HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 22 no. 1 (2021)

An Ugly Book Tasting: Jane Forsey & Lars Aagaard-Mogensen (Eds.) “On the Ugly: Aesthetic Exchanges”

Beverly A. Sarza



In 2004, the Irish rock group U2 agreed to endorse a new Apple product for free. Back then, Apple was just starting, but U2 was already established as a “band that has a huge global following” (Doyle 2011). Bono, the lead singer and frontman of U2, explained this move to Steve Jobs’s biographer, Walter Isaacson (2011): “These men [Apple] have helped design the most beautiful art object in music culture since the electric guitar […] The job of art is to chase the ugliness away.” Bono was referring to the first-generation iPod, the classic rectangular white device with the even more iconic click-wheel that saved the entire music industry from the ugliness known as illegal downloading.