Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
Institute for Art Research, University of Helsinki
The Unconscious, Everyday, and Television Series
The aim of the presentation is to compare how everyday aesthetics (Saito 2007; Irvin 2008; Naukkarinen 2013) are utilized in contemporary American serials as purveyors of the often yet attractive appearances of the everyday experience. Thesis defended in this paper is as follows: The unconscious dimension of everyday aesthetic activities reveals and, thus, highlights the protagonistʼs real/murder aspirations.
The method is to analyze the popular US television serial Dexter with special consideration of the music and vision in the opening sequence. The paper explores disillusionment created by discrepancy between the seemingly positive appearance of personal grooming of the main character and the underlying harmful content of his everyday employment as blood spatter analyst and murderer (Currie 1998; Maibom & Harold, forthcoming). The resulting representation of tension between desire to control over life and wisdom of submitting to its transient and uncontrollable aspects reveals pragmatic ramifications of continuity of the television serials as part of the everyday concerns. The fact that many of the everyday aesthetic activities performed in the opening sequence are on the edge of the conscious, through their contingency and repetitiveness, makes them good testifies of the main characterʼs attitudes. The signs of moral, social, and political approaches are embodied in agentsʼ everyday aesthetic judgments and activities (Merleau-Ponty 1945; Mowitt 2002). The search for the dangerous/negative in casual/positive appearances begins and is set as point of reference. Hence, the overall assessment of the repetition of everyday, Dexter’s title sequence, and the role of the unconscious brings (unusual) negative appearances to positive reevaluation of aesthetic experience.
Currie G. , Realism of Character and the Value of Fiction, in Aesthetics and Ethics: Essays at the Intersection, J. Levinson (ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 161-181.
Irvin Sh. , The Pervasiveness of the Aesthetic in Ordinary Experience, British Journal of Aesthetics, 48 (1), pp. 29-44.
Maibom H., Harold J. [forthcoming], Without Taste: Psychopaths and the Appreciation of Art, in La Nouvelle Revue Française d’Esthétique, Paris.
Merleau-Ponty M. , Phénoménologie de la perception, Paris: Gallimard.
Mowitt J. , Stumbling on Analysis: Psychoanalysis and Everyday Life, Cultural Critique, 52 (1), pp. 61-85.
Naukkarinen O. , What is Everyday in Everyday Aesthetics?, Contemporary Aesthetics,
Saito Y. , Everyday Aesthetics, Oxford University Press.
The unconscious, television aesthetics, everyday aesthetics, aesthetic experience, Dexter Morgan
Adam Andrzejewski is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Warsaw and a junior research fellow at the Institute for Art Research, University of Helsinki. His thesis is devoted to ontology of artworks and popular culture. Publications and conference papers in analytical aesthetics, metaphysics, and philosophical methodology.