Timothy Binkley

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Timothy Binkley
Professor Timothy Binkley (born 1943).jpg
Timothy Binkley in Greenwich Village, NY (1995).
Born (1943-09-14) September 14, 1943 (age 79)

Timothy Binkley (born Timothy Glenn Binkley on September 14, 1943, in Baltimore, MD), is an American philosopher, artist, and teacher, known for his radical [1] writings about conceptual art and aesthetics, as well as several essays that help define computer art. [2] [3] [4] He is also known for his interactive art installations. [5] [6]



Timothy Binkley studied mathematics at University of Colorado at Boulder, earning a B.A. (1965) and an M.A. (1966). His PhD in philosophy, from University of Texas at Austin (1970), explored Ludwig Wittgenstein's use of language.

Binkley has lectured and taught at several colleges and universities in the United States, most notably at School of Visual Arts where he initiated the MFA Computer Art program, the first of its kind in the country. [7] In 1992, he founded the New York Digital Salon, [8] [9] an international exhibition of computer art.

He has exhibited his interactive art in the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.


Binkley postulates that 20th-century art is a strongly self-critical discipline, which creates ideas free of traditional piece-specifying conventions including aesthetic parameters and qualities. The artwork is a piece, and a piece isn't necessarily an aesthetic object—or an object at all. Binkley states that anything that can be thought about or referred to can be labeled an artwork by an artist. [10]

Binkley argues that the computer is neither a medium nor a tool, [11] [12] since both media and tools have inherent characteristics that can be explored through an artist's gestures or physical events for mark-making. Instead, the computer is a chameleon-like or even promiscuous assistant, whose services can be applied to any number of tasks and whose capabilities can be defined endlessly from application to application. Binkley refers to the computer as a non-specific technology and an incorporeal metamedium. Yet the computer contains phenomena not found in other media: namely, a conceptual space where symbolic content can be modified using mathematical abstractions. The notion of an “original” and its consequent value are considered irrelevant, obsolete, or inapplicable to computer art. [13]

Binkley's philosophy extends beyond art and aesthetics to culture itself, whose foundations he believes we are overhauling through our involvement with computers. [14]



Selected articles

"Deciding About Art", Culture and Art, edited by Lars Aagaard-Mogensen (Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1976).


Personal life and family

Binkley is married to artist and author Sonya Shannon and has a daughter Shelley Binkley, M.D., from a previous marriage to Sue Binkley Tatem.

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  1. Monroe Beardsley, Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism, 2nd edition, 1981. "Conceptual Art", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  2. "Conceptual Art", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2007)
  3. Review of Kathleen Higgins, ed., "Aesthetics in Perspective", (Harcourt Brace, 1996), Reviewed by Albert Hayward.
  4. Livingston, Paisley. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film. 2009: Taylor & Francis US, ISBN   978-0-415-77166-5, pp. 77.
  5. PIX 1, November 1993, Published by Ilona Halberstadt, supported by The Arts Council of Great Britain, ISBN   9780952537021
  6. Fox, Marilyn J. "Technology as a Means to an End".
  7. "Salon's Digital Art Ends Up Flat." Mirapaul, Matthew. The New York Times , "Technology | Cybertimes", November 13, 1997.
  8. "The Stone Age of the Digital Arts", Malina, Roger. Leonardo. New York Digital Salon, 10th Anniversary Catalogue.
  9. "Meta-Forms", Toni Dove, Dolores Zorreguita, et al., Franklin Furnace, April 2002: Colgate University, Hamilton, NY.
  10. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism, Monroe Beardsley, 1st ed., 1958; 2nd ed., 1981
  11. "The Erl King and its Digital Emulation", Weinbren, Grahame. Martha Kinder and Tara McPherson (eds.), Interactive Frictions, University of California Press, (2011).
  12. "Computer Art Thesis: A Critical Examination of Computer Art", Lambert, Nick. (2010)
  13. Van Der Meulen, Sjoukje. The Problem of Media in Contemporary Art Theory, (2009): Columbia University.
  14. Rosen, Philip. Change Mummified: Cinema, Historicity, Theory, University of Minnesota Press, (2001). ISBN   978-0-8166-3637-2.
  15. Marchese, Suzanne M. and Francis T. Marchese. “Digital Media and Ephemeralness: Art, Artist, and Viewer.” Leonardo, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 433–435, (1995).