Notes on asethetic experience in place and memory

"He decorated scenes of his death with images of this world - images which surged up within him but which distance, already detaching him from them, turned into something hazy and beautiful; and this deathbed scene, long premeditated but endlessly embellished and renewed with ardent melancholy, was like a work of art."

- Proust, The Death of Baldassare Silvande Viscount of Sylvania


Aesthetic experience is a judgement about how you feel about an object, a cognitive emotion. We make the judgement because we can't see all the aspects at once. We understand the relationship between all the aspects of a place or a work of art, and we can understand that to be beautiful...
The emotions we feel about place are very much like aesthetic emotions. For example in Proust when Baldassare remembers things or people, he remembers them as a unified whole - there is something beautiful about that/them that he longs for or misses. The reason we feel like this about places and likewise about art, is that our brains aren't set up to take all the information in at once. Instead we think, 'There's something there that I can't grasp, but it's there and it's really important.'

- Taken from Russell Epstein's comments at a discussion on psychogeography.

This is why we feel 'drawn' to places and are seduced by memories.

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