Aphorisms of Aesthetic Power*


*I say, power rather than energy, because it is what it does, not what it is.

Aesthetic power is not exhausted in the effects it engenders, is not a part, but is in itself, a whole within a greater, infinitely dispersed power.

Infinitely dispersed, and specific to its form thus: extensive beyond the specific form that holds, but does not contain it.

It is not an experience, but engenders release from experience by displacement of the subject by the object, and of the object become subject—this is the lighting flash of the sublime.

There can be no judgment because there are no means to measure or compare its power.

It is not judgment, but the annihilation of judgment.

Beauty is to aesthetic power as the trace of an atomic particle in a cloud chamber is to the energy that moves the particle.

The release of aesthetic power is dangerous, destructive of all order, compelling the creation of new forms, new order—which, while indirectly the products of aesthetic power, are but the dead castes of that power—like the glass castes fused in sand by strikes of lightning.

It is nothing without us, as we are nothing without the bodies it violates.


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