Digitalism

What’s on the other side of the digital art equation?

The creation of digital arts is a natural evolution of artistic craft, requisitioning new media and technologies in pursuit of philosophical questioning and emotional experience. As with any sub-set of art characterized by craft and content (i.e. painting, sculpture), this one is no exception: it contains various movements and sub-movements, each applying its tools in pursuit of a different end. But perhaps more than any other genre, digital art has been defined by its choice of medium.

There is no doubt that artists throughout time have been fascinated by technology – yet the digital arts have allowed this element to dominate to a new extent, at times overshadowing and even eliminating other parts of the process. The result is an image of an obsession, and not necessarily a concept. In some cases, technology itself has become the point.

A simple formulation of process can be used to trace recent trends in the digital arts:

Digital Art = Concept + Craft + Use of Technology

“Weave Mirror,” by Daniel Rozin demonstrates a very powerful combination of these three facets of art-making: concept, craft, and technology. Hundreds of rectangular pieces of wood are animated by underlying motors to reveal an opaque “reflection” of their spectator based on different value readings from photosensitive sensor technology. The unexpected and contradictory use of wood beautifully replicates an every-day object, the mirror, by combining a natural element in fragments with technology. The material and craft are as essential to the piece as the technology that makes it possible, coming together to support an artistic concept that speaks to much more than the simple irony of a wooden mirror.

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