Monstrous Becomings: a Minor Cartography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


This chapter addresses the problematic aesthetic category of ‘the ugly’ as applied to architecture and other phenomena of sensory perception through the equally problematic cultural category of ‘the monster’. The ugly and the monster both occupy marginal positions in the production of knowledge, where they both tend to be trivialized, dispatched as a simple matter of (bad) taste or a fancy of the imagination. They certainly have received only peripheral attention in contemporary architectural discourse. The ugly and the monster, however, recur in the arts and in popular culture, spilling over into aesthetic theory and cultural analysis alike, where they are not considered frivolous categories. They are relevant precisely because of their marginal, uncomfortable status: unresolved, undefined, ambivalent, unfinished or ‘grotesque’, continuously transforming. They are essentially unclassifiable, and this resistance alone is what has kept thinkers busy trying to capture and describe some of their formal or structural...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchitecture and Ugliness
Subtitle of host publicationAnti-Aesthetics and the Ugly in Postmodern Architecture
EditorsThomas Mical, Wouter van Acker
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-3500-6825-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-3500-6823-0
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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