Why Go Digital?

digitalartThe wave of folks participating in digital art has increased greatly since the 1970s, when the art movement began. Digital art has worn a few nicknames over the years, including computer art (obvious!), multimedia art, and new media art. With the waves of the future leading us all toward new media (and newer media), digital art looks as if it’s going to be around for a while.

Digital art uses visual effects, much as advertisements do. Some digital art, such as that by the late Andy Warhol, is made of these advertisements themselves and takes a unique slant on how to see them, provoking critical commentary and lots of satire. But much new digital art is about fresher views, and makes use of movement and desktop publishing’s animation qualities to give it an added edge and beauty.

It’s pretty clear that Andy Warhol used an OLD computer (remember the Commodore?). But now, the computer scene has changed enormously, so artists can use other features that Warhol would not have had access to. Graphics are popular, including forms of 3D animation and such, and this makes collaboration possible, creating world-spanning friendships and partnerships.

There’s also a new thing in Digital Installation Art, which enables one to use various types of digital media to create an installation at a gallery. This can include projection screens, televisions, animation, and maybe even live video for viewers to tune in to. This site-specific type of digital art can be molded to a specific gallery space, too. There is plenty of room for collaboration.

Digital art, finally, also enables other artists to make use of its techniques without being totally sold on its program. It can be used in conjunction with painting, drawing, sculpture, sound art, and many other types of art that happen now. While digital art has the corner on “mass production” in the art world, some of its methods are available to those who have more formal training in other areas of art.

With the world of images available to us so readily and easily, there is so much that can be part of digital art and its purview. Photography, computer animation, and many types of sophisticated software programs help to make digital art what it is. Now, it’s become what we think about when we think about “media,” for all of us participate in this to some extent, and its reach is increasing all the time.