Global Living Diary of Digital Art

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[r2001 01365] Re: my thoughts on CWB
Mon, 21 Sep 1998 19:46:37 EDT

Just a thought,
I agree that the computer is can be just a tool for making art (or documenting
art), as mentioned in this discussion. BUT It is easy to overlook the change
that every new technology has on an art medium. For example look at what
happened when photography was invented. Did it change painting or alter the
way artist's painted? I think you could say no - but would be mistaken -
Photography (and then film) caused a subtle paradigm shift in the way artists
approached their art. Realism - previously the role of painting (as a way of
recording history and people) is accomplished much better, easier, and less
expensively with photography. Painters of the time where told that their craft
was on it's way out. Of course painting is still a valid way of creating art -
the artists of the time (mainly impressionists) used paint to express mood and
feelings, to explore the new way of thinking espoused by scientists like Bohr
and Einstein, and to ponder realities other that what we see through the lens
of a camera. Now in an era of TV, movies and the Internet painters - if they
are attempting to "break new ground" - continue to focus on what the
industrial and digital era mediums or "tools" cannot capture. This debate cuts
to the heart of what has been going on over the past 150 years in painting. To
understand "abstraction" is to understand what is unique about painting. I am
not saying realism is not valid. I'm saying that modern art (real or
abstract), if it is to be successful, needs to explore what paint is, what a
painting hanging on a wall is (as opposed to a TV or movie screen), what color
is, what story telling is (both visual and written), and what is unique about
the individual artist's vision of the world. To ignore the now substantial
history of modern art is to deny yourself (as an artist) of a non-physical
"tool" that builds from a thought process and is then expressed on the canvas.
Thus succesfull digital art should not try to imitate painting or film but
instead should seek what unique vision of truth can be expressed with this new