notes on The Aesthetics of Atmosphere

Notes on The Aesthetics of Atmospheres, Gernot Bohme, edited by thiebaut

What effects human beings in their environment are not just natural factors but also aesthetic ones

“atmosphere is what relates objective factors and constellations of the environment with my bodily feeling in that environment. This means: atmosphere is what is in between what mediates the two sides.

“If you don’t feel well in an environment, the reason might not be a toxic agent in the air but aesthetic impressions.”

“The first scientific use of the term atmosphere in this sense is to be found in Hubert Tellenbach’s book Geschmack und Atmosphare. This book, which actually deals with the sphere of the oral, uses the term in particular for the smell of the nest: atmosphere is what makes you feel at home. This books is of lasting value for the theory of atmosphees because it links the natural with the cultural realm. Atmosphere is something which affects us deeply, that means on the level of bodily feeling.”

Likens stage design as a perect model


Stage setters know how to preoduce a certain mood, a certain climate on the stage:

  • Atmospheres can be produced
  • Atmospheres are something out there, quasi-objective
  • Atmospheres are produced by certain agents or factors, in particular by sound and illumination, but also by the geometry of a room, by signs, pictures, etc.

But the art of stage setting is sort of tacit knowledge; you would be hard pressed to find a book telling you how and by what means a certain atmosphere can be proroduced. This is why a book seemingly frm a quite different strand must be mentioned, namely CCL Hirschfield’s theory of English gardening. This book obviously is inspired by the world of the theater.. Thus Hirschfield talks about natural scenery and the emotional character of it—what we would refer to as its atmosphere. But what is important is that he givs detailed instruction as to what sort of trees and other plants a certain mood may produce, how the light falling through the leaf must be, how the murmur of the brooks, wheter the sight must be open or closed; in short , he talks aobut atmospheres like an artisan who knowst to make them.

In the night, awaking with thoughts on atmosphere and connection to divine:
The Aesthetics of Atmospheres
Gernot Bohme, edited by Jean-Paul Thibaud
Exists but you can’t see it
Like air currents
Water currents
Like the weather
In “art”, requires a design and requires a sentient recipient
It’s the thing between
Where two are gathered, there you will find God
Performance – communication, you me and higher power, you me and the thing that happens that we receive—COMMUNION
Donna–this may be the thing we hook on, the spiritual, the thing that is beyond what we can comprehend
Our similar quest: the encounter with the ethereal. To practice the encounter

I send my notes to Donna, she replies:
It is so weird (but not really) that you send me this today.  I have been reading a lot about the artifact or object as a collapsed act—-that an object exists with its own biography and then the subject (you and I) interact with the object and that creates a social current—-it’s what our culture consists of—these intersections of us and our surrounding material culture.  But this exchange is on the energetic level—it’s about what we put out in the universe and how our hopefully clean, God-imbued energy interacts with the objects that compose our world.  If we can live in this higher, untainted level of reality (what I call the spiritual, the other half of the physical), then that’s where true connection occurs.  That’s where the magic happens.
You make the magic happen for me.
Love you, me

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