‘Digital Art’

Today’s discussion was a break from the usual subject of web advances, and more about digital artworks, and their place within an art context. At the moment there is no sort of definition for what digital art is – my own point of view is that this comes from the original intent of the artist, and the focus behind the narrative/purpose of the piece. Is it an exploration of digital media and possibilities – or just a efficient way of executing an idea?

Like an example that was brought up today – digital photography. Let’s say there is a piece in a gallery, a photographic print, originally captured with a digital camera. Much like the works in exhibtions such as Decode or Unleashed Devices, it uses digital technology and software as a tool for capturing and printing. However, this is may be less obvious in the photograph – the artist may be attempting to convey a message just through the subject matter of the image, and the fact that the piece is digitally created is dismissed completely. If the image is displayed on an LCD screen, maybe the term ‘digital art’ becomes more prevalent, as it is obvious to the viewer that the artist specifically wished for their work to be viewed digitally, rather than the usual print or back-lighted print. This idea may then consider work such as Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room as not being ‘digital art’. The viewer’s connection with the piece may overshadow the programming of the input of pulses and output via the circuit of lightbulbs. Not sure what sort of pigeon-hole that could go into, interactive art is the most obvious – interactive art and digital art overlap as possible terms quite a bit.

This also begs the question – are we becoming immune to the use of digital technology in art yet (where it’s NOT the focus of the piece)? We certainly seem to be immune to it in everyday life, so why do we even notice or consider its occurrence in current art?

Will write more on the session later today – with some info on Claude Shannon. Exciting!

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