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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetic Paradigms
Aaron (Cohen, Harold), 1974

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that the presence of the individual was what triggered its reactions. This flaw brought it home to Krueger that the objective, strictly speaking, is not to create interactive art, but to give the interactive computer system an artistic form accessible and comprehensible to the audience. It is therefore necessary to subordinate traditional, purely aesthetic, interests to the creation of an interactive relationship between work and interactor. At the same time this requires a redefinition of the three fundamental areas: perception, mode of presentation, and structure.

A confrontation with perception is fundamental in the case of such a reactive installation, since the work must react to human behavior and therefore correctly ‹interpret› what the interactor does; it is also important that the audience, in order to be able to properly accept a work’s invitation to dialogue, becomes aware of the work’s reactive possibilities. Thus, a new dimension is added to the system and the recipient: the computer technology deployed in the work must record, ‹perceive,› process and appropriately reciprocate the messages communicated by the audience. The viewer enters into direct


contact with the work of art and modifies it with his actions. Decisive is the fact that it is a matter of direct, often intuitive and functional, intervention—in contrast to the intellectual dimension of the aforementioned ‹model› or ‹implicit› recipient. A flexible work enabling the audience to be integrated needs to possess an open structure that permits this access. This makes it necessary to move away from the defined and completed structural model of the ‹traditional› work of art. Interactive art breaks with the stable, object-like system brought to conclusion by the artist (see Margarita Schultz, »Instabilität, eine Ästhetik der digitalen Produktionen«), a system that predominates in western culture and its forms of artistic expression. It is ultimately a matter of creating a channel for the exchange of information among work of art, viewer, and context. This channel must be able to build up a dialogic network that is open enough to enable communication, and not just the circulation of data.

The example of the nexus between Harald Cohen and «Aaron» illustrates this complex situation of the creator of a work in connection with technological

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