In this blog post, Tom Igoe describes the presentation of a piece of interactive arts as “The beginning of a conversation with the people who experience your work.” He introduces this concept to discourage other interactive media or physical computing artists from telling their audience blatantly how to interact with their artwork, rather than leaving physical suggestions as he would do.
It is like more classical artwork, like painting, in that you can the artist can give it whatever meaning they want, but what gives the artwork its meaning is what the viewer interacts with it. Each viewer sees the work through their own perspective, and thus has the power to give the artwork their own meaning. That is what art really is.
I believe that the author is attempting to defend interactive artwork as a craft, by connecting it to this meaning. He is educating other artists and telling them not to hand everything to their viewers, but to let them interpret it on their own.
interactive artworks, are different from classical artwork in that the viewer interacts with them directly. Because of this, Tigoe suggests that there are specific strategies to making a piece of work physically discoverable.
Here is a video of me playing with a highly discoverable interactive instillation at the Sydney Museum of Contemporary art last week.