The Engagement Aesthetic: Experiencing New Media Art through Critique

Critical Writing
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vi, 250
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Abstract (in English): 

"The Engagement Aesthetic" details the first comprehensive overview of art practices that have, in recent years, been subjected to forms of mediation characterized as digital, electronic, new. Francisco J. Ricardo proposes an 'engagement aesthetic' as revealing certain commonalities in the practices of new media art and thus as providing a crucial critical framework. By examining specific works or instances of creation in multiple categories (performance + digital projection; kinetic sculpture + video; projection + text messaging, etc), Ricardo implements the use of phenomenology in order to understand the processes necessary to complete these emerging types of works. He first examines specific works through structural description, moving to analysis of individual viewer perspectives, and ends with critical questions about the place of this perceptual experience in current ideological and institutional contexts. Previous attempts at a comprehensive critical media aesthetics have been based on analyses that are unable to cope with art in which 'artist, viewer and process' are necessarily and actively engaged.

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Jörgen Schäfer