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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetics/Communication

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contents exclusively on the basis of reason; rather, the intention is to emphasize that the co-influence of emotions and sensory experiences in the process of assimilating a work of art is an inseparable part of the dialogic process.

In summary, two hypotheses can be set up. One is that since explanations of art are not constitutive, reductionist or transcendental, it is by no means a matter of the search for a single and definitive explanation for the domain of art. The other is that the function of art consists in changing the world, with the latter being understood to mean the expansions of human realities and cognitive domains, and consequently also of the knowledge and experiences resulting from possible interactions and the dialogic exchange in the explanatory context of the cognitive worlds. This leads to the question of how art can execute the communicative process.

The branch of aesthetics more closely modeled on communication science examines social processes that develop expressive forms as well as phenomena of aesthetic expression fulfilling communicative functions (communication media, events, or social ceremonies).


In art it is possible to distinguish among various modes of proceeding by which the problematic of communication is tackled: through the role of the viewer in the context of the work, through the analysis of the reception, or—as proposed for instance by Fred Forest and the proponents of ‹communication aesthetics›—from sociological viewpoints concerned with the influence of art on viewer, society or culture.

Art is an especially complex socio-cultural domain because in the process of communication it avails itself of a mainly metaphoric, symbolic and non-trivial language. If there are several domains of reality, and all of them are equally valid, the theories of art aesthetics cannot individually lay claim to universal acceptance; nor can they be viewed as inherent to the object. Sense and meaning do not lie in the work of art itself, and cannot be conveyed through the latter in the expectation that the work will be adequately interpreted. In art, meanings are time-bound, culture-specific, observer-dependent cognitive processes; therefore, works of art cannot speak for themselves.

A work of art should indeed invite the observer to

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