Title: On the beauty of interactive art

Authors: Falk Heinrich

Addresses: Department of Communication, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg, Niels Jernes Vej 14, Denmark

Abstract: Nowadays, aesthetics and the notion of beauty play an increasingly significant role in interactive art and design products and, consequently, in scientific research in these fields. This paper outlines a rudimentary theory for the notion of the beauty in interactive art. Interactive beauty is identified as a judgment that unfolds at two very different but interrelated levels. The first level consists of the participant|s physiological affective judgment of the digital system|s output and own actions. This is the basis for performative |flow|. At the second level beauty is seen as a transcendental phenomenon that manifests itself as the idea of the interactive artefact|s potentiality overcoming the rigid limits of the algorithmic systems. The paper concretises the theoretical findings by analysing different interactive artefacts: David Rokeby|s Very Nervous System, from the early days of digital interactive art, Art+Com|s project and Zerseher and Kirsten Geisler|s Virtual Beauties2.2 Touch Me.

Keywords: aesthetics; interactive beauty; installation art; interactive art; performative beauty; performativity; physiological affective judgement; transcendental phenomenon; digital art; virtual beauty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2008.021925

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2008 Vol.1 No.2, pp.159 - 172

Published online: 09 Dec 2008 *

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