Ben Highmore

Bits and pieces:

Taste is an orchestration of the sensible, a way of ordering and demeaning, of giving value and taking it away. On one level it seems to occupy a thin level of culture (the preoccupation of snobs, gourmands, and the like); on another it will seem as the very basis of culture, not simply its system of values but the way that set of values gets under your skin and into your bones. While it might seem an overstatement to suggest that groups might go to war over taste disputes, it is hard to imagine that what we term culture is not in the end (and endlessly) driven by the peculiar admix of affect, sensual perception, and bio-power that is instanced by taste. From one angle at least, social struggle is struggle through, in, and about taste. (193)

Yet the performance of the work and the performance of the life suggest something else: the transformation of ethos through experiments in living. Here politics is a form of experiential pedagogy, of constantly submitting your sensorium to new sensual worlds that sit uncomfortably within your ethos. There is hope here: social aesthetics points to the mutability and dynamism of ethos and habitus, as well as their conservatism. (207)

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