Tag digital art

Stop drawing fish

I recently watched Brett Victors talk from SF SIGGRAPh from 2012 where he talks about artists need to learn code, or to be more specific he argues that artists shouldn’t need to learn to code in order to take control of digital media. I found his ideas very insightful (As always, couldn’t recommend more to check out his other stuff too.) but still I tend to disagree with him on this. Below I write some reasons why. To really understand I suggest to watch the presentation before, it is well worth your time, if you are at all interested on what is happening in the digital arts at the moment.

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My rant on digital creation

For the last five or so years I have extensively worked with digital media. My art works use digital technologies and I have taught digital technologies. In my day work I use computers for almost everything. I have to say that many things run very smoothly with digital technologies. Pictures, video, programming (naturally) -All this enables me to do-and create-  many things.

But…

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Aura of digital art

Continuing my quest on digital art, which I started on my previous post, I started thinking about the aura of digital art as I was reading Rushkoff’s “Program or be programmed: Ten commands for digital age” .(which is a great book by the way and a must read for everyone, really, it is.) Anyway Rushkoff reminded me of early 20th century philosopher Walter Benjamin who wrote about the Aura of the original artwork. I started thinking if there exists an aura in digital artworks. Digital art is so abstracted from real life and exists in real life only through electronic media. Without electricity there would be no digital art.

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Artificial digital art vs. real digital art

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I have been wondering for quite a long time that why is it thatI prefer programming as a way to create digital drawings and not just simply use some clever drawing programs, like painter or illustrator. And there is some great drawing programs out there, that can mimic real life mediums and go well beyond them. Like Painter with it’s watery watercolors and liquid inks. Somehow digital paintings just feels wrong, even if they are nice programs and the works produced with them fairly good. Come to think of it, I have never seen any convincing abstract piece of art that has been made with such tools. There is some very nice figurative works, Like Mikkö Ijäs’s iPad drawings. But I havent come across some nice abstract paintings or other digital artworks made with such tools. There is some, but they’re probably ment to be just some filling in website or similar.

Obviously the answer is simple: they are just copying real life media. They are not original. And it can be felt. Hardly ever have I seen digitally made paintings that would move me. They cant, because theyre superficial. Abstract art is all about the media, it shows the quality of the media, like the material of oil colours or the light of watercolors and that way it also conveys some larger intents of the artists. Digital copies don’t do that, they are mere copies trying to be original.

Still, coded digital art moves me. I always find and feel it interesting. Painting by code. It feels natural. And that it is: programming is the very core of digital.

Well this is simple thing really. Just something I think of importance to ponder on.