Digital Art – Technological Outcome or A New Traditional Art?

Digital Art – Technological Outcome or A New Traditional Art?

Digital art refers to a wide range of artistic practices and works. Today, digital art typically classifies beneath the category of new media arts. The qualifying term new here shows the character of the technology itself, which is consistently and apace developing.

Digital art is a social practice that involves the connection between the organic and technological systems – the human being and the digital system. So, digital art produces meanings and mediates between different complex organizational systems in modern, multimedia civilization.

Predecessors of digital art and new media

The basics of digital technologies were founded in the 1930s. Artists were among the first social actors to respond to the cultural and technological shifts of their time. That is why artistic experiments in digital media appeared decades before the digital revolution.

Since the 1990s, we have witnessed technological development taking place at an unprecedented rate in digital art. Digital art is a growing art in the last 2 decades.

Painters, sculptors, architects, graphic artists, photographers, and artists are involved in video performance and increasingly experimenting with the new computer image techniques. During this period, digital art developed into multiple fields in practice.

Initially, their works were exhibited and presented at conferences, festivals, and symposia dedicated to electronic media technology, but in the mainstream art world, they were treated as peripheral. By the end of the century, digital art had established itself.

Today’s digital art has gone through several terminological changes from the first appearance. What related to computer art (in the seventies) and later on multimedia art, today marked as the art of new media.

Digital art projected in the space to create atmosphere

3D Sculpting of an armor by Nitzan Kish. Photo: Nitzan Yogev

Manifestations of digital art – digital art as a tool and as a medium

Here is the difference between art that uses digital technologies to create traditional art objects such as photography, prints, sculpture, or music, and art that uses these technologies as its medium, produced, preserved, and presented only in digital format. While both types of art share some essentials characteristics of digital technology, they often differ in manifestations and aesthetics.

In the late 1990s, digital art officially entered the world of art when museums and galleries introduced this art form and dedicate exhibitions to it. During these decades there were several exhibitions of digital and media arts and some galleries presented this type of art. At the start of the 21st century, many exhibitions were held around the world, from Europe to South Korea, Australia, the United States, dedicated only to digital art. Due to its characteristics, the art of new media poses many challenges to the traditional art world, not only in terms of specific presentation and preservation.

Digital technology provides an opportunity to record and document; the digital artwork can potentially be recorded as a document. What makes digital art unstable are the rapid changes in hardware and software, from changes in operating systems to increasing screen resolution.

Creating digital art often relies on complex collaboration between artists and a team of programmers, engineers, scientists, and designers.

Digital art breaks down barriers between disciplines – art, science, technology, and design – and comes from a variety of fields, including research laboratories and academic institutions.

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