Aesthetic Computing

Aesthetic Computing

ISBN 9780262272735
480 pp.
April 2006

Content Publisher
The MIT Press

Aesthetic Computing

In Aesthetic Computing, key scholars and practitioners from art, design, computer science, and mathematics lay the foundations for a discipline that applies the theory and practice of art to computing. Aesthetic computing explores the way art and aesthetics can play a role in different areas of computer science. One of its goals is to modify computer science by the application of the wide range of definitions and categories normally associated with making art. For example, structures in computing might be represented using the style of Gaudi or the Bauhaus school. This goes beyond the usual definition of aesthetics in computing, which most often refers to the formal, abstract qualities of such structures—a beautiful proof, or an elegant diagram. The contributors to this book discuss the broader spectrum of aesthetics—from abstract qualities of symmetry and form to ideas of creative expression and pleasure—in the context of computer science. The assumption behind aesthetic computing is that the field of computing will be enriched if it embraces all of aesthetics. Human-computer interaction will benefit—“usability,” for example, could refer to improving a user’s emotional state—and new models of learning will emerge. Aesthetic Computing approaches its subject from a variety of perspectives. After defining the field and placing it in its historical context, the book looks at art and design, mathematics and computing, and interface and interaction. Contributions range from essays on the art of visualization and “the poesy of programming” to discussions of the aesthetics of mathematics throughout history and transparency and reflectivity in interface design.

Contributors: James Alty, Olav W. Bertelsen, Jay David Bolter, Donna Cox, Stephan Diehl, Mark d'Inverno, Michele Emmer, Paul Fishwick, Monica Fleischmann, Ben Fry, Carsten Görg, Susanne Grabowski, Diane Gromala, Kenneth A. Huff, John Lee, Frederic Fol Leymarie, Michael Leyton, Jonas Löwgren, Roger F. Malina, Laurent Mignonneau, Frieder Nake, Ray Paton, Jane Prophet, Aaron Quigley, Casey Reas, Christa Sommerer, Wolfgang Strauss, Noam Tractinksy, Paul Vickers, Dror Zmiri.


  1. Series Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. 1. An Introduction to Aesthetic Computing

    Paul Fishwick

  4. 2. Goodman’s Aesthetics and the Languages of Computing

    John Lee

  5. 3. A Forty-Year Perspective on Aesthetic Computing in the Leonardo Journal

    Roger F. Malina

  6. 4. The Interface as Sign and as Aesthetic Event

    Frieder Nake and Susanne Grabowski

  7. 5. Metaphorical Dimensions of Diagrammatic Graph Representations

    Ray Paton

  8. 6. Metaphoric Mappings: The Art of Visualization

    Donna Cox

  9. 7. Public Space of Knowledge: Artistic Practice in Aesthetic Computing

    Monika Fleischmann and Wolfgang Strauss

  10. 8. Visually Encoding Numbers Utilizing Prime Factors

    Kenneth A. Huff

  11. 9. From the Poesy of Programming to Research as Art Form

    Laurent Mignonneau and Christa Sommerer

  12. 10. Transdisciplinary Collaboration in "Cell"

    Jane Prophet and Mark d'Inverno

  13. 11. Processing Code: Programming within the Context of Visual Art and Design

    Casey Reas and Ben Fry

  14. 12. Aesthetics and the Visualization and Quality of Software

    Stephan Diehl and Carsten Görg

  15. 13. Aesthetics and Mathematics: Connections Throughout History

    Michele Emmer

  16. 14. Aesthetic Computing and Shape

    Frederic Fol Leymarie

  17. 15. The Foundations of Aesthetics

    Michael Leyton

  18. 16. Aesthetics of Large-Scale Relational Information Visualization in Practice

    Aaron Quigley

  19. 17. The Well-Tempered Compiler? The Aesthetics of Program Auralization

    Paul Vickers and James L. Alty

  20. 18. Tertiary Artifacts at the Interface

    Olav W. Bertelsen

  21. 19. Transparency and Reflectivity: Digital Art and the Aesthetics of Interface Design

    Jay David Bolter and Diane Gromala

  22. 20. Articulating the Use Qualities of Digital Designs

    Jonas Löwgren

  23. 21. Exploring Attributes of Skins as Potential Antecedents of Emotion in HCI

    Noam Tractinsky and Dror Zmiri

  24. About the Authors
  25. Index