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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathCybernetic Aesthetics
Cybernetic Aesthetics and Communication
Claudia Giannetti
Ars Magna et Ultima (Lullus, Raimundus)


Recent theory, which is influenced by cybernetics and information theory, grasps information as a key concept for the understanding of aesthetic processes. By formalizing the latter, the intention is to build up a contrary position to idealistic, neo-Kantian, and metaphysics-oriented aesthetics. For that reason, several theories based on the fundaments of cybernetics are described here, for instance the theories of information aesthetics, cybernetic aesthetics, generative and participative aesthetics, as well as of reception aesthetics, whose developments were closely associated with the computer art emergent at the same time. All these theories are concerned with the fundamentally transformed functions of the artist, with the concept of art itself, and with the role of the viewer.

<h2Formalization processes and aesthetic theory

Although the approaches of cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence revolutionized subject areas of science as well as its interdisciplinary modes of proceeding, scientists continued to be bound to certain philosophical traditions in the field of logic. The course of formalization research, which has its


origins in the Middle Ages, shows how objective truth was increasingly placed within the context of logic and mathematics, and the search for metaphysical truth gradually moved closer to fieldsin the area of sensory perception, such as art. On the basis of these givens it is possible to follow a development that began in the Middle Ages with the mechanized procedures of logical operations and leads into the twentieth century with the application of heuristic techniques in systems of Artificial Intelligence.

These new functions of logic were rooted in the theory of the Catalan theologian and philosopher Raimundus Lullus (1235–1315). His work «Ars Magna et Ultima» defines logic as an instrument of universal science with which true statements about reality can be formulated. His philosophy brings together two approaches: the attempt to unite as a ‹cientia generalis› the sciences which are distributed over very diverse disciplines, and with this science to find the ‹clavis universalis› that clears the road to an infinite quantity of true statements. His notion of universal language is based on the idea of creating a scientific language of symbols that is intended to serve not as a

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