The Aesthetics and Practice of Designing Interactive Computer Events

ęStephen Wilson, Professor, Conceptual Design and Information Art
San Francisco State University

Abstract: Much confusion and hyperbole surrounds discussions of the aesthetics of interactive computer events. This essay works to clarify some of this confusion by analyzing the differences between interactive and non-interactive events, reviewing the variety of forms included under the umbrella term of interactivity, and investigating the theoretical rationales offered to support claims of interactivity's superiority derived from psychological, political, art historical, and technohistory sources. Building on this analysis, the essay suggests extensions to current GUI design canons that uniquely attend to interactivity as an aesthetic issue. It also investigates the challenges of the interactivity possibilities of emerging technologies. To full paper(44k)