Plasma Studii on Tue, 30 Apr 2002 01:25:03 +0200 (CEST)

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>Interaction is effective when it adds meaning to the artwork ie. a 
>participant gains insight into the work, or contributes to the 
>meaning of the work as a result of their interaction.

Well, that's one way.  Sure, fine.  But sometimes the artwork is just 
NOT the subject and the user merely can appreciate the elements 
(interactive or not) of that work.  Sometimes, the ACT of a user 
wielding SOME THING (most prominent example seems to be an 
interactive software art program) is the focus.  The work itself, by 
itself is entirely superfluous.

It's like sound is a theoretical entity.  For all practical purposes, 
it only really exists when there is a medium for it to vibrate. 
There is no "insight" to be "gained" from the isolated work until you 
become its medium.  The work is nothing, merely a catalyst.  Rather, 
what is taken from the work, varies with how the user actually 
communicates with it (what they get from the character of the 
computer's responses).

Hardly a "tree falls in the forest" question.  Some art is just not 
about the thing, the noun, the object, RATHER the action, the verb, 
the event (meant as both the regular definition and programming term).

Surely you can picture artwork being merely some instructions written 
on index cards.  Imagine the cards are read out loud.  Now imagine 
they are delivered by ESP.  (In the case of interactivity, imagine 
the cards are not written in advance but based on the responces.  Q: 
What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?  A: chocolate Q: Who makes 
the best chocolate ice cream?...) Where is the visual element?  Who 
cares.  (Here, the "conceptual-ness" of the work is arbitrary.)

Is the program pretty?  A valid question but if that is the only one, 
the art was missed.  There's a psych experiment with a high contrast 
film of a Dalmatian walking over a patches of snow.  Any still is a 
meaningless assortment of black blobs on a white field.  But only 
when the dog is in motion, do you recognize its characteristic walk, 
draw the outline in your imagination.

Likewise, the person judging software art has to develop their 
ability to recognize the characteristic style and direction of the 
computer's responses.  Is the interaction imitating some animal pack 
behavior or is it a chaotic temper tantrum or is it the result of 
millions of exponential changes vying for dominance as in cell 



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