Aesthetics of Maker Culture: the Active Role of the Audience

In this work, practice-based research is conducted to rethink the understanding of aesthetics, especially in relation to current media art. Granted, we live in times when technologies merge with living organisms, but we also live in times that provide unlimited resources of knowledge and maker tools. I raise the question: In what way does the hybridization of living organisms and non-living technologies affect art audiences in the culture that may be defined as Maker culture? My hypothesis is that active participation of an audience in an artwork is inevitable for experiencing the artwork itself, while also suggesting that the impact of the umwelt changes the perception of an artwork. I emphasize artistic projects that unfold through mutual interaction among diverse peers, including humans, non-human organisms, and machines. In my thesis, I pursue collaborative scenarios that lead to the realization of artistic ideas: (1) the development of ideas by others influenced by me and (2) the materialization of my own ideas influenced by others. By developing the scenarios of collaborative work as an artistic experience, I conclude that the role of an artist in Maker culture is to mediate different types of knowledge and different positions, whereas the role of the audience is to actively engage in the artwork itself. At the same time, aesthetics as experience is triggered by the other, including living and non-living actors. It is intended that the developed methodologies could be further adapted in artistic practices, philosophy, anthropology, and environmental studies.

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License Holder: Gapševičius, Mindaugas

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