In order to define and understand contemporary digital media and the relationship between virtual and real, there have been traditional approaches in the definition of the virtual as equivalent to illusory and of the pixel’s aesthetic of the web as determined by technological imperatives.

These approaches to the relationship between real and virtual and to the materiality of the pixel have failed in relating the digital to a larger set of possibilities and behaviors that are not restricted to the world of illusory representation. Illusory and technological determinism have also failed in identifying the aesthetic nature of the pixel’s materiality as not only characterized and determined by the technological materiality of the medium but also by the aesthetic choice of a blurred representation of the immediate existence of an event or action across the globe.

The essay will address these issues by focusing on the third and fourth elements of this equation: the cultural behavioral context and the concept of digital aesthetic that determine the web of textures of contemporary digital media.

By analyzing the cultural determinants and aesthetics of historical and contemporary artistic practices, the essay will present a case for a more complex and textured representation of the web that is determined by the aesthetic of the pixel as material identifier of an electronic and instantaneous transposition of actions and behaviors across the globe.


New media, pixel, aesthetic, digital, a-life, texture, behavior, illusory, real, virtual reality