What is digital art? Such a hard question! A simple answer would be “It is an artistic creation through computers, that is, in binary form. In other words, a simple succession of 0 and 1 … “But the bottom of the answer goes much further. The digital art can actually be assimilated by a computer as a binary suite, and the computer is also the tool of creation, the process of creation is much more complex.
A new way to create
First of all, there is the artist. The artist who uses one medium rather than another to give free rein to his creativity and express what his imagination perceives and builds. In this sense, the computer and the new technologies (software, digital devices, scanners …) are only tools used by the artist to give life to his ideas. If it is not inspired, it is not the computer that will create in its place. However, there is software allowing a random creation of images that can be considered as digital art, even if they are above all the reflection of complex mathematical equations.
As with the more classical arts, there are many forms of digital art. There are obviously the images, which have a predominant place, but also the sound and the movement. Digital painting, 2D and 3D animation, digital photography, photo montages, light painting, stop motion, neen art, pixel art, game design, fractal art, digital prints, installations, mapping, net art, generative art … Digital art is multidisciplinary and it’s particular that it can introduce a problematic interaction between the artist, the work and the viewer.
Where does the creation begin, where does the intervention of the machine stop?
To answer this question, we must take a closer look at the artist’s approach. If some people rely on the software more than they use it, others prefer mastering this tool with multiple possibilities to play with textures, colors, shapes in a way that would never have been possible without these means. As such, digital works are the fruit of a creative spirit that would have appropriated modern tools.
Similarly, the digital camera and video cameras came to the rescue of artists who preferred to emancipate themselves from certain technical constraints. It is now possible for an artist to visualize the rendering of a photo immediately, without having to wait for its development. This possibility, such as changing color tones, instinctively switching from black and white to color or sepia, intensifying one color to another, has changed the artist’s work and its relationship to its tool. Nevertheless, it is still the eye of the artist and his point of view, his imagination, which will do the work, not the machine.
Perspectives of digital art
Although computer-assisted art started in the 1970s, it has only been recognized for a few years by museums and specialists. There are now many exposed digital prints, but also many interactive and multimedia installations. For if there is one thing that digital art has brought to art, it is the possibility of mixing the media and involving the people watching the work, making them live as a new experience.
Another dimension is also important to take into account: facilitated access to creation for all and the multiplication of media. We create today from his phone, his iPad, without having received any training or systematically mastering fundamental techniques. Gradually, it is imagination and creativity that take precedence over technique and, without making anyone a potential artist; creation becomes accessible to a greater number. This mutation of creative media resonates even with more “classic” artists, like David Hockney who started to create on iPad and iPod Touch.
Digital art is making its way, and art lovers are beginning to offer themselves, while museums now exhibit them as well as paintings or sculptures. Sign that the relationship to digital art is changing, festivals and events dedicated to digital art are increasing. Among the museums and cultural centers exhibiting digital art, there is the Fondation Cartier, the Center Georges Pompidou, the Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.