Culture Technology

The aesthetics of the imaginary

Bookmarked Worshipping At The Altar of Artificial Intelligence by Jessica DeFino (The Unpublishable)

Lensa AI portraits are a modern iteration of an ancient drive: emulating our God(s) through beauty.

The immediate thing that came to mind is … this idea that modern “beauty” means being as divorced from your humanity as possible. Like, a complete separation from all that is human about you.

Beauty standards have always been about pursuing an impossible look by doing terrible things to our bodies.

My issue is this: As virtual avatars become blueprints for physical beauty … many people feel pressured to partake in physically and psychologically damaging products and procedures in order to adhere to that blueprint…

“Beauty” — in the standardized sense — is always a fantasy; it’s a fantasy of the future.

While AI art is popular, impossible, fantastical smoothness will be desirable, like HDR photos were hot shit for a while. Then it’ll overwhelm the market, and the look will be considered too fake and cheap, and we’ll have a resurgence of analog art (or at least the look of it). I already find art that’s too perfect unmoving. I like a touch of humanity visible in the work.

Read an article recently about how photography sparked the rise of abstract art, using Turner as an example, evolving from hyper realistic to emotive landscapes — but must’ve closed that tab 🤷‍♀️

Culture Society

“The Decline of Wonkiness”

Replied to The Decline of Wonkiness (

Didn’t read the article but I like this phrase, which could be used to describe trends in so many areas.

There’s a connection between the rise of social media and a lower tolerance for wonkiness. When you’re fed photos of other people’s beautiful (staged) homes constantly, you see the imperfections in your own all the more. Something that works but is a bit wonky might not be tolerated any more, culture driving a want for perfection, to live in the dream.

Cool History

Watched I Tried 500 Years of Hairstyles

Bookmarked I tried 500 years of Haircuts by Morgan Donner (

I’ve wanted try a bunch of these styles for so long, but always had the ‘wrong’ hair length! So I fixed that, one style at a time.

Time Stamps:
00:00 Intro
00:25 1500s
04:43 1600s
10:38 1720s
19:37 1800s
29:37 1900s
38:09 2000s

Very cool to see how hairstyles progressed in European / American history! Slow to change much at the start but sped up as we reached modern times. A lot of the styles look really cute on her even if they looked fussy and uptight in the reference paintings.