Digital Image – Digital Art: ARC Seminar 22nd September 2014

The Aesthetics Research Centre is pleased to announce its next research seminar:

Monday 22nd September, 4pm – 6pm, Keynes Seminar Room 17, University of Kent

Katherine Thomson-Jones, Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences

Digital Image – Digital Art


My paper explores the sense in which digital images are digital and how this bears on the proper appreciation of artworks that comprise digital images. Drawing on Goodman’s classical account of the analog-digital distinction, I confront the problem of how a scheme of pictorial property types can be digital when color, shape, and size are continuously varying values. Despite his insistence on the essential analogicity of pictorial representation, I show that Goodman has the resources to explain the digital structure of image schemes that rely on subphenomenal digital discrimination technologies in their production and display. Accepting that images can be digital in Goodman’s sense is crucial for understanding the grounds of appreciation for digital art. The artist working with digital images has a set of choices unavailable to the artist working with analog images–choices concerning how to respond to the inherently transmissible and multiply instantiable nature of digital imagery. The current state of the digital art world shows just how variable responses can be to new digital possibilities. In this paper, I begin to show that appropriate pictorial appreciation in the digital age involves not just appreciating how artists use new imaging tools but also appreciating how artists address the very nature of the image in their works.


Kate Thomson-Jones has research interests in aesthetics, philosophy of film, and value theory. With the support of an ACLS Fellowship, she is currently working on a book about the digital arts. She has published articles on ethical art criticism, imagination, formalism, film narration, and empathy in film. She is the author of Aesthetics and Film (2008) and co-editor of New Waves in Aesthetics (2008). Kate teaches philosophy of art, philosophy of film, philosophy of music, ethics, and value theory. Before coming to Oberlin, she taught moral and political philosophy at the University of St Andrews, Scotland

All welcome