Friday, February 29, 2008

The artist and modern technology

When someone sees my art for the first time I often times get asked if they are photographs. Because I am a digital artist that prints my artwork on the same pro quality Epson printers that many pro photographers use, the question is understandable. Even though the finish piece (at least in my opinion) looks nothing like what would come out of a camera, the type of paper, matting and framing makes my art look as if they were digital photographs.

My, how times have changed in the world of art. Prior to the use of the vast array of new technological “gadgets” that we’ve become accustomed to, it was fairly easy to define the type of media artists used. In the world of flat, 2 D art, you were either a painter using oils, acrylics, watercolors etc. a printmaker that employed wood block, serigraph or other hand pulled ways to transfer your original to paper or a photographer shooting your masterpieces through your camera lens onto “film.”

Those old school method artists still out number us new “techies” a 100 to 1 and produce some of the finest art of our generation but technology is starting to make headways into the world of art, were we like it or not.

Take the way I produce art for example. I use mathematical algorithms to create fractals. These formulas are iterated (multiplied) over and over again to expose a graphical representation of the math I’m using. In most cases, these formula iterations are done millions of times in order to get the effect I’m after. Without computers this process couldn’t happen, thus this computer technology is most important in my work as an artist.

Other artists as well as some jurors that control who get into the art festivals I sell at, often look at my art as not as authentic as more traditional forms because I use a computer. That school of thinking is not only antiquated but also unfair to us using modern technology to make art. I’m sure the same thoughts were held when oil painters saw an influx of artist starting to use a more modern paint called acrylics.

The end result, the finished piece, the art hung on the wall can look similar no matter how it was created. There is no right, or wrong way to make art. It’s all right in my opinion.

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