From A to D and back again: The emerging aesthetics of Interactive Art

From A to D and back again: The emerging aesthetics of Interactive Art

Simon Penny

First published in Leonardo Electronic Almanac april 1996 and NextWave catalog, May 1996, Melbourne Australia

Interactive art represents a radical phase-shift in western esthetics. Artists are confronting unexplored territory: the esthetics of machine mediated interactivity. Designing the interactive experience adds an entire dimension to the esthetic endevour, one without precedent in the visual and plastic arts. In the west, the visual arts have no tradition of an esthetics of interactivity. Six hundred years of painting has resulted in a rich esthetics of the still image, of color and line, shape and area, of representational geometry and perspective. The effect of six hundred years of enculturation is that we know how to read images (which observe the conventions of renaissance perspective) before we can read text. One hundred years of moving image has given us a culturally established set of cinematic conventions: we can read cinema. But as yet we have no culturally established esthtetic of real time interaction. 인용가능

The advent of artworks which combine electronic image (and sound) technologies, sculptural utilisation of space and digitally coordinated automation of parts; often with electromechanical elements and recourse to data from sensors or other user input devices; presents us with a new esthetic complex, the conformations of which are only marginally amenable to the techniques of traditional artistic analysis. Therefore it seems necessary to attempt an evaluation of the esthetic modalities and formal qualities of various types of interactive work, by reference to some well known examples. 인용가능

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