[ISEA94] Paper: Tom Klinkowstein – Inventing an Aesthetic for the 21st Century: Post-Design means Electrotexture


The computer and the digital environment it has given birth to, ushers out fixed surfaces with fixed content and begins an era of variable surfaces, grafting, re-combining and customization (Electrotexture).

From the grid to the net. From metaphor to morph. From intended meaning to emerging meaning. Input and Output devices that shape our mental models. Art and design that is never finished. Art and design that’s a rumor. Art and design built to mutate. Not Graphic Designers, but Knowledge Designers, Interaction Designers and Dialog Specialists, constructing environments which facilitate turning information into knowledge (Post-Design). The new technologies of electronic agents, universal communication devices, the enculturated hypersurface of architecture and hypersonic transportation, lead to new art and design paradigms: art as communication replaces art as object; the dissolution of the distinction between personal and public experience; the waning of the gravity aesthetic. Post-design/Electrotexture means relinquishing the shared ideals of 20th Century modernism for the shared virtual experiential landscape of the 21st Century net.

  • Tom Klinkowstein is a designer and professor living in New York City, USA. He has worked with clients that include NASA, Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, the Dutch Environmental Ministry and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Shows of his work have taken place at international art centers. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Graduate Communications Design Program at Pratt Institute in New York City.