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Aesthetica Magazine Issue 88 (Digital Download)

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April / May 2019

It is an extraordinary moment in time. We are dealing with the disruptive impact of politics and the influence of new technologies on our lives. Together, they have created an undertow, which is so powerful that many of us are swept away by it. We have everything, but fundamentally we’ve lost something. I know all generations recall the past through rose tinted glasses, but I feel that we’re standing on the cliff’s edge. Right now, we are experiencing human evolution. By this, I don't mean we're about to grow new limbs, but we are emotionally changing. Social norms are different than they were 10 and even 20 years ago. I am different.

This issue is a celebration of the human spirit. It provides a moment of hope amongst the chaos of the everyday world. Desert X is an innovative biennial in the tradition of American Land Art. It brings the movement into the 21st century with antisocial robots and a film installation that recalls the very first site of mass oil discovery. It’s a piece that demands your attention and asks you to reflect upon the effects of fossil fuels and the imperative need for change. We can no longer talk about these things; we must act. This year’s Diffusion Festival in Cardiff uses the theme of Sound + Vision to explore national identity, asking key questions about what "home" really means. This resonates with me because I am not British-born, but have spent 17 years living in the UK. These years comprise my entire adult life and I think constantly about what this signifies. Meanwhile, a new publication entitled New Architecture Los Angeles surveys the impact of LA’s experimental design, looking at how sustainable projects are leading a global architectural zeitgeist. We also highlight this year's Salone del Mobile, considering projects from cutting-edge lighting brands.

In photography we soak up the vast range of styles on the circuit today. From structural and documentary, to fine art, conceptual and fashion, we look at a myriad of ideas and genres. LM Chabot, Michael McCluskey, Christophe Barneau, Massimo Colonna, Charlotte Lapalus, Tropico Photo and Nadine Rovner are amongst the names that present new possibilities for image-making. They will ignite your creativity.