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tuesday :: october 8, 2002
> context weblog by default
aesthetic by default
:: let us play inter-back rather than inter-face

Close to the unrecognizable, the 'aesthetic by default' can sometimes disarm the user by its simplicity or to be interpreted as an error and its contents be ignored. The 'aesthetic by default' is born on Internet of a situation between human beings and machines. For three years, the collective of artists Teleferique experiments a website with an 'interface by default'. The current text is coming from this collective experience. During the redaction of this text, i've kept in mind http://www.teleferique.org and ftp://ftp.teleferique.org as examples to describe what i mean. The 'aesthetic by default' applies less to a piece or an author, that in a collective choice of context of work and life on Internet (an aesthetic of interface). Our interface is not made by a graphic designer or any other human being but generated by the computer's program. It is its reason to live. 'By default' is a selection automatically used by a computer program in the absence of a choice made by the user, or before the user modifies it. In the starting up, display is initialized by default. 'Default' comes from Old French defaute, from defaillir to be lacking, fail. So is esthetic a failure to appear at the required time in a legal proceeding or believes, a beauty by contumace.

Aesthetic by default is linked to Duchamp's 'ready-made' (Porte-bouteilles, 1913). From a linguistic point of view, both of them are phrases. 'Ready-made' is a nominal phrase and 'by default' an adverbial one. A phrase is a chain of 'words' grammatically connected and having a unitary 'meaning'. A phrase is often fixed by the tradition, an extended usage in everydaylife rather than a new name for a revolutionary project. 'Ready-made' is a popular expression used in 1913 by Duchamp to describe the contemporary art as a convention. An interface by default is 'ready-chosen' rather than 'ready-made'. We have installed a site and a server like it is recommended in technical manuals, that's all. I would distinguish "choosing an object as an artistic act, an absence of making" and "make a server with options by default, an absence of choice". This lack of choice is motivated by the refusal of graphic design as the unique mode of existence for art in medias and a network society. In other words, our aesthetic experience takes place in the technological context. >from *Aesthetic by default. Beauty flavor vanilla* by Etienne Cliquet. August, 2002.

related context
do it (home version) :: online art-by-instruction. june 26, 2002
> open_source_art_hack :: new museum exploration. april 30, 2002

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