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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathEditorial

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on-going discrepancy between artistic perception, art theory, and aesthetics, which are seen to be notably diverging instead of developing synchronously and congruently. This gulf between theoretical «corpus» and artistic practice culminates in a paradox that without doubt leads to the often proclaimed end of art.

Nevertheless the conviction remains that certain symptoms of transition cannot be immediately equated with the radical disintegration of the fields involved. It is rather the case that new intellectual approaches and modes of experiencing must be found in order to enable the analysis and assimilation—as opposed to rejection—of the contemporary phenomena. One access route to these new forms is shown by the theory and practice of media art, and of interactive media art especially, whose renewing concepts are discernible in the fact that aesthetic the+ory is no longer focussed exclusively on the art object itself, but on its process, on system and contexts, on the broad linkage of different disciplines, and on reformulating the roles of the maker and the viewer of a work of art.


The complex process of transformation undergone by art and aesthetics, as well as the closely intermeshed interdisciplinary relationships, can be understood only by investigating those phenomena and theories which have so far driven forward the syntopy [2] of art, science, and technology, and in the future will continue to do so. It is not sufficient to describe the current state of art by concentrating on its epicenter; instead one must expand the horizon of consideration to adjacent fields and trace the historical developments in which corresponding changes and contemporary phenomena can be discerned. One aim of this hypertext monograph is to work out an aesthetic concept inherently formed by the context and creative experience of interactivity-based works, as well as their presentation and reception. The intention is to show potential paths towards a renewal of aesthetic discourses: paths already smoothed by those pioneers and artists whose tracks this essay follows. In this way various concepts of science, technology, and art are linked with a view to revising the notions of art, aesthetics, and spectator.

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