VIRTUAL BEAUTY: Orlan and Morimura

L and B (Lier En Boog) 16:92-104 (2001)
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This essay offers some thoughts on the editors' (Annette w. Balkema and Henk Slager) project "Exploding Aesthetics" with the goal of extending aesthetics based on a specific type of artistic output. Both artists--Orlan and Morimura--have already expanded the normal parameters of artistic inquiry and the resulting critical discourse. As an aesthetician, I merely offer some elaboration and philosophical backdrop to their creative enterprise. They constitute the paradigm of the avant-garde artist extraordinaire leading us into the uncharted realm of cyberspace and offering us a provocative glimpse of virtual beauty in which artistic insight complements philosophical inquiry. Motivated by their creativity, this essay explores contrasting definitions of real and virtual beauty as well as suggest some reasons why these definitions may prove useful in stimulating discussions about art and the philosophy of art.
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