There is quite a buzz out today about this new fangled "digital
revolution" and how it will change our world. Opinions
differ, of course, from those who think computers are a fad
and refuse to use email to those who build hangable works
of art out of used laptops. It is my opinion (obviously, being
a computer art minor) that computers are certainly here to
stay, and their value as an artistic medium will only expand.
Much like photography in the mid 19th century, "photoshoppers,"
or digital artists, are having a difficult time gaining acceptance
in the mainstream/traditional art world. Computers have been
seen for the past 50 years as tools of business and science,
and more recently, expensive typewriters. While books have
been composed digitally for a solid decade with no loss of
recognition, words are more easily translated to other media
than digital art. Because much of the digital art out there
is native to the computer, that's where it is best displayed.
People are unaccustomed to writing emails on a platform of
artistic expression. Perhaps they are in denial.
Another roadblock in the road to digital acceptance is the
early adoption of the computer and its graphical abilities
for commercial purposes. Users of the tool made use of it
less for art, and more for craft. TV graphics, magazines,
newspapers, websites, brochures and billboards are all created
with a computer now, and people often associate "computer
artist" with "graphic artist," confusing the
two. Commercial art is what people have come to expect on
their computers, much like they do on TV. Every website, every
flashing banner seems to be for a commercial, or at least
non-art purpose. Therefore, when presented with something
"for art's sake" people are unsure what to do with
it. "What's the point?" comes to their mind, as
they are unprepared to consider any artistic meanings in the
piece. What "art" they have come across in the past
was most likely poorly executed, further adding to their presumptions.
Art, however, is certainly all over the webalmost to
its detriment. The Internet has brought with it an easy way
for anyone with a computer to create something and
post it for all the world to see, whether it's good or not.
The lack of quality filters means one must wade through tons
of mediocre to find a jewel, and by the time they get there
they may be numb or turned off to it all. This further hinders
proper recognition for the digital artist.
I believe the future of digital art will be similar to the
growth of all new artistic media, especially photography.
The mechanical "hands off" technique to art making
will gain ground as more people are reminded that its not
what art is made of, its the message the artist is communicating;
which is independent of the medium on which is it presented.
More and more people will be involved as the tools are easily
available, however, there will always be those who can really
push the envelope and make us reconsider all that we had thought
about art before. These artists will get their recognition.
The beautiful thing about our new digital medium, however,
is that anyone can communicate with anyoneand the next
star could come from anywhere. But, then, how do you find
Copyright © 2002 Brian Scates. All
Brian Scates (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is an Ad Design major/Computer Art minor at Stephen F. Austin
State University in East Texas. He has lots of genius ideas
that he forgot to write down.