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Paper: Aesthetic Response and Cosmic Aesthetic Distance
Volume: 468, Engaging the Heavens: Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena V
Page: 31
Authors: Madacsi, D.
Abstract: For Homo sapiens, the experience of a primal aesthetic response to nature was perhaps a necessary precursor to the arousal of an artistic impulse. Among the likely visual candidates for primal initiators of aesthetic response, arguments can be made in favor of the flower, the human face and form, and the sky and light itself as primordial aesthetic stimulants. Although visual perception of the sensory world of flowers and human faces and forms is mediated by light, it was most certainly in the sky that humans first could respond to the beauty of light per se. It is clear that as a species we do not yet identify and comprehend as nature, or part of nature, the entire universe beyond our terrestrial environs, the universe from which we remain inexorably separated by space and time. However, we now enjoy a technologically-enabled opportunity to probe the ultimate limits of visual aesthetic distance and the origins of human aesthetic response as we remotely explore deep space via the Hubble Space Telescope and its successors.
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