COMPUTER IMAGES AS "FINE ART"

- SOME PROBLEMS IN THE FIELD/MEDIUM

 

Rodney Chang, October 1987

 

1. Problem of transforming the ephemeral monitor image into a collectible "hard copy" in real time; some experimental approaches-

a. paint by hand (oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas)

b. quality limited edition photographs

c. print out (unsatisfactory quality - inks and paper)

d. color separations: limited edition prints (lithographs, serigraphs, even woodcuts)

e. image merely as blueprint design for execution into conventional media - sculpture, modified version as actual painting

2. Problem of elevating computer graphics to "fine art"

a. quality of graphics representation (low resolution pixelation)

b. quality of limitations of current software

c. access to quality set up for unendowed free-lance artist

d. graphics targeted by programmers for commercial/business art need instead of fine arts

e. transferring colored emitted photons (intense) to pigments and reflective surface results in a loss of color vitality (reduced luminosity)

3. Problem of prejudice against the machine, the new, similiar problem of photograpy 100 years ago; not "made by hand", canned commercial software instead of creating one's own fine arts software.

4. Problem of stereotypical mediocre graphic, not "art" images; popularization as image for TV (commercial effects) and video territory vs. stills/framed (an intrusion of sensibility and aristocratic standing of painting)

5. Problem of establishing (and receiving public recognition) of personal style, superceding programmed software instrinsic look and method of image processing (it's important to use different computer and software to create one's own "look")

6. Problem of balancing content of the traditional (Modernism, art in general) and creating experimental new art, art for the future (maybe for a future audience and acceptance in some other arena, not the current art marketplace)

7. Problem of continued personal artistic development along with the constant introduction of new technology.

8. Problem of convincing that it's (the computer) just another element in mixed-media projects.

9. Problem establishing a visual iconic computer style/look, along with an adaptive personal expression/style.

10. Problem of working in a vacuum with no feedback or support (Hawaii, even New York can be isolation). We're in the infancy of true computer art, pioneers for a Neo-Futurism.

11. Problem of dealing with Modernism vs. Post-Modernism and here, also competing traditional Hawaiiana cultural values.

12. Problem of adapting computer technology to art production technology (such as printmaking)

13. Problem of high cost of working in this media - film recorders, photo-processing, scale (must make final art larger than monitor size to avoid a TV appearance), repairs of hardware, keeping up with new software and upgrades.

14. Problem of personal computer imaging competing with multi-million dollar systems of network systems subservient to commercial image popularization and image stereotyping.

15. Problem of not being accepted yet in the official art world and market; complicates the concept of commercially viable "prints", "originals", "authorship".

16. Problem of confusion with the overlap of TV, video and computer monitor images.

17. Problem of threat of the new; many artists afraid of the computer ("It might replace me"), therefore clouded with unfounded negativism within the local art community.

18. Problem of quality and size of resolution - related to the cost of the system and intent of image production.

19. Problem of easy piracy from computer access disks.

20. Problem of eventual loss of electronic imagery due to the deterioration of digital information on disks.

21. Problem of fear of loss of interest and/or sensitivity in one's art medium, once interest is developed in using computers to make one's art.

22. Rapid obsolescence of one's computer artwork appearance as new technology refines and "improves" the digital image output at high tech's blistering rate of progress.