The Artefact

If we look at Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory on horizons then we have to seriously consider the presentation of the work, in order to clearly communicate the message. There is an artists vision of the work (the artists horizon) and a viewers perception of the work (the viewers horizon) and it is this merging of the horizons which should be aided by the presentation of both the physical and digital artefact.

If we look at the weight of objects then there are some very big differences between the physical and the digital. The physical object costs and takes time to produce, but the digital object does not have the same value as it can be replicated an infinite amount of times, making it less valuable. A physical object has many tactile functions such as weight and thickness. And in todays culture what does it mean to have something printed? It gives it permanence and some level of credibility as it has gained the worthiness of being taken from the digital world into the physical.

What the digital artefact does well is that its widely and easily accessible, the production of the object is much cheaper and the distribution is a lot faster and cheaper, it can even be done for you by others when they choose to share and like your work. But the full potential of the digital artefact is being held back by skeuomorphism. The digital world attempts to replicate the physical one by mimicking the real world. Such as phone books on a smartphone, bookshelves that store your digital books on and calendars, they all try to mimic reality with there appearance. But the digital world in fact has several advantages such as the ones mentioned earlier.

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