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Interaffectivity: Why interaction is not enough

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From a brief comparative analysis between an art piece and a science-oriented technical object, this paper develops the argument in support of the idea of the artwork as a node of interchanging synergies comprising the observer (as an active viewer), the artwork itself, its environment and the artist. Central to this argument is postulation that the experience of the observer, in face of the artwork, will promote the transubstantiation (Duchamp, 1957) of pure information into an aesthetic form, an osmotic phenomenon highly dependent on the capacity, and predisposition, of the observer to address meaning to the artistic experience. This finds resonance in Søren Brier's (2008) statement that --- information is not enough--- and it is also aligned with the idea that the art experience might respond to the concept of an aesthetic organism (Nóbrega, 2009) as a model. In the case of artworks technologically assisted, in which the experience is modulated by the interaction between the audience and the art piece, this transubstantiation will also reflect a transductive process, in other words, a transformative exchange of energies between the material functioning of the artwork, its environment and the mental system of the artist (process of invention), as well as of the observer (art fruition). It is our claim that an important catalyst of such transaction is affection. This claim will find support from the French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1958/1980), and its theory of individuation applied to the concept of technical objects, to which individuation is, before cognitive, an affective process. Also corroborates to this view the concept of conversation (Maturana, 2008) as the locus of an interchangeable flow between language and emotion. In that sense, this communication proposes interaffectivity as a working concept in order to account for the synergies emergent from the coupling of several systems—the mental system of the artist, the observer and the artwork--considering the artwork as a subsystem of a complex structure activated by affective bonds.
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Keywords: bonds.interaction; individuation; interaffectivity; resonance; technical object

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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