Rahel Aima has a new essay on the New Aesthetic, and I really enjoyed it. Not least because it quotes me. As my mom said: “Remember when you quoted other people in your own essays?” Well yes, of course I do. Mostly because I still do it. But it’s a nice feeling nontheless. It means that my rants occasionally make sense to other people.
Aima’s whole essay is great, but here’s my favourite part:
Advances in longevity technologies have cemented mainstream beauty’s synonymity with a quest for eternal youth. As the patriarchal male gaze becomes subsumed by the gaze and vision of machines, it’s worth considering how our own self-curatorial practices might change. Will women swap silicon implants for silicon computer chips that regulate collagen production, for example? Rather than dress with other people in mind, will we begin to dress for machines, for the things that penetratingly scan and photograph us, inside and out? Every day a red-carpet day?
Consider Mulvey’s much quoted statement, “the destruction of pleasure is a radical weapon,” and remember the legendarily ugly bartender of William Gibson’s Neuromancer: “In an age of affordable beauty, there was something heraldic about his lack of it.” Even today, there is a similarly fetishized kind of antiglamour — chipped nails, mussed hair, unkempt eyebrows, visible body hair. Tomorrow, this anti-grooming just might translate to a new subculture of visual resistance: to a lack of conspicuous cyborgification, and a willingness to age disgracefully, wrinkles and all.
That is some futurism I can get down with.