Aesthetic Computing

From Leonardo

Aesthetic Computing

Edited by Paul A. Fishwick





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.

ContributorsJames 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


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262062503 476 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 201 illus.


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262562379 476 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 201 illus.


Paul A. Fishwick

Paul A. Fishwick is Professor of Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering at the University of Florida.


  • A dramatic and inspiring exploration of computers, art, and design. No one should miss the experience of entering the portals of this beautiful book to stimulate creative thinking and develop a fresh way to look at the world, from novel computer interfaces to new social fabrics and communication methods.

    Clifford A. Pickover

    author of A Passion for Mathematics and Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves

  • Aesthetic Computing brings the exploration of aesthetic experience beyond the representation of natural processes and technological events, and beyond optimization in mathematics and computing. Instead, the contributors envision a visual space where concepts of aesthetics from both art and computing can enhance each other.

    Anna Ursyn

    Professor of Visual Arts, University of Northern Colorado

  • Aesthetic Computing examines the relationship between beauty and computation from a variety of perspectives. With the advent of digital art and digitally created music, we have come to accept that computation can be the medium through which beauty is expressed. Less obvious is the idea that logic has its own inherent beauty and computation a unique aesthetics. Perhaps most intriguing of all is the artistic presentation of mathematical concepts in computationally produced form. This collection of essays is a fascinating exploration of the varied terrain where abstraction and creative force meet.

    Jennifer Burg

    Department of Computer Science, Wake Forest University