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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathCybernetic Aesthetics
P-36 White Noise (Mohr, Manfred), 1971

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work «White Noise,» the artist Manfred Mohr deliberately deploys elements that disrupt the symmetry and balance in order to generate visual tension and rouse aesthetic interest. [33]

While the generative contributions concentrated primarily on processbased methods, other cybernetic approaches were distinctive for their examination of the role of the recipient. In the 1960s the artist Kurd Alsleben investigated in his works and writings the possibility of the ‹dialogic› work of art, whose point of reference lay in aesthetic communication. In his book «Ästhetische Redundanz» of 1962, he draws on the development of intentional works and the theories of Helmar Frank, and in particular the latter’s studies of perception in connection with information aesthetics. His later work with telecommunications and Net art [34] carried forward these ideas. Art that operates within a communications network builds on open, interpersonal communication, and is in this respect art without a determinable audience. The basic element is communication: art as «intercourse.» The notion of participation is connected with the communication process, whereby uncompleted and open works offer


the audience spaces for action.

The recourse to formalization and systematic, measurability-based methodology taken by various rationalistic aesthetic currents was indicative of the attempt to set up universally valid statements for all areas of art. Herbert Franke, for instance, articulates the opinion that if a whole series of very different activities, from painting to video, is subsumed under the single concept of ‹art,› then a valid statement must be found for all these areas, «and thus also a comprehensive theory of art. That specifically is the object of the model we are seeking, i.e. to obtain findings valid across all the areas.» [35] . The cybernetic aestheticians are aware that this objective can be realized only if one works with extreme degrees of abstraction.

In resuming it can be said that «information» is becoming the key parameter to understanding aesthetic processes and to structuring aesthetic theory. The various aesthetic currents influenced by, or based on, cybernetics differ from each other in the way they evaluate the «information» parameter. To grasp the work of art as information therefore means

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