First and foremost, the philosophy of digital art is the study of the nature and appreciative grounds of all those kinds of art whose production and presentation crucially involves computer processing. This first-order inquiry cannot proceed without acknowledgment of claims made by media and cultural theorists, art theorists and art audiences, concerning the way digital image- and sound-making technologies are fundamentally changing our understanding of art, representation, and perceptual experience. These claims suggest that the “digital condition” induces a loss of trust in the image, a new way of experiencing the world as indeterminate and fragmentary, and a breakdown of traditional boundaries between artist and audience, artwork and artistic process. Testing these claims requires a formal understanding of the distinction between analog and digital systems and the implications of that distinction for aesthetic appreciation. The philosophy of digital art proceeds from a carefully articulated general account of digital representation to an investigation of the precise ways in which different kinds of digital art are digital. This leads to a further investigation into the ways an artwork’s digital status bears on its appropriate appreciation. By conducting a systematic analysis of the digital as an artistically significant category, the philosophy of digital art seeks to ground burgeoning interdisciplinary and popular interest in the so-called “digital revolution”.
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