[Fwd: Re: Definition Of Cyberart]
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:43:54 -1000

Re: Definition Of Cyberart
Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:42:25 -1000
Ansgard Thomson <>

Ansgard Thomson wrote:
> Hi Rodney:
> I feel there is art - and there is art
> Lets say you produced paintings in oil on canvas
> from computer generated images.
> If you used any imagery like Fractint to produce
> these paintings is it "Art"??
> If I paint with the mouse a picture like my sunflower
> on my page
> Why is it not "Cyberart" ?
> Because I created it myself from scratch?
> The millions of Fratint variations showing up in about every
> "cyber artists" home page are they considered Art?
> I do admire the creators of this programs are they
> Artists or matheteachers?
> I love to use them myself by picking some very small
> part of a fractal.Like one single spot as in my fractint
> animation called "Flaming Fame"on my page I grew it.
> Is it "Cyberart"?
> If I capture some interesting things with my digital Camera
> no other person has created and use filters in PhotoShop
> to make it look like a watercolor painting,because I know what
> a watercolor is supposed to look like.
> Is this" Cyberart" because I am using a computer and a software
> to generate it from a choice photo I had to use my knowledge of
> over painting to take out something that does not belong to a
> finish painting?
> I could produce this same painting from the computer screen
> on paper.This would be considered art by the traditional
> artist,but would it be "cyberart"?
> You see what I mean ?
> I am sending you a painting I did with the mouse ,no scanning,
> no photo used just painted like the Sunflower from scratch and
> improved with filters.
> Is it "Cyberart " or not.
> I know these are challenging questions I can only asked you
> because you are a painter as far as I understand as well ,as a
> computer artist.
> Take all you time and discuss this with the leaders in the "cyberart"
> field and teachers at the universities who are finally teaching
> what they call "Computer Graphics".
> What I have to consider art in my creative process is art
> in my eyes no matter what anybody else thinks.
> The computer is just a tool.
> You may use anything I produce to have an argument with other
> artists about it.
> Sorry if this makes you work.
> If we are not taken care of what we are producing with the computer
> somebody else will and we will be losers again by the politicians
> in the art field.
> Hope you understand my points of view.
> Title of Painting:
> "Cyber Greetings to Pygoya"
> Eh,what do you think about this title?
> Let this all sink in first before you answer please!!
> Cheers .Ansgard
> Ansgard Thomson
> Box 8
> Fort-Assiniboine Alberta
> TOG-1AO Tel:403- 584-2345

We creatures like things nice to the eye. Some like red better than grey
or violet better than yellow. It's a matter of personal preference. Of
things we like the best, we have the convention of calling it "art". So
"art" is the things we make that we as a group like the most, hold in
highest esteem, bother to spend money to frame and mat and hang. And
buy. Somethere betwen a red thing and "art" is "crafts". Somewhere a
line has to be drawn between the two, hence, the distinction as in "arts
and crafts". Every person's own mind determines where that border is,
even as schooling and experts attempt to determine it for us. Most
follow authority and accept the expert judgment, some, more stubborn,
decide what is and what ain't "art". This prejudice can extend even
what is used to make so called "art".

"Cyber" means "digital" to me. So if a painting is based upon digital
imagery it's "mixed media", including the element of digital design. If
however the cyber source is completely concealed (such as good air
brushing to take away any indication of its digital origin) then the
painting is just a "painting." Of course it can get a bit confusing if
the painting makes nonvisual reference to the cyberart soucre, as for
example, nicely rendered 3D spaceships obvious created with computer
software, even if the painting of spaceships looks "realistic" and a
scene possible in outer space.

In the end, "art" is a convenient label with grey areas. sIt functions
by assisting us to communciate with each other. By saying "art" we have
some idea what aspect of life or group of objects we are referring to.
There is no "masterpiece" with supernatural innate qualities. There's
just the awe of the artistic quality or a message that plucks something
deep within such as extraordinary feeling, sensations, appreciation or

In sum, art categorizes a pychological response elicited from a man made
object which is intended to simulate the observer whether through visual
or tactile quality or through visual message. This response, is, it
seems, limited to our species (a goat would rather chew on a red straw
hat than appreciate its design qualities). It is in this unique way that
we are indeed special creatures (besides having souls). Besides great
speeches, poetry and novels the visual arts in yet another way we as

artists can help others get a bit more out even a mundane existence.

Rodney Chang