The Status of Interactivity in Computer Art: Formal Apories

  • João Castro Pinto CITAR: Research Centre for Science and Technology of the Arts, Portuguese Catholic University | Porto
Keywords: Computer / Digital Art, Interactive Creation, Interactive Art, Interactivity, Interactive Devices, Intentionality, Phenomenology


Contemporary art, particularly that which is produced by computer technologies capable of receiving data input via interactive devices (sensors and controllers), constitutes an emerging expressive medium of interdisciplinary nature, which implies the need for a critical look at its constitution and artistic functions. To consider interactive art as a form of artistic expression that files under the present categorization, implies the acceptance of the participation of the spectator in the production of the work of art, supposedly at the time of its origin / or during its creation. When we examine the significance of the formal status of interactivity, assuming as a theoretical starting point the referred premises and reducing it to a phenomenological point of view of artistic creation, we quickly fall into difficulties of conceptual definitions and structural apories [1]. The fundamental aim of this research is to formally define the status of interactive art, by perpetrating a phenomenological examination on the creative process of this specific art, establishing crucial distinctions in order to develop a hermeneutics in favor of creation of new perspectives and aesthetic frameworks. What is interactive creation? Is interactivity, from the computing artistic creativity point of view, the exponentiation of the concept of the open work of art (ECO 2009)? Does interactive art correspond to an a priori projective and unachievable meta-art? What is the status of the artist and of the spectator in relation to an interactive work of art? What ontic and factical conditions are postulated as necessary in order to determine an artistic product as co-created? What apories do we find along the progres- sive process of reaching to a clarifying conceptual definition?This brief investigation will seek to contribute to the study of this issue, intending ultimately, and above all, to expose pertinent lines of inquiry rather than to provide definite scientific and aesthetic answers.

Author Biography

João Castro Pinto, CITAR: Research Centre for Science and Technology of the Arts, Portuguese Catholic University | Porto
João Castro Pinto started his creative activity as a sound and intermedia artist in the mid nineties. His artistic output includes the fields of sound art, experimental electroacoustic music and intermedia research in a transdisciplinary confrontation perspective of the digital media. He has presented his work extensively, in Portugal and abroad, in more than 100 performances, having played in prestigious institutions, collaborated with renowned artists and won a few awards and distinctions. He holds a degree in Philosophy from the U.N.L.-F.C.S.H. and currently is a PhD student and researcher in Science and Technology of the Arts at UCP - C.I.T.A.R.. More info @


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