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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetic Paradigms

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truth from another perspective. In regard to art the restructuring and redefinition of these three basic concepts—subject (body), reality and truth—are the premises for an aesthetic reflection on media art. Originality versus multiplicity and simulation The profound changes which digital technology brought about in art affect the production and transmission form of information. Every pixel is computable and transformable, meaning images and sounds can be modified as desired. Thus, the documentary and/or truth content of the image is lost due to the possibilities of digital manipulation, rendering it necessary to reformulate the questions regarding the authenticity and referentiality of digital images. The decisive break with the western cultural models characterized by the sequentiality and originality (or non-reproducibility) of the work of art can be regarded as inherent to the technological process, and here to digitization in particular.

The placing in question of originality inherent to this process leads to a change in the notion of author and authorship. The formation of the myth of the original was closely linked with the usage of terms like


intellectual property, genius, individuality or uniqueness in relation to artistic creation. In consequence of, among other things, Kant and his confirmation of the direct relationship between originality and genius, the ‹superstition› of the century—as Nietzsche described the ‹superstition of genius›—was adopted by an aesthetic discourse that has remained partially intact up to the present day. From the new focus on digital creation one becomes aware that the issue of originality makes use of utopian concepts in order to avoid a formulation of the problem. Such notions made themselves noticed throughout the twentieth century, as for instance in Walter Benjamin’s often cited auratic theory, [15] in which he uses the term ‹aura› as an aesthetic metaphor in order to support his thesis of the process of artistic decline in the age of mechanical reproduction. The loss of the aura due to the process of socialization thus means the end of an elitist aesthetics, leading—as Benjamin put it—to the liquidation of the traditional value of cultural heritage. [16] The lament about the loss of the aura is equivalent to the lament about the loss of the mythical-Romantic

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