Towards an Ontology of Computational Technologies as Tools for Aesthetic Creation

Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez



Computational technologies have significantly expanded the horizons of aesthetic creation; nonetheless, their wider ontological status as tools remains poorly understood. This limitation hinders our ability to assess their true impact on aesthetic practices and limits our means to establish the relationship between computer generated artefacts and previous forms of ‘media’. This paper argues that understanding and categorising the things computational technologies are able to do as aesthetic tools also requires understanding what type of tools they are. Following recent insights from philosophy of information and post-phenomenology, this paper begins by showing computational technologies are no ordinary mediators, but truly ‘multi-stable’ appliances which are leading us to reformulate our very notions of reality and self-understanding. While delivering a fully-fledged ontological model falls outside of its scope, this paper nonetheless suggests that within aesthetic contexts, computational devices may be initially described as information modelling appliances. This characterisation offers an alternative to their increasingly less adequate portrayal as ‘media’.


Aesthetics; Computational Technology; Media; Modelling; Ontology; Philosophy of Information; Post-phenomenology

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Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts
Revista de Ciência e Tecnologia das Artes
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