What Might A Post-Western Aesthetic Look Like?

High technology sparingly applied within a minimal zone to make harsh environment survival feasible for as long as possible.

Bleak yet beautiful.
Something about ice bases whether on earth or other planets always captured my imagination.
The universe of Dune hugely ignited my imagination as a kid and its influence stays with me. The ultimate example of a people getting more out of less. The opposite of the wasteful West. Think that guy’s life revolves around paying off auto loans and mortgage?
The aesthetics of Homeworld were genius.
Was always captivated by the way D’ni technology/architecture is integrated into its surroundings, has a rusty, used look to it.  D’ni creatively make use of local materials and energy sources, incorporating basic components like gears and pulleys into tech that’s often more sophisticated than ours.

Post-Western society will have to have something of a badass warrior culture if it is to survive against its predecessor. Martial elements will be pronounced.
Post-Western art will draw great inspiration from patterns in nature, including fractals. This will represent human will in partnership with the rest of the natural world rather than in opposition to it, a struggle represented in Western art by the straight line, the square, the rectangle.

As with the Ancient Persian drinking horn earlier, love this Mughal Indian dagger. Don’t know, I feel there’s something barbaric yet refined about adorning with animal heads.
Use of deliberate “imperfection” in certain schools of Asian ceramics creates the feel of natural patterns. Again, working with nature rather than against it.
Working with nature out of a sense of strategic laziness rather than trying to force it to the will of a separate man and his civilization. See a pattern yet?

Soft spot for weaponry that looks heavily used and clunky to where you can even see the individual bolts holding it together. Looks durable, unbreakable. Can imagine it firing huge rounds with huge muzzle flare maybe 1 every half second. Post-Westerners happily use “obsolete” but cheaper technology where it efficiently and effectively fills a role, especially where it means more independence in the field from traditional logistical limitations.
The fluid grace and natural-looking patterns, the combination of the written word and representation through imagery… Post-Westerners should do something in this vein.
Simple wood gives a warmth to interiors that drywall and stucco never can.

That’s all for now.  What platform is best for further image sharing? Tumblr? Pinterest?

By Giovanni Dannato

In 1547 I was burnt at the stake in Rome for my pernicious pamphlet proclaiming that the heavens were not filled with a profusion of aether, but rather an extensive vacuum.
Now, the phlogiston that composed my being has re-manifested centuries in the future so that I may continue the task that was inconveniently disrupted so long ago.
Now, I live in Rome on the very street where I (and others) were publicly burnt. To this day, the street is known as what I would translate as 'Heretic's Way'. My charming residence is number 6 on this old road. Please, do come inside and pay me a visit; I should be delighted to spew out endless pedagoguery to one and all...

30 replies on “What Might A Post-Western Aesthetic Look Like?”

True enough. Perhaps the steam/cyberpunk installments like VI, VII, VIII would have some useful design elements.
When it comes to FF and plenty of anime, I find myself asking how the Japanese, a people known for strict conformity, are so intensely creative almost to the point of being trippy. Love how they see small visual details the ripples from raindrops in ponds, falling leaves in autumn, or stylistic elements like blurring streaks of light to convey quick movement.

If I was guessing the Post-Western Aesthetic – I would say there will be no ‘aesthetic’ (appreciation of beauty) linked to Western civilization, it will be a mongrel of superstition and demonism, like the S.American Obey cults, a afro inspired voodoo/catholicism/ Aztec death cult based on constant, public blood sacrifice. Because I think humanity is going to go to zero. Either cease to be (or not to be) or be wiped out, it would start anew, so that tens of thousands of years would pass before it had an aesthetic other than a trauma-induced reactionary animism.
If I was suggesting a remnant, that would need to create and sustain an aesthetic – I would say then a combination of pagan Nordicism, with ancient Grecian culture, which are obviously related and the same. No culture anywhere, anytime had a more beautiful, more earthy yet refined ‘aesthetic’ than the Greeks. And it still lives, like Orpheus’s severed head, it still sings to us. I’ve been reading the Greek myths lately, by this I mean transcriptions of the actual remnants left, reconstruction of the Eulyssian mysteries, or such as the Orphic inscriptions written on the grave totems recently dug up and collated, as well as the surviving scripts, not anyones lugenpress version or Coles notes version – and I have to say they reached an apogee no one has ever approached, east, west, south, north, (that I’m aware of). If you were suggesting rewriting an aesthetic in advance of the post-western apocalypse, that’s where I would start.

We’ve noted how aesthetics have lost civilizational focus since WW1, could be said we’ve already been in a dark age for awhile and are now reverting back to forms of tribalism as nation states fall apart. There will be plenty of technology, but it will be applied more efficiently, I think.
Having people associate into tighter, smaller groups might actually lead to more development of aesthetics and mythology. Every group will have a primal desire for its symbols. I’ve long been fascinated how in a region like the Caucasus you can find a different language, religion, and even writing system in each mountain valley. The change is the valleys won’t be geographic in nature anymore.
I am amazed myself by the Ancient Greek culture and thought, but I also recognize some aspects of it are sources of trouble for the West.
I blame Platonism and to some extent Neo-Platonists/Stoics for a lot of the issues with Christianity. The influence of the concept of ideal forms kept Westerners too focused on airy things.
It doesn’t surprise me that when the West laid the foundations for its rise, the more mature Aristotle was seen as the top authority.

A theme you may notice, though, is I believe the stressors on modern societies mean we need to figure out a new foundation of some sort, with inspiration from the old, but not of it.

There’s nothing wrong with ideals. Ya gotta tell a story at the same time. The West went off the rails when we began to separate form from content. That last picture Sam J. put up, while interesting, has no content because it’s not connected to a story that we can immediately identify with. Now, since I’d just seen Rusalka I could attach a story to it which connects me to the real world because the story’s about innocence and the danger of transgressing boundries. And this story is part of European identity stretching back millenia. Rusalka is was adapted by Dvorak from Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid which is a fairy tale that survived because it has a deep truth about European psyche and maybe even other races too.

I guess you want the right balance between air and earth, that, as pointed out by n/u2 is one of the most admirable things about the Ancient Greeks at their best. Westerners ended up doing a whiplash 180 from almost mystical spirituality to the most plodding, relentless materialism.
I’ve written on that paradox before. I think it’s connected to the way mind/flesh, man/nature are separate in Western culture. So once Christianity got tossed into the dumpster only pure materialism was left over.
I feel like Francis Bacon gives a glimpse of what an enlightenment for adults would have been like. Like many movements of reaction or rebellion, the enlightenment stayed in its angry adolescent stage. It never grew up.

The Samurai, whatever else their faults, were expected to be conissours of culture and art, and students of court politeness.

The story goes that the occupation forces would destroy or seize all of the Katanas, but that one swordsmith got an audience with McArthur and he immediately understood the handmade ones were works of art, and reversed the ban/order.

Napoleon’s entourage gave us the ghastly French Empire style that somehow got adopted into an even more hidous version by American Department stores, so it’s not a warrior thing.

Some of what came out of the ecological left in the late 60s and early 70s, and it’s progeny, was quite good. Seemed to be absorbed into some sort of idealized neo-Californianism thing in the 80s, but I blame Hollywood for that.

Speaking of Dune, the movie’s art design was done before Lynch took over, which explains why his North and South California tastes are not reflected in the movie. The sci-fi versions were done on a shoestring budget and it shows.

“reconstruction of the Eulyssian mysteries, or such as the Orphic inscriptions written on the grave totems recently dug up and collated, as well as the surviving scripts,”

I’d be interested in seeing these. are they online?

Human Rights god has got to go. You need to identify cultureal artifacts involving this current dominant god and see how they’re doin’.

@IA No, I don’t think much of what I mention is online, or easy to find online. However I recommend the following site, one of the fairly exhaustive online free book sites, where you should be able to find some decent books on the subject, ( Library Genesis: )
One book I believe you would find there is called:[Ritual_Texts_for_the_Afterlife_Orpheus_and_the_Bacchic_Gold_Tablets]
Also concerning the tablets:
Tracing Orpheus_ Studies of Orphic Fragments-De Gruter

There are several books on this subject which you will find through research, the recent discovery and excavation of graves containing caches of totem ‘gold’ and other metals offerings with inscriptions from the Orpheus cult was a huge find for anthropology. There are a whole host of books, I’ll leave it to you to discover them, concerning transliterations of the fragments available, concerning any aspect of ancient Greek culture, all of it is extremely rewarding. I recommend you spend some time looking into it because it is a subject I have found much more fascinating and rewarding than any other in this area. The Greek culture and civilization was one of incomparable beauty and depth. I don’t think any, or I have never heard or investigated any that conveyed such an image of a ‘golden’ and blessed civilization of incomparable, matchless aesthetic and lyricism, the apex culture of the human aesthetic,

As for the Eulyssian mysteries, which also concern the Orphic cult; we really only have reconstructions, but some of the reconstructions themselves are extremely well done by dedicated scholars who seriously attempt to patch together what fragments there are available, with out trying to pretend their personal assumptions should be accepted as anything other than probable under certain conditions by the student – in short they present the available known options and possibilities without trying to hide the holes in available knowledge – which are pointed out at length.
One thing that comes to their aid, (and understatement) is the site of the Eulyssian mysteries is claimed, with a decent degree of veracity, to have been located and excavated!
Great Zeus I can’t find the best book I have on the subject! I will have to post later on that. That book is written by the archeologist as he excavates, and re-imagines the mysteries by using his exhaustive academic knowledge, and available scriptural and artifact reference. I will find it and post later. But here is another
Greek Mysteries: The Archaeology of Ancient Greek Secret Cults
author(s) Michael B. Cosmopoulos

Good Luck

Thanks for the suggestions. I bought a copy at Amazon of the Graf and Johnston book. Looks very interesting. I agree that the Greeks were far beyond their (and our) times in many ways.

Out of curiosity, Library Genesis, add the header.

I liked all they pictures you posted. The grass roof and rock wall houses are like those made in Iceland.

I like Ray Meeker’s ceramic work,

I found him by looking for Ceramic housing. Something I’m really interested in. He made a few but the thickness of the walls causes problems when firing. I’ve got Nader Khalili book “Ceramic Houses and Earth Architecture”. Something very cool. Temple of Hera,

some pictures*

Vaseline and Uranium Glass (ca. 1930s)


Gotta laugh at the last photo. Reminds me of Dvorak’s Rusalka which I just saw on HD telecast theater screen from the NY Met production. Actually, it’s better than their set design.

“…That last picture Sam J. put up, while interesting, has no content because it’s not connected to a story that we can immediately identify with…”

Purely there as contrast. What we’ve become. I personally can immediately tell what it’s about.

Yeah, I think the picture said they were Icelandic houses. Just literally leaving your roof to grow itself….A lazy solution and looks cool too.
You have August Von Mackensen there! What a badass he was!

I agree with you about idealizing a wiry, athletic physique. The bodybuilder ideal seems to me another instance of modern excess and ostentation.
Tough, lean people for a lean culture.

Wow. That’s quite a morality tale. In real life. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad. McQueen hanged himself and Blow drank weed killer.

“…August Von Mackensen there! What a badass he was!…”

Those are just pictures as I’m looking around I saved on my computer. No significance just interesting to me. The last one gives me the giggles most every time I see it. It , I think, was in an article about what the Europeans were doing with immigration and social issues.

Baron Roman Nikolai Maximilian von Ungern-Sternberg is really super interesting. I read a book about a USSR prisoner that escaped by walking all the way from Siberia to I think India. He met the strange guy in Mongolia where he was in charge of the residue of a White Army. He was apparently a fierce warrior and a kind of apocalyptic guy. A lot of his pictures have been shopped.

I really, really love Greek and Roman temples. I have tons of pictures of them saved. I know this is kind of fuffi and odd but the first time I saw a picture of the temple of Hera it just “spoke to me”. I know sounds stupid but it really captured my immigration. IT seems so perfect. Harmonious. Amazing that they built something in ??? 500BC and then it was abandoned only to be found in in 1752 by an Italian road-building crew working in the area.

The kids at the top are Sami’s and the ainu is a aboriginal guy from Japan in case you didn’t know, which most here probably do. You could get a guy a a pair of jeans and a tee shirt, put him in my neighborhood and no one would ever know he wasn’t some Redneck. I don’t really understand the Ainu. Supposedly they aren’t Whites but they sure look like them. Robert Lindsay says maybe it’s because genetics have pools of attraction for different phenotypes. Of course no one ever gives the Japanese shit about them taking over their lands in Japan like they do Whites in the US.

From what I’ve read, Ainus are squarely in the same group as other NE Asian tribesmen. They’re far more related to Aleuts in Alaska than Europeans. I suspect the pale skin and facial hair in some of these peoples could be parallel evolution under similar stressors as affected Europeans.
Same deal with Sami peoples. They have more in common with central Asian groups but are different from peoples that came through the Indo-European migration.
EvolutionistX is someone who blogs a lot on these kind of subjects.

Brusilov, Zhukov deserve mention I think when it comes to Russian generals.

But in the pure badass category, there’s Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck. He held German East Africa all WW1 while vastly outnumbered with no resupply or reinforcements.

Here’s a type of roof that way interesting. Reciprocal roof. The first pic you see that there’s one pole standing straight up. It’s used to hold up the first roof pole. After that they are all laid on top of each other and the last one is slipped in under the first. Friction holds them together and they are all resting on each other transferring the load to the walls. If I was to build one of these I would tie the tops together and also put a rope through all the poles close to the wall so they couldn’t spread. I have a book on making these if I remember correctly the weight it can take is based on the shear force where the poles meet at the top and bending forces along the length of the pole. If you think about it the shear force, like snapping the pole in two, is really high where the poles meet at the top so these can take a lot of weight.

This next one is really worth looking at for home built housing.

Same building. The Hobbit house.

The roofs can even be compounded with poles on top of poles to support each other.

This an interesting link tied into what to do if the high tech state collapses. I particularly like the human cranes and the mechanical power transmission.

I love the look of the finished reciprocal roof house. Now that looks like a cozy place to live.
I wonder if in some ways it might actually be more high tech even if there were a collapse. Imagine being a wanderer able to 3D print housing.
I am becoming curious about potential technologies of decentralization. Internet decentralizes information, but in the physical world, the way it’s set up actually makes us more dependent on the centralized grid.
I wonder if physical world decentralization is next. Rent seeking is like shooting fish in a barrel when everyone needs access to patches of scarce land around big cities. Those pressures have created big incentives for the development of alternatives. As it is, only vigorous law enforcement prevents mass tent cities and ramshackle favelas springing up overnight. The system is optimized for property owners at everyone else’s expense.

The thing is there’s tons and tons and tons of property. I’ve driven across the country several times and there is an unbelievable amount of…nothing. I mean an unbelievable amount.

What will push decentralization is solar power, good storage batteries (I propose flywheels as it doesn’t matter how big they are if they’re buried in the ground) and satellite high speed internet.
I have another idea I’d really like to happen. You have small houses their cost is ridiculously high. What we need is a large motor home with a solar roof. flywheel batteries or some other long lasting battery. There would have to be some serious work done on breaking down sewage but it could be done. It would be good to have a type solar cell for an engine. Most cars only have 25% or so of the energy used out of the fuel burnt. With a little work you could burn fuel in an enclosed area and collect the power with internal solar cells. That means you could burn wood, trash, diesel fuel, whatever. The cells on the roof would be plenty of power when parked. To move you would need fuel or possibly save up your energy. They would be plenty big enough for a family if you ran the kids outdoors like everyone used to do.

I better stop. I’m babbling. I have way too many half cocked ideas.

The rent seeking is really, really bad. I suppose it will get worse if they can get away with it. Already, tiny houses, solar power, nomadic living are a reaction to rent seeking. In the middle of the country most counties have no codes and only enforce water pollution. Mostly how septic tanks are done. The county I live in until recently had no government at all. Unfortunately they slipped one in somehow on an off election ballot. No doubt they will soon find ways to make our lives better. Some places, especially the North have all encompassing governments regulating the ever loving life out of you,”to protect you”. Right. It’s to pay inspectors, their cousins who do the work the inspectors force you to do and the people who do the paperwork. Florida is like this where they have rules for everything in a lot of counties.

One of the problems is how you make a living. Can’t just sell blogs to each other. Hard to get away from the city for that reason. If there were a basic income as some propose I bet you would see MASS exodus from the cities.

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