Menu
Donate
SIGN IN

Culture

Essays and videos on the arts, literature, travel, rituals and celebrations
Chemical somnia | Aeon
Save

video

Chemistry

A square inch in a Petri dish becomes a grand stage for chemical transformations

4 minutes

Great art explained: Edward Hopper and cinema | Aeon
Save

video

Art

Edward Hopper came of age with cinema. As an artist, he left a lasting mark on it

12 minutes

What does art do? | Aeon
Save

essay

Beauty and aesthetics

What does art do?

Good art, laced with irony, ambiguity and suspense, is not obviously political. That’s what makes it politically interesting

Vid Simoniti

Life in the buff | Aeon
Save

essay

Subcultures

Life in the buff

Naturists believed nudity was profoundly beneficial to society. In order to spread the message, they took to photography

Annebella Pollen

Ghosts | Aeon
Save

video

Film and visual culture

With human help, AIs are generating a new aesthetics. The results are trippy

9 minutes

Freedom from liquor | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Freedom from liquor

Ken Burns’s account of prohibition tells a popular story of booze in America. The historical record is far more sobering

Mark Lawrence Schrad

Ed and Pauline | Aeon
Save

video

Film and visual culture

At the movies with Pauline Kael – in the arthouse cinema where she got her start

19 minutes

EXCLUSIVEAnémic cinéma | Aeon
Save

video

Art

Dizzying discs and obscene wordplay – revisiting Marcel Duchamp’s 1926 film debut

7 minutes

Aristotle goes to Hollywood | Aeon
Save

essay

Stories and literature

Aristotle goes to Hollywood

Today, the ancient Greek storyteller would be winning Oscars. To learn how, turn to the Poetics, his masterwork on writing

Philip Freeman

Phenomena: electricity | Aeon
Save

video

Physics

Spectacular fractal patterns emerge when electricity meets a wooden surface

4 minutes

Phenomena: magnetism | Aeon
Save

video

Physics

This is not an animation: the spectacular sight of magnets meeting a metallic liquid

5 minutes

The problem with ‘han’ 한 恨 | Aeon
Save

essay

Film and visual culture

The problem with ‘han’ 한 恨

Korean culture is characterised by an untranslatably profound sorrow and regret. Or is that just another stereotype?

Minsoo Kang

Insects take flight | Aeon
Save

video

Biology

How insects become airborne, slowed down to a speed the human eye can appreciate

8 minutes

The art of the plot twist | Aeon
Save

essay

Stories and literature

The art of the plot twist

Some twists infuriate; others are brilliant. But they both use the surprise story as a self-exploding confidence game

Vera Tobin

Vertigo AI | Aeon
Save

video

Computing and artificial intelligence

Who, exactly, authored this AI-generated spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo?

5 minutes

Planktonium | Aeon
Save

video

Biology

Peering into the eerie world of plankton reveals a variety of vital creatures

3 minutes

Blinkity blank | Aeon
Save

video

Film and visual culture

A Palme d’Or-winning animation toys with the way our eyes perceive light

5 minutes

Fear not | Aeon
Save

essay

Film and visual culture

Fear not

You might think that horror movies are a delicious, trashy pleasure. But watching them has surprisingly wholesome effects

Mathias Clasen

Moths in slow motion | Aeon
Save

video

Biology

Witness the majesty of moths taking flight at 6,000 frames per second

5 minutes

Serial parallels | Aeon
Save

video

Architecture

A whirlwind tour of Hong Kong’s high-rises is an awesome meditation on urbanity

9 minutes

Captured images | Aeon
Save

video

History of technology

Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free

4 minutes

Pixel: a biography | Aeon
Save

essay

History of technology

Pixel: a biography

An exact mathematical concept, pixels are the elementary particles of pictures, based on a subtle unpacking of infinity

Alvy Ray Smith

Around is around | Aeon
Save

video

Film and visual culture

A series of animated illusions illustrates how we project depth on to flat surfaces

8 minutes

Everything you wanted to know about sudden birth (but were afraid to ask) | Aeon
Save

video

Film and visual culture

Shoddy filmmaking meets the miracle of life in a police training film turned cult classic

11 minutes