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By medium: experimental literature - experimental music - experimental film

Related: art - avant-garde - complexity - contemporary - innovation - modern - modern art - new - originality

Contrast: classic - tradition


Although the concept experiment has interesting sociological ramifications such as the Milgram experiment and the Stanford prison experiment, our interest in the term experimental is as a practice of art, music and fiction. Literally experimental means "relating to or based on experiment". Since the modern art era there is pressure on the arts to be new, ground-breaking, original, avant-garde, innovative and modern. This concept of the cult of originality arose in the age of Romanticism.

Of all art forms which are denoted experimental, "experimental music" is the most popular. A "experimental music" Google search brings up more than a million pages. Runners-up are "experimental film" with 393,000 pages, "experimental art" (186,000) and "experimental fiction"/"experimental literature" with each about 100,000 pages.

The quest for experiment and newness has often rejected pure and simple aesthetics and celebrated interestingness. [Jan 2006]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimental - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiment

Thought experiment

In philosophy, physics, and other fields, a thought experiment (from the German term Gedankenexperiment, coined by Ernst Mach) is an attempt to solve a problem by using an analogy. These experiments are used to understand something practical through comparison with a hypothetical example. Thought experiments design a hypothetical situation in which our intuitive response is contrary to our actual responses in a similar real situation. Thought experiments create dissonance with the known and accepted, which with time have led to the reformulation or precision of theories.

Thought experiments have been used to pose questions in philosophy at least since Greek antiquity, some pre-dating Socrates. In physics and other sciences many famous thought experiments date from the 19th and especially the 20th Century, but examples can be found at least as early as Galileo. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_experiment [Jan 2006]

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