Using the hypothesis that interaction with net art can be categorised, the primary purpose of the research was to generate a taxonomy of this interaction. Emphasis is given to interactive web based works that require the user to participate by contributing material to the piece.
An initial period of contextualisation was required to position net art within contemporary arts culture this included an examination of previous attempts at categorising interactivity and the exploration of connected historical art practices. Most previous attempts at categorisation either characterise types of interactive work, or detail specific interactive characteristics the work itself may have. This aim of this thesis was to take an alternative approach by focusing on the interaction itself in order to create a taxonomy. To establish this characterisation of interactivity, several practical pieces of internet art were created that doubled as data collection tools.
The main outcome of this project resulted in the development of my own Connected, Partially Connected and Unconnected ( C.P.U.) model of interactivity. This in turn necessitated the examination of the interactive process which resulted in defining a loop of interaction . This loop of interaction specifies several separate phases to the interactive process, the C.P.U. model of interactivity occupying one of these phases.
This thesis primarily provides a platform with which to further interrogate interaction with net art. An unexplored area of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) that is specific to net art has been identified and is therefore of use to theorists and researchers working in this area. It is also of use to artists enabling them to better understand how interaction is understood within the context of their own practice.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.