Wednesday, 11 February 2009

On SF, again

Le Courbousier (L'art décoratif d'aujourd hui, 1925): 'the lesson of the machine lies in the pure relationship between cause and effect. Purity, economy, the reach for wisdom. A new desire, an aesthetic of purity, of precision, of expressive relationship setting in motion the mathematical mechanisms of our spirit; a spectacle and a cosmology.'

I've been pondering this, because (obviously) there's a good deal of science fiction that aims for precisely this dubious 'purity'. But that's not the most interesting sort. Indeed, I wonder if it doesn't approach a definition of good science fiction to say that it seeks to repudiate Le Courbousier's aesthetic, here: to articulate precisely a machinic dirt, compromise and contamination.

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