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Themesicon: navigation pathAesthetics of the Digitalicon: navigation pathCybernetic Aesthetics

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Bense as a further founder of information aesthetics. While Bense’s interest was focussed on the fine arts, Moles was preoccupied with linguistics and music, and above all with the computer art emergent in his time. [9]

According to Moles, machines must increasingly approximate art—and art the machines—since both are systems whose creative faculty is based on the combination of diverse elements. Their value rests in the possibility of generating high complexity from simple components. On the basis of a method he described as the «residue of a simulation» (possibly indicative of a certain degree of cybernetic inspiration), Moles introduced the key concept of ‹simulation,› [10] which would only later take on significance for the categorization of media art. The value of a work, as Moles saw it, does not consist in the traditional notion of ‹truth›—the basic concept of classical aesthetics—but in its operationalizability or, put differently, in the ‹degree of similarity.› Viewed aesthetically, the simulacrum implies a relation between technology and the quest for operational consistency. Moles saw a direct connection between


the crisis of truth criteria and the rise of new technologies building on attributes of performativity. By transferring a factually technical concept into the artisticcultural sector, Moles was far ahead of his time and underscored the original nature of his concept. Similar theses are to be found in the theory of Jean-François Lyotard, who asserts that the «criterion of performativity» [11] is one which is technological, and not suitable for judging what is truthful and right. [12] If machines can in fact simulate intellectual creation in the sense of Moles’ theory, then the simulation of works of art must become the center of interest. It is a question of developing a program to that end, and of systematically addressing the question of the role of the artist within that process. In view of works created by digital means, the creative artist is assigned, according to Moles, the function of the aesthetician on the one hand, and of the programmer on the other. The artist formulates aesthetically the artistic criteria which the programmed work must, in his opinion, fulfil. In practice, however, the artist must create an algorithm containing these aesthetic qualities in the translation from creative to binary language. This

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