The Shock of Refinement: Reaestheticizing Life Through a New Technology of Consciousness


Session Title:

  • Digital Aesthetics

Presentation Title:

  • The Shock of Refinement: Reaestheticizing Life Through a New Technology of Consciousness



  • The word “refinement” evokes terror or fear of an Imperialist language game setting arbitrary rules based on elitist ideas of taste. But “refinement” can be defined as a condition of mind and nervous system. It involves the ability to appreciate “deeper” values, where “depth” is as an expansion toward infinity, and “values” are components or shades of experience in that expansion. While the world-wide convergence of digital media has been discussed by some as transforming consciousness, we would argue that the current development of digital media is not truly revolutionary (in the “developed” and “non-developed world”) unless utilized by individuals who have experienced a transformation on the level of knowledge and consciousness. Since consciousness is here understood as a universal field of all possibilities, the source of individual and social con-sciousness, the socially constructed self is a part of a set of circumstances structured by consciousness. Activating the universal level of consciousness by means of an appropriate technology, anything can be changed, transformed, reaestheticized. We would argue that the electronic revolution is indicative of, and parallel to, a quiet revolution of knowledge occurring by virtue of a new subjective technology, the Transcendental Meditation-Sidhi program. The effect of the practice of this technology has created an era where new digital media can begin to express transformative modes of awareness, a completely new concept of knowledge and aesthetics, and a possible new sense of self beyond that articulated by Donald Kuspit earlier this decade.