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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathCybernetic Aesthetics

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to prepare the ground for a commensurate conception of aesthetics. This process must take into account that the overcoming of subjectivist discourse and the turn toward a communicative evaluation of art is subject to the influences of theories such as those of phenomenology, hermeneutics, and semiotics. Information aesthetics and cybernetic aesthetics highlight all the more clearly the gulf between ontological-metaphysical aesthetic schools on the one hand, and rationalist aesthetics on the other.

Critique of information aesthetics and cybernetic aesthetics

The rationalist aestheticians deserve great credit for having worked out an aesthetic model based on the new research parameter of information. However, it must also be said that several orthodox positions of rational, informational and cybernetic aesthetics come up against their own dogmatic borders. The logic of information aesthetics does, in fact, point to a paradox: The idea of communication is closely connected to the «information» parameter. Aesthetic information is treated differently from semantic


information, since its main concern is not the conveyance of meaning but of that which Max Bense described as «realization.» He proposes a system based on the unidirectional transmission of information. This transmission model reduces communication to the one-sided problem of «output» in the discourse of the aesthetic object. Precisely this fact allows information theory to transform aesthetic evaluations, such as that of beauty, into quantifiable concepts.

If one reduces aesthetic questions to a purely rational and numeric evaluation of the work (information as a quantifiable value), then one concedes a cognitive-theoretical value neither to the work itself nor to the aesthetic experience—and herein lies the paradox—and thus renders more difficult the process of truly open communication or, as may be the case, of an exchange of information.

The kind of communication structure proposed by information aesthetics is sequential and reductionist in character. It understands communication to mean de facto the process of information transmission as one-sided ‹information transmission› from transmitter to receiver in the sense of the ‹classical model› of

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