COMPUTER ART -
ULTIMATE ASSIMILIATOR OR SIMULATOR
OF 20TH CENTURY WESTERN ART?

Pygoya (Rodney Chang)

(examine the progression of works, 1985-1999; archived
in online Pygoya Webmuseum; www.lastplace.com)

November 13, 1999

 

 

Where does one start in making a case that computer art is corroborated with the rest of this century's Western art?  The simplest method to create a starting point is to simply list its visual character with the visual and conceptual attributes of some past movements of Modern and Post-Modern art. So here goes-

1. Digital imagery's "pixel" (Pointillism, Impressionism, grain in photography)

2. Bright electronic/video colors (Les Fauves)

3. Black & white, hard edge, harsh contrasts (Die Brucke)

4. Start anew, no preset traditional art approach (Der Blaue Reiter)

5. 3D, explore for illogical image planes/facets (Cubism, Picasso, Chagall)

6. Machine, power, speed, movement (Futurism, Marcel Duchamp)

7. Animated GIFs (successive static shots with camera, Futurism, Film)

8. Reject societal values, "found" shapes though random image processing (Ready-mades, Dada, Found Objects)

9. Dreamlike, imaginary/virtual space, automatic drawing, discovering objects/imagery through automatic "doodling" with computer mouse (Surrealism, Salvador Dali)

10. Turn away from nature, pure abstraction (Russian Constuctivism)

11. Pure artistic feeling through geometric shapes and colors (Suprematism)

12. Precise machine craftsmanship, reject representation in favor of geometric and primary colors (De Stijl, Mondrian)

13. Drip, splash approach with electronic pen, no traditional easel, crop wherever chosen, huge scale "paint-out" ("cyberpaintings", as opposed to printout) possibilities (Abstract Expressionism, Pollock)

14. Monitor screen as field of vision, gradients, glowing atmospheric space (Field Painting, Morris Louis, Ad Reinhardt, Bernard Newman)

15. Painting with , geometric patterns, mathematically controlled images, rejection of expressive brushstroke, machine-like look; directed towards art linked to decor, fashion (Op Art - geometric patterns, wavy, dazzling, bright colors; Post-painterly Abstraction - Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland)

16. Custom brush suggesting movement, overlapping icons dependant to speed of mouse or electronic stylus (Kinetic Art)

17. Massed produced, communicated through modem, mass communications, appeal to ordinary people, revolt against art establishment (Pop Art)

18. Throwaway printout attitude, disposable art, ephemeral electronic image, viewing imagery without need for frame and room wall (Pop Art)

19. Photorealistic, imported scanned pictures, enhanced/manipulated photographic imagery, overkill raytracing 3D modeling, physically correct highlight and shadow rendering (Surrealism, Photorealism)

20. My "The Pixel" (1997) piece (Minimalism)

21. Simulation of most media, mixed media approach, overlaying of partial transparencies for collaging result, surface mapping 2D images onto 3D modeled objects; electronic "brushes", "airbrush" for pixel sprays (Post-Modernism, Pluralism)

22. Computer design for large scale projects (Land Art, Earth Art)

23. Interactivity with user/viewer, virtual reality spaces, social situational aesthetic experience: ex.- "Invasion of Geocities.com" (1997) (Happenings, Environmental Art)

24. Multimedia (Art Installation)

25. Online viewing and experience of art in online Cyberspace; simultaneously viewing globally, immateriality of virtual digital art, virtual reality museum with 3D navigational galleries, real time reception chat room (Conceptual Art, Art Installation- monitor as portal to Internet virtual museum: ex.- www.lastplace.com)

26.  Online Cyberspace as new territory within which to experiment as artist ; ex.- "Dipstick" (1997) (Conceptual Art)