There is something inexplicable about nature’s vastness – it evokes ‘something’ – a feeling connecting us to a greater whole – wonderful yet simultaneously frightening. The Romantics called it the sublime. In the European Romantic arts the notion of the sublime was resurrected from its Neo-Classical lineage. A resurrection that contributes to our contemporary understanding of the notion; felt and experienced within the observer, rather than its earlier use describing grandness or terror as an attribute of natural phenomena. In a direct response to the thrust of growing Empiricism and its increasing impact on how people understood the world, the Romantics saw it necessary to evoke the sublime through representation; an attempt to retain mysticism associated with nature. This was done with aesthetic theory based on how the sublime is evoked through the natural.
- Tegan Bristow (ZA) is an active interactive digital media artist based in and concerned with South Africa. Bristow additionally runs and teaches the Wits University Postgraduate Program in Interactive Digital Art, which includes interactive installation design, programming and Critical Studies in Digital Arts and Culture.
Full text (PDF) p. 421-423