chapter  28
Dynamic Encounters and the Benjaminian Aura
Reflections on the New Media, Next Media, and Connectivity
WithWafaa Bilal
Pages 6

Western aesthetics are designed around recognition of a static, concrete object, and based on a long tradition around the passive act of viewing. The aura is, according to Benjamin, those associations which, at home in the memoire involontaire, group themselves around the object of perception, growing from our empathic response, and finding a base and a direction in the stream of memories created. Benjamin discusses the rhizomatic proliferation of associative potential that offshoots such a dynamic encounter. Such an experiential space calls to mind further discussions of Benjamin, who discusses Surrealism as a movement that also sought to locate itself in the participatory. Artists began to explore the potential of dynamic encounters —the works whose trajectories are impossible to determine in advance. Such works created performance platforms with no predetermined end states, whose interactivity and open trajectory made a tremendous impression on audiences and the art world.