Dominic Lopes
 – A Philosophy of Computer Art


English, 160 pages, 
ISBN-13: 978-0415547628

Focusing on the processual nature of computer art and purposely omitting all the strictly digital-related issues, this book tries diligently to define a philosophy of computer art. To accomplish this task Lopes tries to be as rigorous as possible in formulating definitions and relationships between concepts. He structures his thesis scrutinizing the essence of computer technology and articulating an accurate philosophical discourse. From this perspective it’s an interesting read, with different conceptual problems related to new media art being tackled in the beginning of the book with syllogisms that construct new definitions. Although some definitions, such as ‘digital art vs. computer art’ are somewhat questionable, the concept of “interactivity” remains essential to Lopes’ discourse. He elaborates on the “experience” factor, for example, showing how much work this concept does in the task of specifically defining “artists” and “users”. He continues to argue distinctively; urging, for example, the independence of the code from the data it processes, and “computing power” as the specific medium used by computer art. Then, he finally steps into video game art, the land where denigrators frequently argue that the essential qualities of art are missing (one example being the lack of time available for reflection within a game). Lopes, to a degree, embraces a logical defense of what he calls computer art as an art form, and he does it through attentiveness, using plenty of artworks to bolster his theories.