Art And Digital Technology
The artist reacts to the world around them, particularly its technology. We are in the process of a technological and digital revolution.
The artist reflects on and contribute a visual response to the changes around them and this includes digital technology.
As a university lecturer, I contributed to the design of autonomous reconfiguration systems and computer games theory. My art work is a reaction to that work. It examines how the individual feels about digital technology.
Our exploration of virtual worlds has modified every aspect of life, in particular gender stereotypes and female roles
I like to put the alienation and cultural fragmentation into historical contexts.
Below are some concepts driving my artistic process.
The Relationship between Art and Digital technology.
The relationship between art and technology should be strong. The current relationship between the art world and digital technology is currently weak.
I should explain this.
First of all, digital technology is changing all the time. Such technological upheaval technological upheaval is not new (See Hobsbawm (1988)). Hobsbawm believes that the structure of society and its culture is related to the technologies underpinning it. He suggests that when societal structures do not correlate with the technology there is social unrest and ultimately revolution, either peaceful or violent.
Extrapolating from this we can see that the advent of printing changed the nature of art and the role of the artist in teh 19th and 20th centuries,. The arrival of digital technology has to have a similar revolutionary effect on how the artist works in the 21st century. Hobsbawm has written a book on this: The Decline and Fall of the twentieth Century Avant-Gardes (1999)
In a strict and narrow definition of what an artist is, we can say that an artist is someone who is considered an artist by their society and culture.
Such art can be found in museums and art galleries.
The Role of the Artist in Society.
According to the Tate Modern , an artist is someone who sees things, and records them visually, in a way that the culture respects as art.
The way that the artist reflects the culture around them is constantly evolving.
For example, medieval mysticism was replaced by “science” around the Renaissance period in the West.
The medieval artist attempted to express spiritual ideas. After the Renaissance, the artist changed their stance to the scientific underpinning of how best to depict the real.
All that changed with the advent of industrial processing of images in photography and newsprint.
In response to the free availability of realistic images, the artist looked within to depicting what they saw filtered through the abstraction of thought.
The totality of industrialisation and global war led to a politicisation of the artist view. Art became many abstract ideas, from the visualisation of the absurd to the entirely conceptual.
In the 21st century the respected artist, who sells their work for high prices, and is taken up by museums and art galleries, is one who represents the importance and the vitality of self-expression.
The Role of the artist in the 21st Century is changing.
In my opinion the advent of digital technology has changed our culture irrevocably and the 21st century art world hasn’t quite caught up with it yet. After all, we are currently In the middle of the digital revolution, and this has left art reeling.
Instead of reacting to digital media, artists are still often concerned with industrial process and photography.
Digital media have not really been taken on board.
The World View has changed with the advent of virtual universes
Our view of the world has changed.
People are looking at the world differently. They turn to their screens for images. They use Instagram, Snapchat and memes as a way to express themselves. People post things which they like or find beautiful.
In the case of Reddit, posts and memes can be up or down voted and they can also gain karma points, which means that people like them and find them relevant. A lot of art is posted on Reddit and Tumblr.
People process images for themselves, without requiring the intervention of an artist. Even a standard smart phone with a photo editor can edit photographs to look like drawings and this has affected the way that people see and value art.
Art and Digital Revolution
It is my belief that the role of the artist has to change. Modern art is no longer a reaction to static digital images and photographs. It is competing against really beautiful hand crafted images in computer games, digital enhanced movies and other digital media.
This is the virtual universe. The modern artist has to respond to it.
Digital technology has opened up the virtual world. it allows us to explore the virtual universe. What is a virtual universe? Most people have not really encountered the definition, but they have still interacted with it. Google Maps street view is just one example, or observing the stars above from a laptop, even when it is cloudy. We interact in virtual ways, such as face-time, virtual office meetings, webinars, computer games and trying out flight simulation software.
Virtuality has become a huge part of our lives.
– Drawn, designed and managed by really talented and imaginative people with artistic skills and training in powerful software
– it is often entered in a collaborative environment
So has does the artist respond to this?
My work as a reaction to the Digital Revolution
My work is a reaction to digital technology. It is hand drawn and painted, but can be viewed on screen, in print or as an original work of art.
The subject matter I choose, and the colours I use, assume that my audience play computer games or spend time on screen.
Given that a computer can reproduce the real world so effectively, almost better than life, my work is obviously drawn by a human. That is a key way in which I react to the virtual world.
I do all of my work by hand and do not use digital assistance. I hope that this gives my paintings a naïve quality and makes them obviously “hand-made”.
Given how beautifully an artificial intelligence can draw, I make it obvious that my work is produced by human hands. For example, it contains errors, which would make it very difficult for it to be independently drawn by digital software. The paintings are not meant to look like a photograph or a computer game, but are loaded with meaning and context. The images selected are intended to put the audience experience into context with our human past. They refer to culturally reminiscent imagery and myth.
My work is nothing like a photograph. I make no effort to compete with a photograph or an anatomical drawing. Instead, I use a lot of culturally loaded imagery, which aims to evoke memories and questions about what we have been taught to think.