Correlations between 20th Century Art and Digital Art


by Rodney Chang/Pygoya, 1993-2001


Theory: Movements of 20th Century art are isolated cultural elements of the times. When coalesced into a summarily pluralistic melting pot, digital art emerged a the art medium directing us into the 21st century - Pygoya


Some identified correlations between elements of computer art/graphics and "art movements" of the 20th Century-

Pixel - Pointillism, Impressionism, grain in photography

Bright electronic colors - Les Fauves (emotions, response of subject)

Black/White hard edge contrast/harsh lines (especially early computer graphics); destroying established values, start anew - Die Brucke; Der Blaue Reiter

3D, creating illogical space, geometric; 3D modeling programs - Cubism

Machine, movement, power, speed, animation - Futurism

Reject society values (computer artists), "found" images through random image processing techniques - Readymades, Dada, Found Objects

Dreamlike, imaginary space, 3D objects - Surrealism

Automatic drawing, discovering images through suggestive automatic doodling with computer input device (mouse) - Surrealism

Turn away from nature, pure abstraction digital imagery - Russian Constructivism

Pure artistic feeling through geometric shapes and colors - Russian Suprematism

Precision machine craftsmanship vs. individual draftsmanship, reject representation in favor of geometric/primary colors (early computer graphics)- De Stijl, example artist: Mondrian

Drip/splash, no traditional easel, crop where choose, huge scale (for example, Paint Out canvases by Rodney Chang) - Abstract Expressionism, example artist: Jackson Pollock

Monitor screen as field of vision, gradients, glowing atmospheric space - Field Painting

Painting with light - Op Art - geometric patterns, wavy, dazzling bright colors

Mathematically controlled digital images, reject expressive brushwork, machine-made look, hard edge digital lines - Post-painterly Abstraction, example artists: Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland

Custom brush suggesting movement, overlapping icons in brushstroke - Kinetic Art

Direction towards art as linked to decor, fashion - Op Art

Mass-produced, communicated through modem, mass communications, appeal to ordinary people, revolt against art establishment - Pop Art

Throwaway attitude, disposable printed output, ephemeral electronic image, Internet "cyberart" - Pop Art

Free painting from frame and wall - Pop Art

Photorealistic, imported scanned images, enhanced, perfect 3D modeling, idealized highlight and shadow rendering - Surrealism

Simulation of most media, mixed media approach (transparencies of overlaid images using software; surface mapping 2D image on to 3D modeled object); "brush", airbrush digital tool - Post-Modernism; Pluralism

Computer design for large scale projects - Land Art

Interactive with user/viewer, virtual reality, Internet art museum such as Truly Virtual Web Art Museum at - Happenings, Environmental Art

Cyberart, art based in virtual reality of the Internet's cyberspace; interactive artistic processes on the Internet - Conceptual Art, Situational Art, Installation, Performance Art

24 hours access to digital art, graphics and animation on the Internet through online access - Pop Art, global Folk Art


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