Aesthetics and Environmental Dereliction The Ambiguous Sublimity of Destroyed Environments

Zoltan Somhegyi
Destroyed natural environments and derelict urban and industrial sites may all evoke an ambiguously disturbing sublimity. Landscapes that are devastated through heavy industrial activity or seriously altered due to climate change as well as decaying urban and industrial sites can all lead to challenging our notion of aesthetic experience. Both these types of decay, i.e. the ones concerning the natural environment and urban and industrial areas, are shown in artworks such as photographs,
more » ... s, and (multimedia) installations. This is of course in line with the historical origins of the subject-matter. However, while explorers enjoy physically visiting areas of urban and industrial decay, only very few of them would go to a large-scale devastated area such as an oil field, an open-cast mine or a poisonously flooded area to experience it physically (Kover 2014). How can we account for these different attitudes?
doi:10.13134/978-80-555-2778-9/3 fatcat:hhk3iirocbh6zmkwnbtj5vfzxy