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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetics/Communication
Aesthetics and communicative Context
Claudia Giannetti


Communication, interaction, and systems

The idea of a scientific analysis of organization systems was first formulated in the early twentieth century by the Russian researcher Alexander Bogdanov. [1] His system theory, which attempts to register all organization elements in their entirety, introduced the basic concepts of the open system (with reference to living systems) and of feedback, and made Bogdanov a forerunner of cybernetics and of the systemic theories Ludwig von Bertalanffy would develop two decades later. [2]

The first comprehensive contribution to the understanding and dissemination of the theory of self-organization was the result of the research carried out by the physicist and cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster from the late 1950s on, and especially after the publication of his treatise «On Self- Organizing Systems and their Environment» of 1960. Heinz von Foerster was well acquainted with cybernetics and information theory, and likewise with the basics of Artificial Intelligence (A. Turing and J. von Neumann) and system theory (P. Weiss and L. von Bertalanffy). Taking these theories as his starting point, he


proposed that concepts such as those of redundancy, entropy or information (cybernetics) as well as those of self-regulation, autonomy and hierarchic order (system theory) be applied in the examination of organization. As Foerster saw it, every system exists autonomously—according to its own laws—and is organizationally self-contained, meaning its organization is selfreferential, self-maintaining, and recursive. He understood reality to be an interactive construction in which the observer and what is observed are two interdependent sub-aspects. In consequence, objectivity exists merely as an illusion on the part of the subject, even without whom a perception could exist independently. This implies that perception takes place by means of a linkage of observer and system unit, and namely in the domain in which this unit operates. In the 1970s and 1980s the basic concepts of system research, which relate to interaction, self-organization, co-evolution, or the environment, were further developed by a number of scientists, and translated into new theories. [3] System theory received an important impetus from the theory of «autopoiesis» [4] developed from the 1970s onward by

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