Global Living Diary of Digital Art


BRIGHT LIGHTS
PYGOYA, R2001Hawaii

jotting ideas for commentary on internet and the digital artist


I painted and sculpted, selected color mats and polished brass.  Dugged out clay baked in the ground, dodged a black and white print under red light. I loved the sensualities of working with traditional media.  Ah, the spreads of oily pastels over coarse grained canvas, the cold clamyness of clay, the smell of oils, the warming heat of a kiln.

 

Then I was introduced to this box by an art school painting instructor in 1985. 

 

Then I never painted again.

 

Or sculpted.

 

The urge was and still is gone.

 

It was that brilliant monitor light that mesmerized my senses  away from dull paint and cold bronze.  Here was the chance to play with a new media.  Be among the first to see what good artists could do with the toy.

 

Then the "tool" became the master.  I, the artist, was tech support.  Year after year I worked with emerging software and hardware, attempting to document a case study of one  artist's efforts to show consistency of improvement  that comes with time and advancements of the tools of a new born media.

 

I had computer shows of photographic output in the public. Also ink jet prints. Musicians, wine and cheese, real people at a real gallery space gawking at pixels. It was a perfect place to be for the pioneer computer artist with an interest in aesthetic-social psychology.

 

Then the Internet came along.  Outputting and showing in local shows now suddenly became less interesting and too much humbug. Now my electronic pictures  could be displayed globally electronically.  The monitors borders become my mat. Who needs a frame? And who even needs a show? All that work, all those expenses, all that wishing and hoping.   Now there was a  world audience at my fingerstips.  All I needed to do was keep working hard and paint with the speed of light. There was an opportunity to put my art in someone's face any place in the world, any time of the day.  Through some upfront time the artist could set up shop and stake out turf in the vast quickly expanding cyber-universe of Web sites.  

 

That didn't come without a price. Now I had to do my own PR through the Internet.   So now I don't need my part time art agent.  But this leaves less time to do my (art) work.  Like everybody else, I had to build my Homepage.  In my case the "homepage" took 3000 hours and 3 years of my life. I had to detour and utilize HTML and VRML to create an electronic environment that would virtually flatter my new "cyberart".



As cyberartist I spend many solitary hours in front of a monitor.  The glare, the headaches, the rads - there's a price to pay for working with flying photons in your face.

I spend all my creative time reducing the glare from my work through reducing pixels to  traditional blacks and muds that add back earthiness to electronic image simulation.

 

So now with the Web I do electronic art, display in electronic space, show in electronic space and eventually sell in electronic space.   As nuturing as email and chat is, an artist can spend too much time alone with his computer.  "Cyberspace" can become a pretty lonely and depressing place.

 

And that's why r2001 is such a wonderful group to be associated with.  Although there are camps for traditionalists and for digitalists fights due to media discrimination rarely break out.  Oh, there are our petty biased aesthetic and philosophical differences but the comaderie is well worth it.  It  humanizes cyberspace and  removes electronic isolation of the online digital artist- as well as for the traditionalists.

 

Then shows abroad, international planning and travelling, receptions and champainge, making new cyberacquaintances into real friends and dreaming together of a new start for art.

 

The audience is cyberbased, the art is integrated into the html display format and the challenge always exist to create new artistic visual and experience for visitors of your pages.  R2201 format overlaps the electronic and physical world exhibition spaces. Sometimes the digital art looks out of place and sometimes its the traditional works that somehow has lost some spark online.  It's up to the critics to judge success of the group's efforts to integrate online presentations and offline traditional venues of exposing one's work.

 

The real new opportunity is for artists to meet each other from other parts of the planet.  One can really now see the scope of one's chosen medium and the relative strength of one's own work.  Blue ribbons in local shows and a mention of such and such awards just don't measure up anymore. Through coordinated resources r2001 members can show about, become more  mobile, show their work any place on the planet as long as there is a sponsoring member on the spot, willing to work.

The pluralistic natures of such a diverse group lends itself to the range of work in the group, which if not handled propertly, visually and intellectually, could produce disasterous exhbitions.  The group should devote some thought and time to spearhead an effort to bring the Net itself into the arena of Subject Matter. Call it some sort of "Web Art" or "Cyberism".  The concept can help unite the multitudes of media that uniquely express it.   The world public has heard so much of this Internet and high technology.  They have seen millions of pictures on the Web but not of the Web.  The time is ripe for their fixation on exhibition that exists to display cyberexperiences as art, no matter what media used to create the online art appreciation.

 

Pygoya, gatekeeper of Lighthome Hawaii
June, 1998