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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetic Paradigms
Glow Flow (Krueger, Myron), 1969

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the development of media art.

Meta-author and interactor

Participative works of art do not grant the viewer access to the creative experience solely over the cognitive path—as reception aesthetics suggests— but explicitly via action, too. Cybernetic art proposes that the viewer’s ‹passive› attitude toward the work be redefined on the basis of bi-directional communication theories. Participative art primarily endeavors to open up the work to the intervention of the viewer. Interactive digital systems are still more radical in this regard: in these complex, open and pluri-dimensional systems the recipient, here termed ‹interactor,› [22] is not only mentally active within the realm of the work of art, but also takes on a fundamental and practical role in activating the work. The process of integrating the viewer and the peculiarities of the interactive digital system lead to new questions in regard to aesthetic paradigms, and also encourage a theoretical examination of the relationship between creation and reception as well as of the function of the recipient and the significance of the author.


The radical expansion of the conceptual framework demanded by media art implies that the form of perception triggered by the products of this kind of art will undergo significant alterations likewise. The North American artist Myron Krueger, a forerunner of interactive art, began his work in the field with the intention of examining those changes which interactive systems could bring about in viewer perception. Krueger’s interest focused on investigating the relationship between human and computer—a phenomenon which is, in his view, among the most significant for the contemporary world. After studying computer science, he discovered that research into the possibilities of the human-machine interface must be based on methods which are aesthetic rather than strictly technical or scientific.

His first reactive environment «Glowflow» (developed in 1969 together with a group of artists and engineers) offered visitors the possibility of modifying visual and sound parameters by means of pressure-sensitive sensors. Due to the crowds of visitors in the exhibition space the system was permanently activated, meaning that nobody noticed

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