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date: 28 May 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter is a philosophical meditation on art made in virtual worlds. It proceeds by locating such art within three thematic contexts, those of new media art, computer-generated virtuality, and worldhood. Discussion of these themes draws upon the resources of Western philosophy, including the work of Aristotle, Aquinas, Scotus, Kant, Marx, Bergson, Husserl, Benjamin, Adorno, and Deleuze. The meditation concludes by specifying six dimensional characteristics that make virtual worlds a unique medium of aesthetic expression: immersion, interaction, ambiguity of identity, environmental fluidity, artificial agency, and networked collaboration. While other art forms might share one or two of these characteristics, only the art of virtual worlds is capable of exhibiting all six, so that it is the full cluster of characteristics that makes this media unique.

Keywords: Art, aesthetics, philosophy, immersion, new media, identity, collaboration, Deleuze, Benjamin, Marx

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