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Jennifer Hall, IDSVAFollow





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A new language to discuss and critique interactive artwork is emerging from the intersections of cybernetics, neuroscience, and embodied philosophy. This language includes both biological materialism and posthuman developments as part of an evolutionary trend in aesthetics. Interactive aesthetics has emerged from the historical discourse of a phenomenally situated subject. Adding a neuroscientific lens to our understanding of embodiment brings into further focus some of the detailed ways in which we deploy choices in our actions. This project challenges the traditional notion of neuroaesthetics as a reductionist methodology. As an alternative, neuroscientific findings can provide ways in which to understand the brain as a series of patterns of activity that provide introspection for full-body actions within the larger world. Using the frame of behavioral aesthetics, this project offers a critique that argues interactivity as a common language for the post-biological object to have voice approximate to that of the biological subject. This multidisciplinary investigation explores the ways in which interactive artworks are reinventing a place in contemporary practice that focuses our attention on how experience creates aesthetic purpose. Embodied aesthetics deploys the phenomenological affirmation that we are always present in thought and perception. We load cognitive work onto the environment and the environment offers us fresh stimuli. The environment is very much a part of a cognitive system and is able to impact the configuration of our cognitive function, often in unpredictable ways. Cognition is body-based and works in a distributed way across all systems to employ—to urge from the environment—an empathetic participation. A study of interactive artworks brings attention to this act of creative inhabitance.

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Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts


Portland, Maine

Interactive Art and the Action of Behavioral Aesthetics in Embodied Philosophy



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