Rhetoric of Machine Aesthetics


Brummett addresses the question of how the aesthetic experience of machines can have rhetorical influence. He develops a theory of machine aesthetics, showing nine dimensions of the aesthetic experience of machines and machine-like objects or activities. He identifies three general types of machine aesthetics: Mechtech, classical machine aesthetics based on hardware, gears, pistons, and so forth; Electrotech, high technology machine aesthetics based on the ability of electricity to put machinery on the human scale; and Chaotech, the aesthetic appeal of the decayed machine. In each case, rhetorical applications of the aesthetic are explored. A final critical application shows how the film Brazil warns its audience that fascism can be supported by simulations based on machine aesthetics.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1999


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