by Melanie Swalwell


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