SIGGRAPH 2004 - The 31st international conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques
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Building a Bridge to the Aesthetic Experience: Artistic Virtual Environments and Other Interactive Digital Art
Monday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room 511AB

Most artists, curators, and museum educators share an important common goal: to create or curate art that viewers can appreciate and enjoy. Ideally, they also want viewers to enter an experience that is immersive and builds a connection with the work beyond the surface of the media. This aesthetic experience is complex and multifaceted, and may be characterized by a finely tuned state of consciousness, or awe, intense focus, and pure enjoyment (Dewey, 1934; Csikszentmihalyi & Robinson, 1990a). Csikszentmihalyi also refers to this state as the flow experience (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990b).

Many people feel that virtual environments or other digital technologies may facilitate the aesthetic experience for the viewer. Others feel that this equipment does nothing to bring participants closer to a flow experience, and that the complexity, expense, and inaccessibility of this genre of art installations may confuse and alienate viewers.

This panel is not about the validity of virtual environments and interactive digital works as art forms. It is a debate on the effectiveness of this technology to help the viewer experience art in a richer way. Panelists discuss theory, experiences of individual artists, and studies that connect the quality of the aesthetic experience to digital interactivity.

Dena Eber
Bowling Green State University

Brian Betz
Kent State University

Tobey Crockett
University of California, Irvine

Flavia Sparacino
Sensing Places/Massachusetts Institute of Technology

panels committee
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Conference 8-12 August, Exhibition 10-12 August.  In Los Angeles, CA