Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathCybernetic Aesthetics

icon: previous page

particularly relevant insofar as the information psychology based upon it provided them with the fundament of their aesthetic principles. Here again, the contributions were aimed at the definitive renunciation of the Romantic idea of viewers of art being ‹passive consumers,› when according to Moles there could be no ‹passive perception› since a work of art was always an ‹object of communication.›

Herbert W. Franke emphasizes the central importance of perceptive processes in his book «Kunst kontra Technik» (Frankfurt/Main, 1978), referring to the practice of information aesthetics in order to investigate the capacity of information flow able to be assimilated by the human senses. [24] At the same time he notes the paradox of aesthetic information: that works of art are expected to possess a long-term effect and thus a high degree of complexity, yet the physical capacity to absorb of the recipient is subject to specific limits. [25] The theory of apperception indications that a ‹surplus offer› of information rouses the viewer’s irritation, while a ‹deficient offer› leads to ‹boredom.› [26] In order to obtain a certain degree of complexity without surpassing the recipient’s


absorptive capacity, Franke proposes a ‹multi-plane model.› «It is then in the hand of the artist to occupy several ‹layers› of the work of art, and beyond this he can establish connections between the layers with the spectator can preoccupy himself in later phases of the reception process.» [27] As Franke sees it, the usage of new technologies in art, for instance in computer art, brings about a symbiosis of rational thought and aesthetic creation, since as an art form linked with the world of science and technology it makes use of aesthetic elements that are mathematical, logical, or technical in origin. Cybernetic aesthetics and computer art therefore prove to be farreaching bridges that interconnect art, science, and digital-information processing.

Franke’s 1967 book on information aesthetics [28] played a crucial role in establishing the discipline, and launched new concepts of cybernetic aesthetics. With the notion of ‹interactive systems› and active audience involvement Franke opened up a dimension unknown in Bense’s information aesthetics: the nonmeasurable experience of the recipient in the process of perceiving a work of art. In the long term this concept

icon: next page