Art as a Complex, Dynamic System


39 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020


In this paper we want to give possible answers to questions such as: What is art? How is art related to society? How does art develop? We consider art not as static, but as dynamic and complex, it permanently changes, interpretations of artworks permanently (re-)emerge, new artworks emerge, etc. In the first section we will discuss different conceptual approaches of art theory. In section 2 we introduce a dynamic concept of art that is based on processes of cognition (2.1.), communication (2.2.), and co-operation (2.3). In section 3 we discuss the historical development of art as a dynamic process, in section 4 we take a look the idea of the autonomy of art in society and the relationship of art and society, in section 5 we outline the role of art in capitalism and communism. Methodologically we advance from the abstract to the concrete, we first discuss what the essence of art is on a more abstract level, then we outline informational aspects of cognition, communication, and co-operation of the artistic production process. The analysis of the dynamic evolution of art and of the autonomy of art introduces an already more concrete level of analysis where the role of art in society is discussed. Finally we discuss the role of art in the societal formation that we live in - capitalism - and possible future developments of art in society. Hence we reach a concrete level of analyis that describes the present and points towards the future.

Keywords: {hilosophy, art, aesthetics, culture, self-organization, emergence, cultural studies, dialectical cultural materialism, semiotics, capitalism

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Christian and Holzner, Franziska, Art as a Complex, Dynamic System. SELF-ORGANIZATION OF THE INFORMATION SOCIETY, Wolfgang Hofkirchner, ed., Available at SSRN:

Christian Fuchs (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg ( email )

A-5020 Salzburg

Franziska Holzner

University of Kassel ( email )

D-34109 Kassel, Hessen

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