The Aesthetics of Wind Farms

Yuriko Saito

in Aesthetics of the Familiar

Published in print July 2017 | ISBN: 9780199672103
Published online July 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191838682 | DOI:
The Aesthetics of Wind Farms

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As one of the sustainable forms of energy production, wind farms are becoming increasingly prevalent, changing the global landscapes and seascapes. They are often met with resistance, primarily because of their presumed ‘eyesore’ effect. This chapter reviews several arguments based upon imagination and comparison to art that are intended to mitigate the negative aesthetic impact of wind farms. It concludes that the most promising aesthetic argument in support of wind farms must be a part of a larger aesthetics of sustainability informed by life values, sometimes referred to as the ‘thick’ sense of aesthetics. At the same time, life values, such as sustainability, cannot by themselves determine the aesthetic values, since purely sensuous, ‘thin,’ considerations, such as colors, shapes, and spatial arrangements, constitute the core of aesthetic values. Most importantly, aesthetic disputes involving public space call for civic environmentalism: empowerment and inclusion of those whose aesthetic lives are affected.

Keywords: wind farms; eyesore; aesthetics of sustainability; ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ aesthetic values; civic environmentalism

Chapter.  9880 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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