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Anthony Mattox (M)
Baltimore, US
Immortal since Jan 28, 2009
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Interaction designer and digital artist.
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    Digital Art Revolution


    I have considered myself a digital artist for quite a while now and although my work may seem quite detached from any historical context I am quite aware of my place in history and have spent a lot of time contemplating the history and future of art. Over the years I have occasionally encountered opposition against the use of computers in art. This is not unexpected or problematic, but is nonetheless saddening.

    As computers and tools like photoshop became widely available a situation was created very similar to the advent of photography. In an artistic environment of handcrafted paintings and drawings it was not strange for some negative feelings to arise against new technology which put 'art' into the hands of the masses, including people with no knowledge art history, traditional rules, or knowledge of complex symbolism. However, photography was slowly integrated into the standard media of artists and built up it's own tradition. So much so that digital photography created quite a stir when it came about.

    Digital art seems to be following a similar path. Since the first pixellated computer drawings of the 1960's artists working with computers have slowly pushed there way into the mainstream world of art and others have begun to adopt computers as a tool for other work, just as the camera obscura became a tool for painters. The differences in these to technological shifts are only of scale. It seems to me more people have had access to computers than early cameras and because of computers being adopted in so many other fields and aspects of our lives, the acceptance of digital art is not taking long at all.

    Digital art is forming it's own following, aesthetic, process, and tradition, and more and more fantastic work is being produced by artists around the world. I wonder now what will be the next technical revolution in art and which side of it I'll be on.

    Sat, Jan 31, 2009  Permanent link

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    abhominal     Tue, Feb 3, 2009  Permanent link
    I think that 3D art is going to become a very interesting shift.

    There are about 30 feature films earmarked for release this year using improved stereoscopic technologies.

    Technologists also claimed that 3D TV will catch on in the next couple of years, with broadcasters such as SKY already promising 3D content if you have a 3D capable set.

    I mention all of this as you sighted photography as having an impact on art - cinema and then TV had as much of an impact on art. I think the immersive nature of 3D will take this all a stage further.

    With 3D becoming so much more mainstream it will only be a matter of time before more artists begin to work in the medium.
    ahmattox     Tue, Feb 3, 2009  Permanent link
    Television and movies have definitely had a huge effect, I'm not totally sure what to think about 3d cinema though. People have been claiming that this technology will become popular for many many years, but aside from the occasional film it hasn't really gone mainstream.

    I think that before this will happen technology will have to be produced which allows 3d video to be viewed without any sort of headgear, which for many people makes the experience not quite worthwhile or just less convenient. I have seen some interesting examples of such technology and if any catch on it would certainly be a fantastic media for artists, filmmakers, and everything in between.
    abhominal     Wed, Feb 4, 2009  Permanent link
    I'm not totally sure what to think about 3d cinema though. People have been claiming that this technology will become popular for many many years.

    Yes that is my point, I think 2009 will be remembered like the year that Toy Story was released.

    Interestingly Toy Story was released 14 years ago, and Pixar are now releasing their first '3D' movie called Bolt. Which to be honest will probably set the bench mark for a couple of years to come.

    The Hollywood studios (joint efforts) are throwing everything into it as they see it as the future of the cinema experience, and the only way to get dwindling bums back on seats.

    I think TV will present a much bigger struggle for take up, especially as there will be format wars, as we have seen so often between electronics manufacturers.

    Check out autostereoscopic screens, which do not need glasses. Cinemas are stuck with Polarised glasses for the moment, but these offer a significantly imprroved viewing experienced compared to previous attempts at 3D cinema.
    sprouts     Wed, Feb 18, 2009  Permanent link
    Digital art being detached from the historical context of art for me is the one thing that completely fascinates me and at the same time completely terrifies me.

    I am in the middle of figuring out my "Plan" at College and their is such a feeling of opposition (even from the "digital arts" teacher) of taking digital art as an entity in itself; rather than as a type of fine art.

    I have resolved this to digital art being on the cusp; ready to become a self-aware organism and by constraining it to the pre-existing concept and ideas of art does more harm than good.


    ahmattox     Sat, Feb 21, 2009  Permanent link
    I disagree. To try to create in a vacuum is both impossible and unnecessary. Every generation of art influences the next. No matter how hard an artist may try to shield themselves from influences every building and poster on every street has been directly or indirectly influenced by all previous styles of art and will influence the artist.

    But I don't see this as a bad thing. As artists today, we don't have to start from scratch. We have the knowledge of generations of artists before us. Let's not do the same old crap, but see what's been done before and do better. We have new tools that can make us faster and more precise, but we are still humans just trying to create. To ignore history could be quite detrimental.

    The term art is fortunately vague, but if we still don't like it all we need to do is something amazing to reorient peoples perceptions.
    ElNitro     Sun, Feb 22, 2009  Permanent link
    In previous centuries it used to be only the rich and the noble who had the time and resources to devote themselves to art but that has changed dramatically with the advent of computers, design software and of course, affordable digital cameras.

    I believe we are at one of the most exciting moments in human history, particularly regarding culture and the arts, not to mention science.
    This is also the -true- Golden Age of Photography.

    We are, in fact, the bridge between the past and the future of the arts.
    What we do today will define how art will evolve in the near future.

    We are experiencing a powerful and dramatic explosion in creativity and human expression, art is no longer restricted to economic status, it still is elitist in itself but this time the term "elite" is defined by a person's ability to percieve, assimilate and communicate the subtle by whatever means he/she may have at hand.

    Now everyone with a computer, an internet connection, enough passion, drive and of course talent can learn on his/her own whatever they need to become an artist, graphic designer or whatever creative discipline you can think of. All that without the need of a "proper" or "traditional" college education, however hurtful that may be to those who have spent years and thousands of dollars at art schools.

    My point: not everyone needs to follow a rigid study system, you no longer need a degree to make it in the "art/design world". What you do need is to become well-rounded in more than just one discipline. Just as it has become easier for everyone to get the tools and show their work to a large number of people, the competition has also gotten larger, way larger. This is another example of "survival of the fittest".

    It's also up to us to encourage, guide and inspire the next generation of artists, I believe this is extremely important to avoid homogeneization and a runaway copycat syndrome.

    This is one of my favourite quotes by current RISD President, John Maeda:

    “Amidst the attention given to the sciences as how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are conventionally considered ‘useless,’ will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously. The arts are the science of enjoying life.”
    - John Maeda

    P.S. Feel free to join the Autodidacts group on The Behance Network.
    Hugo ARCIER     Tue, Mar 3, 2009  Permanent link
    This is completly untrue to think that digital art is detached from the historical context of art.
    It is for example interesting to note that Renaissance painters were at once artists, scientists and mathematicians. It was they who introduced perspective, for example, or the theorisation of it in any case. They already had this desire to represent a space in three dimensions.
    I have the feeling that the computer-generated image as we know it today is a direct continuation of this movement.
    I sure we can find a lot of another examples.
    nom the puppet     Wed, Mar 4, 2009  Permanent link
    to add to the 3D cinema discussion:
    the movie Coraline is amazing and pixar is releasing one that looks to be a hit called UP, both presented in 3D. Plus the kids these days are already into wearing goofy sunglasses, who knows? Maybe just wearing stereoscopic specs around town as a new fashion trend might just be the tipping point to getting this thing off the ground?

    Oh and I really dig that John Maeda quote.
    abhominal     Wed, Mar 4, 2009  Permanent link
    @ nom the puppet

    Yes a lot of movies are coming out this year, I am looking forward to Tim Burtons Alice In Wonderland - I am not a huge fan of his past work to be honest, but I think that 3D cinema will be such an incredible medium for him and his films. Plus Alice is one of my all time favourite books!

    @ yaschik

    Interesting point of 3D being a direct continuation of Renaissance pursuits! Ofcourse, they were trying to emulate what the classical greek and roman sculptors had perfected thousands of years before - the representation of human form in 3D, and complex architectural spaces.

    This is why I reckon that 3D will be a big step in digital art in the coming years. It is a recurring theme in every medium - sculpture, painting, photography and film. Writers such as William Gibson have been trying to visualise how humans will interact with the virtual for quite some time.
     
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