I will use examples from my interactive art works, which are themselves artistic and conceptual statements of perception and cognition. Within these works I view the physical environment as the art object, and the process of interaction as the art work. All art objects can engage the viewer in active forms of perceptual selection. We choose to look at a part of a sculpture, or do a structural analysis or an interpretation of a painting. Traditionally this is done as part of the detached contemplation often associated with the aesthetic experience – the phenomenon of aesthetic or psychical distance. Interactive art, in contrast, requires that viewers become behaviorally involved with the object and directly manipulate it, creating a new art work within the constraints of the environment created by the artist. It is thus a dynamic processes that changes over time and includes a high level of personal involvement with the work. In this process, interactive art is an extension of the ability of the viewer to analyze and interpret the work, but it is closer to the task of the traditional artist in which creative expression and problem solving are explicit parts of the process.
- George K. Shortess, Department of Psychology, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA
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