Towards an Empirical Aesthetics Which Also Works for Machines: A Survey of the Recyclability of Existing Theories
Asian product and interface design arguably owes its stunning success to the lack of Western tradition of separating aesthetic considerations and functionalist modes of thinking about objects, humans, and goals. A conception of history and human existence as cyclical, ecological, and balance-oriented may be linked to the development of beautiful and functional design. Japan’s late and eclectic adoption and translation of the global industrial revolution, especially as inscribed in language, make Japanese product design and theory an ideal viewpoint from which to correct Eurocentric distortions.
Based on the premise that explanation is translation, Cotten will develop an overtly and consciously circular method of surveying existing aesthetic theories and terminologies for their recyclability––with the ultimate goal of formulating a non-humanist empirical aesthetics that will help artificial intelligences and self-learning software understand humans’ functional relation to beauty and elegance.
Ann Cotten studied German literature at the University of Vienna and the Humboldt University of Berlin, finishing with a book on the use of lists in concrete poetry. Since then she has been working in primary literature, using different genres and unclassified ways of writing. Her books have won numerous prizes. Cotten’s bilingual background (USA, Austria) is being augmented by an ongoing study of the Japanese language. Her areas of interest are regional differences in global histories of the mind; language as a system, amplification, and distortion; side effects of and intercultural differences in aesthetics, philosophy, and artificial intelligence. Recent translations include Nirvana, Liesl Ujvary, Isabel Waidner, Rosmarie Waldrop und Joe Wenderoth. In 2020 she held the DAAD Distinguished Chair in Contemporary Poetics in the Department of German at New York University.
Publikationen (u. a.): (Hg.), Literatur von Nicht-Muttersprachlern. Eine reflektierende Sammlung (= Triëdere#21) (2020); gem. mit Daniel Falb, Hendrik Jackson, Steffen Popp, Monika Rinck (Hg.), Helm aus Phlox. Zur Theorie des schlechtesten Werkzeugs, Berlin 2011, S. 336; Nach der Welt. Die Listen der Konkreten Poesie und ihre Folgen, Wien 2008, S. 224.
Selected Publications: Lyophilia, Berlin: Suhrkamp 2019; Jikiketsugaki.Tsurezuregusa, Verlag Peter Engstler 2018; Lather in Heaven, Berlin: Broken Dimanche Press 2016.