In 2012, on a panel at the popular music and technology festival South By Southwest (SXSW), British artist and writer James Bridle introduced his project, “New Aesthetic,” to the broader art and tech worlds. Entitled “The New Aesthetic: Seeing Like Digital Devices,” the panel focused on the ways that digital technology is increasingly shaping our perceivable world. Accompanying the presentations were evidentiary examples from Bridle’s Tumblr blog, where since 2011 he has been collecting a vast array of objects and images that bear the trace of computational processes or logics—everything from shoes that look like low-resolution polygon meshes to drone photography (Figure 14.1). 1 Bridle’s thesis is that the world is undergoing fundamental visual and structural change due to the rapid spread of computation, and that this change amounts to a new aesthetic. Different from previous claims of technology-inspired newness, this aesthetic is inconspicuous, enmeshed within the physical world to the extent that distinctions between digital and non-digital struggle to hold. Unsurprisingly, given its far-reaching implications that touch virtually every aspect of contemporary life, Bridle’s project has sparked a flood of reactions from both popular and academic audiences. 2