Philosophical Alternatives 4/2018

Issue editor: Prof. DSc Ivanka Stapova
CONTENTS & Abstracts &Keywords

Ivan Stefanov – Art as a Transient Phenomenon Abstract:
The article analyzes how and why an increasing number of works of art created today are meant to exist only for a short period of time. They have an aura of their own, a huge artistic energy and at some point they turn into socio-cultural or public events. Thus, this short-lived art achieves an undeniable aesthetic manifestation in the course of its predestined destruction. For this transient art, its early death signifies its eventual liberation from the dictatorship of the old and powerful tradition.
Keywords: Kant; Benjamin; Spengler; Mukarovsky; Christo; transient art; “eternal values”; aura; socio-cultural event; tradition.

Ognyan Kasabov – Isak Passy and His Anthropological Reading of German Metaphysical Aesthetics
The article commemorates the legacy of the Bulgarian philosopher and historian of aesthetics Isaac Passy. It particularly focuses on Passy's reading of Hegel's aesthetics, arguing that it is in line with a non-metaphysical understanding of Hegel's thought. For Passy, art, more than the self-articulation of “spirit”, is an actualization of the interests of humanity. Thus, Passy combated partisanship in philosophy during the period of “state socialism”, while at the same time defending art's social relevance and emancipatory potential.
Keywords: Isaac Passy; Hegel; Todor Pavlov; aesthetics; metaphysics; socialism; philosophical anthropology.

Vladimir N. Nikitin – Ontology of Beauty: from the Subjective to the Transcendental
The article studies the transcendental meaning of the phenomenon of Beauty, viewed as a genuine space of reflection for each individual. In the course of analysis, the genesis and meaning of Beauty is steadily revealed to the individual. The author emphasizes the natural relation between harmony and a vitality manifested as the ability of live systems to transform their functions. As a result, the capacity of a human being to accept and feel Beauty is directly connected to the level of his/her reflection and sensitivity.
Keywords: beauty; transcendental; reflection; sensitivity; flexibility; vitality

Lachezar Antonov – Technology as an Object of Aesthetic Experience (The Question of the Transition from Natural to Technological Sublime)
The article is devoted to the reconstruction of the major themes and research perspectives in theoretical discourse on the “technological sublime”. The text is based on the idea that, whereas within classical 18th-century aesthetics, the sublime was primarily connected with the experience of man's weakness, helplessness and insignificance before the power of Nature, only a century later the perspective was radically changed. At the heart of the change was the industrialization of modern societies, as a result of which the sublime was transferred to monumental engineering structures and complex technological facilities that, similar to natural forces, are capable of generating enthusiasm and anxiety, hope and fear, awe and astonishment. Keywords: technological sublime; natural sublime; 18th-century aesthetics; Industrial Revolution.

Pravda Spasova – On the Commercialization of Art
The article discusses commercialization as an essential characteristic of contemporary art, related not only to popular culture but also to so-called “high” art. The author looks for ways in which art can emancipate itself from its direct dependence on the market through networks of foundations that, while varying in their objectives and interests, are willing to finance art projects. Still, taking too much account of these sources of funding may likewise be a kind of commercialization.
Keywords: art; mass culture; market; commercialization; pop art.
Rubén Sánchez Muñoz, Cintia C. Robles Luján– Aesthetics and estimative in Ortega y Gasset: from neo-Kantianism to phenomenology
In this article, we focus on Ortega's aesthetic ideas and the very important place that his work on estimation from a phenomenological point of view occupies in his philosophy. We want to show how important phenomenology was for the understanding of art and aesthetics in the works of the philosopher of the School of Madrid, and how phenomenology allowed him to overcome neo-Kantianism (albeit he later stated he had abandoned phenomenology). For this purpose, we first focus on showing Ortega's interest in Zuloaga's art and the philosopher's failure to understand the Spanish painter's art from the viewpoint of neo-Kantian apriorism; secondly, we will see how Ortega overcomes neo-Kantianism through phenomenology and adopts the latter as a method that allows him to attain sincerity in dealing with things. Thirdly, taking as a starting point the ontology of value, we are going to focus on the description of being conscious of the aesthetic object and its estimation. Then we will give some indications about beauty; finally, we will indicate some general conclusions and some pending tasks, such as the need for a deeper study of art and the dehumanization of art.
Keywords: aesthetics; estimative; neo-Kantianism; phenomenology; conscience; intimacy; the executive Self.

Lazar Koprinarov – Genres of fear in the risk society
The article argues that archaization and aesthetic genres of fear are “legitimate children” of the risk society. The galloping technology of the risk society causes growing anxiety and pushes many people to seek revenge against fear. Horror films, vampire saga novels and movies, zombies and other horrifying creatures, are forms of an aestheticized virtual surmounting of fear.
Keywords: the risk society; acceleration; archaization; magical thinking; fear; аesthetics of fear.

Peter Tzanev – Art in the Age of Objects, or Why the Question “Who Sees Art?” is Like the Question “Who Sees Consciousness?”
The idea of art as a representation of the soul was followed by the idea of art as a representation of consciousness, which becomes a fundamental prototype of the infinite nature of the work of art. This is a process that began with Romanticism but found its ultimate expression in the invention of abstraction. The pursuit of higher forms of consciousness became the ultimate goal of modern art. The idea of “pure abstraction” and the invention of the “White Cube” institute are the ideal modern structures and spaces that represent the absolute models of consciousness. Historically, the greatest innovations in 20th-century art were related to the discovery of abstraction and the object. These two genres continue to dictate the development of art in the first two decades of the 21st century. The object became a main genre of Dadaism, Surrealism, New Realism, Neo-Dadaism, Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. The post-conceptual state of art is focused on the possibility of creating “objects” that can only be talked about at the level of art. The contemporary autonomy of art objects within the realm of objects not defined as art increasingly depends on their potential as objects. In object-oriented ontology, retaining the objects of art in the reality of the objects is associated with overcoming all possible connections – a phenomenon that this ontology defines as “withdrawal”. The main thesis of the article is that at present, we exist within the objects of art. Art is a tool which we cannot exit. Consciousness of art as an object is both a phenomenal experience and a hyperobject. The existence of art as a hyperobject means that it is impossible to reach its main ontological boundaries. Under the contemporary state of art as a hyperobject, we can only interact with fragments of art, and any understanding of its unified reality always remains speculative.
Keywords: representations of consciousness in art; object-oriented ontology; art as a hyperobject

Vyara Popova – Bogdan Alexandrov's Pareidolia through the Optic of Deleuze
The article discusses Plato's concept of eidos in its aspect of image, as the self-identical repetition of the same, and the casting away of the simulacrum as a non-identical semblance in gradation to difference. By drawing a parallel between Plato's eidos-image and the total image in Bogdan Alexandrov's works, and establishing an analogy between simulacrum and pareidolia, the author attempts to “read” the “Pareidolia” exposition through Deleuze's view of the identical (eidos) and difference (simulacrum).
Keywords: eidos; icon; idol; iconoclast – iconostasis; repeat = same = similar – image-idea X unlike similarity = Difference = simulation = pareidolia, anamnesis X paramnesis; philosophy of identity X philosophy of difference.
Sylvia Borissova – Are Silence and Taciturnity Possible as Aesthetic Phenomena?
The article strives to legitimize the cultural phenomenon of silence, and its subjective correlate taciturnity, as philosophical concepts possessing an immense axiological charge and, respectively, as full-valued aesthetic phenomena. The marginalization of the Western aesthetics of silence and taciturnity in the field of pure artistry and subjectivity – as a result of the dominant Christian discourse – , together with the increasingly persistent dissolving of the artistic sphere within the broader culture, and the de-aesthetization of art itself, lead to the diffusion of the topics of silence and the ineffable into modern cultural discourse; to asserting silence and taciturnity as a negativity that comes to preserve the value of human integrity beyond the fragments of life in the age of visual and information overload, speed and noise. It is precisely in this sense that contemporary art and culture use with increasing tendentiousness the aesthetics of silence and taciturnity as a shelter and rescue from the contemporary world.
Keywords: aesthetics of silence and taciturnity; negative aesthetics; axiology; aesthetic reflection; aesthetic asceticism; conceptualism; contemporary art.

Andrey Leshkov – Perfume as a Metaphor? (Notes on Süskind's Novel)
The article sets itself a twofold aim – on the one hand, to present Süskind's novel Das Parfum as an allegory of the Enlightenment, and on the other, to outline an aesthetic approach that would restore the rights of the so-called “lower” senses (e.g., smell and touch) in cultural distinction. In addition, it will be argued that Süskind's novel playfully refers to the tradition of early German Romanticism, especially with reference to authors like Heinrich von Kleist and E. T. A. Hoffmann. Finally, perfume will be recognized here as a metaphor that represents the possibility to provide appropriate expression of the modern aesthetic worldview.
Keywords: aesthetic; allegory; authorship; culture; Enlightenment; olfaction; perception; plagiarism; sight; smell; Süskind.

Petar Plamenov – The Salvation of Tranquility, or, On the Particular Aesthetic Meaning of This Category (Definitions, Boundaries, Modifications) Abstract: The study is centered on the question of aesthetical experience and one of its specific elements, tranquility. The question arises whether tranquility can be thought of conceptually as a category, and whether it can be conceived of in the purest aesthetic perspective or, to the contrary, will continue to be seen as ethical. Is tranquility an essential condition for the realization of the aesthetic experience or is it rather the essential purpose and meaning of that experience? How should we perceive tranquility – as an inherent quality of the work of art, as part of the aesthetic experience, or as a goal in the overall meaning of art ?! The category is considered in the persectives of both Western and Eastern aesthetics (examples of Haiku poetry). The analysis leads to a number of unexpected results.
Keywords: salvation; tranquility; quietness; serenity; aesthetics; aesthetic; aesthetic categories; ethics; postmodernism; postmodern situation; consumerism; alternative; art; creativity; artist; creator; audience; meaning; meaninglessness; accidentality; silence; emptiness; non-classical aesthetics; Eastern aesthetics; classical aesthetics; East-West.
Ivanka Stapova – The Whisper of the Mirror in the Fantastic World of Bulgarian Diabolism
The article is focused on the metaphorical nature of the mirror, and its presence as a demonized object in some short stories by Bulgarian diabolists.
Keywords: Bulgarian diabolism; the double; mirror image; mirror double; self-identification; Vladimir Polyanov; Svetoslav Minkov

Galin Penev – The Eidetic Roots of Phantasmata (φαντάσματα) and the Fantastic Name (in terms of Losev)
The article discusses the fantastic in terms of Losev's eidetic dialectics. The term is closely related to Losev's philosophy of name and the dialectics of myth in the perspective of which the fantastic is situated. The Platonic notion of phantasmata provides an eidetic commitment to the fantastic name. The author sees the eidetic field of study as a location where positive sciences and fiction come face to face.
Keywords: philosophy of name; Losev; fantastic; symbol; image; science fiction.

Silvia Petrova – The Fantastic in the New Media
The text discusses the interaction and blurring of boundaries between the real and the fantastic, resulting from the entry into our daily existence of the technology of augmented reality. Augmented-reality mobile apps may transform the world into a playfield, but this easy access to fairy tale narratives is always accompanied by the banality of everyday life. In this context, the article examines the new perception of the body as both real and virtual, as a hybrid between human and machine, and as tangible and elusive.
Keywords: augmented reality; new media; fantastic; popular culture; social media; body.
Ivan Popov – What Do We Mean When We Speak of an “Individual Artistic Style”?
The paper explores the linguistic behavior of the aesthetic predicates that describe the stylistic properties of artworks. It concludes that the reference to an author's individual style has to be distinguished from other variants of stylistic predication. One main implication of this analysis is a critique of the “death of the author”, a notion that has been very influential in literary theory since the 1960s.
Keywords: authorship; artistic style; aesthetic predication; “the death of the author”

Ivan Kolev – Architecture and Habitation. On the Phenomenology of Principles
The text is a fragment of a philosophy of architecture and attempts to link metaphysics to human existence, philosophy of art, and the phenomenology of human habitation. Architecture is seen as an art that builds topoi for habitation.
Keywords: architecture; architectonics; topology; atmosphere; column; arch; dome; house.

Snezhanka Stoyanova – The Role of the Art Therapist in the Artistic-Creative Process
The article is focused on the topic of art therapy. Basic artistic principles are clarified, viewed as a psychotherapeutic method applied to the upbringing and education of children and adults. The article indicates the role and qualities of the art therapist in the tripartite process occurring between the participant in the art therapy session, the art therapist and the visual image. The stages of art therapy are described. Examples of the practice of “modeling myself” art therapy are presented.
Keywords: art therapy; art pedagogy; tripartite process; “burnout”.
Ema Angelova – The Hands of the Madonnas in the Works of Vladimir Dimitrov- Maystora
The article discusses the artistic depiction of the human hand in painting; specifically, in Vladimir Dimitrov- Maystora's portraits of rural madonnas. The author starts by retracing how the hand was perceived in primitive art, mythology and religion, and continues with a discussion of its function and depiction in Renaissance art. The author points out the role of Maystora in the interpretation of world art traditions in the context of Bulgarian pictorial art. The deep connection between the aesthetical and the ethical in the painter's views and works is revealed.
Keywords: Vladimir Dimitrov-Maystora; painting; hand; portrait; national art.
Silvia Borisova – Àaisthetikos 2018: The 90th Anniversary of the Birth of Isak Passy
Lachezar Antonov – Secularization, the Balkans and the Idea of the “Two Europes”