This article examines how the emergence of interactive art brought about the necessity of re-positioning the traditional role of the spectator and led to the re-formulation of the notion of authorship. The non-linear structure of interactive artworks empowers the spectator with the (apparent) control of its narrative and creates a relational space filled with an input-output dynamic. It is suggested that this elevates the spectator to the realm of co-authorship of the work of art that he/she is interacting with, because the specificity of each interaction generates symbolic meanings that the original author cannot anticipate.
It is also argued that the input required from the spectator to interact with the artwork could be compared to a theatrical performance. Thus, an analogy between the spectator-in-action of an interactive artwork and the figure of an actor is established. This brings us to the question concluding the article: as the reception of interactive art implies an action from its spectator, the compatibility between action and contemplation is questioned.
Finally, the article concludes that the corpus of an interactive artwork has to include the spectator that acts and creates the input needed for the interaction to be established. Therefore, only from the point of view of an external observer one can gain access to its global dimension, that is, as meta-spectators.
Este trabalho encontra-se publicado com a Licença Internacional Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0.
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