The rise of social media and digital networks has been so dizzyingly swift that any cogent appraisal of the aesthetics of the web has, until now, been almost impossible to propose. A much-anticipated book, Web Aesthetics sets aside current debate about digital culture by directly addressing this neglected facet of the discipline. Here, the Italian media theorist and freelance curator Vito Campanelli examines social networks, peer-to-peer networks and our contemporary "remix culture," tracing their cultural precedents and explicating an aesthetics based on digital social exchange, cut-and-paste, the viral dissemination of concepts, the proliferation of digital platforms and other properties of the web. Campanelli's thesis is not primarily concerned with web design, but with the idea of aesthetics as a non-utilitarian element negating the commercial drive of the web. Web Aesthetics therefore proposes a uniting of communication and a rarely espoused ideal of beauty.
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