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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathAesthetic Paradigms
Aesthetic Paradigms of Media Art
Claudia Giannetti


Art beyond art

The definition of ‹art beyond art› amounts to a negation of an understanding of art that is based on accumulative and historically linear findings. Interest focuses no longer on the autonomy of a work of art, a subject much discussed during modernism (and already wholly assimilated into contemporary art), but on art’s emancipation from art itself. This shift implies that the modernist tendency to take issue with the arguments of a discourse within the discourse itself has been overcome. [1] It also signifies the demand for a ‹reconstruction of the area› on new foundations which place in question several of its basic theoretical generalizations and many of its methods.

The argument of the essays can be summarized as follows: explanations delivered by art are constitutively neither reductionist nor transcendental; the function of art consists in expanding realities, knowledge and experiences; this process can take its course dialogically or consensually (through seduction), or by means of canonization (through control or coercion). Further paradigm shifts specifically relevant to media art will be examined below.



Media art—in its diverse forms ranging from audiovisual installations to interactive systems, from hypermedia to artificial reality, from the net to cyberspace—reinforces the idea of ‹interdisciplinarity,› which reaches much further than the aforementioned considerations about the relationship of art and technology. In the context of interdisciplinarity, the intermeshing of art, technologies, and science refers to the process that brings about convergence, interference, appropriation, overlapping and interpenetration; a process successively leading to the generation of referential networks and reciprocal— non-hierarchic—influences.

Ubiquity and dematerialization

After the exodus of art from conventional presentation spaces such as museums or galleries and the conquest of public places, streets, towns, landscapes (e.g. Land Art, Performance, Happening), the fact that spatiotemporal expansion and the wider use of

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