Ilana Cohen

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities

20102011 Forum on Virtuality

Ilana Cohen

English, Philosophy

CAS, 2011

In the Wake of Digital Aesthetics

With the growing use of digital technologies in artworks there has been a considerable boom in the critical literature concerning the production, curation, appreciation, and philosophical import of those works. While digital aesthetics can encompass anything from a swipe on an iPad to a participatory, 'interactive,' experience with a Jeffrey Shaw installation, most digital media aestheticians are interested by the peculiarity of the digital media experience. Yet the digital medium is still defining its very existence as a medium, both in the fine arts and in the utilitarian technological sector, and so I believe that in order to better understand the present we must understand how it has affected the past. It is in this spirit that I will assess the rich aesthetics of Immanuel Kant's 'Critique of Judgment' using contemporary examples of 'digital fine art,' such as Jeffrey Shaw's "Place-Ruhr," Noah Wardrip-Fruin's "Screen," and Bill Viola's various film series.