| Pierre Lévy's Collective Intelligence:
Mankind's Emerging World in Cyberspace (1994) has helped shape
the dialogue about the aesthetic and social implications of multimedia,
influencing artists and theorists alike. A counterpoint to the
dystopic vision of William Burroughs
and William Gibson, Lévy points to
a digitally-conceived utopian universe, a virtual world in which
vast repositories of information, decentralized authorship, mutable
identity, and telematic interaction form an "endless horizon"
of evolving forms of art and communication.
Lévy identifies an active role for the
recipient of the artwork in tandem with a dramatic dissolution
of authorial control on the part of its creator. For Lévy,
art is becoming a dynamic, fluid, changing environment, a "deteriolized
semiotic plane" in which "artist" and "recipient" unite in a
consensual interplay in the formation, execution and interpretation
of art. He views the digital medium as continuous and collaborative
According to Lévy, the break from traditional
notions of authorship is leading us towards cultural transformation.
He envisions a collective society linked by electronic networks,
with citizens actively engaged in the "continuous invention
of the languages and signs of a community." Levy proposes that
multimedia is a catalyst for social evolution. It is, he writes,
"the architecture of the future" or the language of the