March 13, 2009

3 observations + 3 questions

Based on your reading of pg 7 - 137 of Digital Art by Christiane Paul:

Post 3 observations that you have made about digital technologies as a tool and digital technologies as a medium.

Post 3 questions that you have about a particular artistic mode that investigates digital technology as a medium.

We will use your observations and questions to guide an active discussion in class on March 25th.

March 24, 2009

pages 7 - 137

In Digtal Art, pages 7 - 137, Christiane Paul discusses digital technologies as both a tool and a medium.

Refer to particular examples in the reading to post 3 observations about the characteristics of digital technology as a tool and digital technology as a medium.

Refer to particular examples in the reading to post 3 questions that you have about the ways that digital technology as a tool and digital technology as a medium influence contemporary artists and/or how future emerging technologies might influence artists in the future.

pgs 139 - 215

In Digtal Art, pages 139 - 215, Christiane Paul explores themes in Digital Art including Artificial Life, Telepresence, Databases, Gamin, Tactical Media and Technologies of the Future.

Post one observations for each of 3 categories of Digtal Art that she describes. You can select the 3 categories that interest you most and comment on what about these areas of Digital Art interest you.

Select one contemporary art work that Christiane Paul discusses in this section of DIgital Art.
Describe in detail what your response to this work is, what are the characteristics of Digital Technology that influence this work and how you imagine the experience of the art work.

3 observation/3 questions-Tyler Olsen

One observation I have, especially regarding the rapid prototyping and CAD assisted sculpture is the apparent limitlessness of the potential for sculpture. Without the traditional restraints sculpture has historically held, the art form seems to be moving toward completely conceptual, or idea based work. Like the way of looking at, or thinking about art introduced by the Dadaists, anything can be art. With CAD/rapid prototyping the ability of the art to convey the idea seems less difficult, and the importance of the idea itself seems greater.

A related question I have is; what will the future hold for artistic ideas generally? With the apparent limitless capability of digital art, and assuming that the extent of limitlessness continues to expand, where will the art world go in the digital realm, how far from object, and how deep into psyche can it go and still be considered art?

Regarding the installation style pieces that attempt to blend virtual space with real and architectural space, the emphasis on interaction and user input seems to be a strong step toward virtual reality generally. The artworld seems to be exploring displacement and alternate forms of reality through new digital media. The references to digital space as not space as we know it at all, but as a new form of space are intriguing, because that seems to indicate there is a whole new dimension in which artists can explore space issues, as they have historically with sculpture and other visual arts. Again reference to the psychological and the idea seem really important.

If digital space is more like consciousness than real space, as some authors and artists that Paul references suggest, what does that mean for the union of digital and physical? How does the physical world play a role in virtual space, and vice versa? In what ways are these two things likely to merge in the future, are artists just working toward virtual reality, and if/when that happens, will (can) it still be art?

Early on in the book, Paul talks about the limitations of digital art when met with the high speed of technological development. This potential for obsolescence is something that is immediately obvious with digital art. When considering the historical narrative of digital art she provides it is hard to conceive of many of the historically important works as being still valuable or appreciable as art today, except as stepping-stones for what exists now. The aesthetics of digital art must be indefinable in such a rapidly developing medium.

Are all these digital art works doomed from the beginning because they will eventually be seen as outdated? Is it possible for digital art to be timeless in the sense of many traditional forms of art? And finally is there a digital aesthetic that is constant, or is it always changing with the change of technology? Is change, or to be cutting edge, the condition of the aesthetics of digital art? Must it be?

March 25, 2009

Questions & Observations

Three General Questions:
1) Should digital art be limited to internet postings only?
2) How does one price the work of a digital art piece? How does the buyer of that particular piece preserve the longevity of that particular piece especially when the technology is continually changing?
3) How do we develop the rhetoric to evaluate forms of digital art especially when digital art is continually changing?
General Observations:
1) The role digital art can potentially play in helping a sculptor make intense and complex pieces that once-upon-a-time in a land far, far away, may have taken artisans years to make. I am referring specifically to, Michael Rees, A Life Series 002, 2002. (PP. 63)

2) I have difficult time accepting some forms of digital art as ‘art.’ Because it seems so scientific and mathematical. Even though the root of art is scientific and mathematical in nature. However, I think the formulas are more used for creating more tactical art such as painting are more organic. For example in such as: Displaced Emperors (Relation Architecture #2) (PP.74)

3) Interesting to know, the Walker Art Center, in the 1990s was the first to recognize and archive digital arts from the web. (PP.113)

Three Questions specially related to pages, 3-137
1. In Knowbotic Research’s interdisciplinary project, Dialogue with Knowbotic South (DWTKS; 1994-7), suggests that science relies on the creativity of artists to create 3D worlds, virtual reality and environments, as an attempt to create different realities of communication. Can this be done? Has it been successfully accomplished? (PP.83-87)

2. What is the difference between film and experimental film? For example: Michael Naimark’s, Be Now Here (1995) (pp. 99) is considered a dimensionalized movie whereas, a film like Solaris by Steven Soderbergh is considered a film. To bring another artist to the conversation, Toni Dove, Artificial Changelings, where his project is more of a narrative, the audience is inside the character’s head and the film tells a story. Why is his piece not considered a film and deemed experiemental? Is the name behind the piece? The intention of the artesian behind the work? (PP. 106)

3. How does one create a virtual reality piece such as Charlotte Davies, Osmose? To write a program to product and art piece based on the breath and the movement of the body as it observes the piece? (PP.126)

March 26, 2009

Digital Art Reading


1.- Digital Art is a positive tool that creates abstract pictures, collages, arts, but in a sense of its negativity, it could also mess with realism in the history of photography. Can this negativity be made in a positive sense that it brings history back, not changing what it speaks, but telling it in a better way?

2.- Digital Art has its way of not just advancing and improving the art work itself but combining with originality, making it better and new. Like on page 56, Chris Finley combines his painting with digital templates. Because digital arts is advancing, so as technology, will the originality of the first style of creating arts wear away?

3.Video seems to be the medium that can capture and show more realism than any other digital technology. What are the advantages of video, compared to other medium, that it has in the future as technology advances, and will there ever be another medium that can top it?

March 29, 2009

Readings Part II

Body & Identity
“Is the cyber space your window or mirror,” is the question asked in Re:mote_corp@Realities, 2001. (p.165) What a profound question! This is a paradox question considering that individuals are continually looking for ways to define ourselves in the physical realm. The cyber space is an essentially another extension of who we are exploring to be in the physical. In Tina LaPorta’s (above mentioned) piece she explores examines the effect of technologies on relationships. The experience of her artwork must be like logging on to an on-line dating service. Where people can create profiles of themselves. More often then not, the profiles and pictures are misleading. In this case, cyberspace is acting like a mirror, even the though the mirror is reflecting an alternate reality. As for the window effect of cyber space, well that is simple, it every time anyone logs into the Internet. What do they Google? What it is they are looking for?

Beyond the Book: text and narrative environments
The publishing industry is running around trying to figure out what the next evolution of the book look like. Massaju Fujihata, has been exploring this question through his various pieces of his work, specifically, Beyond Pages, 1995. I have a feeling that experiencing this piece: sitting at an desk, activating the book with a light pen which animates the objects & text in the book is not too far off in the future. The publishing industry should pay attention to digital artists because they provide insights into feature of where the evolution of the book may go. (p.190)

Mobile and locative media
Mobile and locative media is where art is going.
In Jenny Maretou’s piece, Flying Spy Potatoes, 2005. In this piece, various portable media devices set up to record actions and interactions between the art and external world. The piece also raises questions about being a “spectator, surveillance and the contemporary society of spectacle.” (p.224) Important questions to ask over selves especially when technology is at our figure tips.

April 8, 2009

Ch. 3 Response

The chapter first described how we have been blurring human and machines through artificial life and intelligence. Then, Paul speaks about how computers may change the way we think. “Perhaps this process can be seen as an evolution of the cooperation between man and machine or the vanishing boundaries between them, an evolution that is both a product of design and a process with its own dynamics.” I find this statement ironic as I sit at my computer with a cell phone buzzing in the background and iPod charging next to me. The cooperation of human and machines may not be to the intense level that the author alludes, but it seems to me that we are on the right track to be so reliant on machines. I already recognize that my computer is smarter than me, and it is only limited by my capabilities. Soon we will have personal technology that harnesses the so called “artificial intelligence.” I can not imagine this type of world except through the eyes of Hollywood directors who have developed movies, like iRobot, Artificial Intelligence: AI, etc.

The prefix tele- to most people just means telephone or telegraph. Paul describes tele- to having many more options. The one I found most interesting was the comment about tele-presence being an old concept of being present in various locations at the same time. She further commented that the internet is an arena for a telepresence environment. This made me wonder about what exactly the internet is, where it is, what its limitations are, and how it can exist without existing. I was not able to come up with any answers, but just thought through the questions I posed and wondered about the internet being tele-present.

Gaming has always intrigued me because I am afraid of it. I have many memories from when I was little watching friends and cousins playing games like Mario, GoldenEye, Duck Hunter, Madden, etc. for hours. My participation, beyond Duck Hunter, was obsolete. I expect I have always been fearful of losing at the games and that made me scare to try to win at them. I still see college friends playing games, but I do not understand how they get lost for hours in a game when their homework pile or to do list is growing exponentially. I feel that gaming has evolved from an interactive art form to an advertising tool. The original creation of make-believe lands, military battles, solving of mysteries, and mythical creatures were true art forms in the video gaming realm. Today, most of the articles or comments I hear about gaming regard the advertisements infiltrated into the games. The first game to have advertisement was one of the Tony Hawk games that Levi’s, DC Shoes, and others sponsored to have their logos within the game. I find this ironic that we now have to advertise, not just through tv and radio commercials, bus skins, internet pop-ups, street benches, or print materials, but through video games. It is just another way to get their message or if you want to call it “brainwashing” out into the world.

The artwork I chose from this section was “Giver of Names” by David Rokeby. I found this piece very unique. The ability for a computer system to describe the physical characteristics of an object in an attempt to name it is the beginnings of creating artificial intelligence. The piece was described to be “machine intelligence” being a technological experience utilizing semantics and language structure. The thought of “machine intelligence” made me wonder the limitations of computer and mechanical intelligence. If I were to visit this piece, I would experiment with placing objects for the computer to name. I may even place in multiple pieces to challenge it to coming up with a name. Paul described this piece as a reflection on how machines think and how we make them think, so I would do my best to accomplish that when I experienced “Giver of Names.” My final thought on this piece of artwork was if it would be possible to build on this idea and develop some sort of computer technology that could name people by scanning their faces and recognizing them. The modes of accomplishing this feat would be introducing, or essentially installing, yourself on the computer. This would be a step in advancing artificial intelligence.

~Amanda Rasmussen

April 14, 2009

Ch. 3 reflections

1. Artificial Intelligence: Prior to reading Digital Art my understanding of the capabilities and uses of Artificial Intelligence was that of computerized humans and not in the form of art. Artificial Intelligence can be used as a medium to create unique, engaging, and meaningful pieces of art that allow viewers not only to witness but also interact with these computer-generated forms. Not only can this be digital but also can use tangible objects to create this interaction between the viewer and the art form.

This can be seen through pieces such as Sommerer and Mignonneau, A-Volve, 1194 that allows participants to create a virtual world of sea creatures through touch and movement and Kenneth Rinaldo, Autopoeisis, 2000 that creates an environment with moving sculptures that react to the movement of viewers.

A.I demonstrates how machines think and how we make them think.

2. Telepresence, Telematics, and telerobotics: The ability to have interaction with two spaces without distance being an issue is remarkable. This truly re-establishes the boundary between space and time allowing for endless possibilities of interactions, manipulation, communication, and interpretations.

3. The Body and Identity: Through the use of technology and are we have been able to reinvent and reproduce ourselves in space, time, and context. Characters can be transformed instantly and simultaneously, into whatever whenever.

These three areas interest me in the idea that identity can be recreated through the manipulation of time, space, and medium. I feel that these topics meld together in creating self-representations through art and technology. It is interesting as he talks about technology beginning to blur the lines between humans and machines. Through this experimentation do we find ourselves more or lose ourselves in the integration of non-human forms when expressing our identity.

As I was acquainted with the multitude of examples of digital art pieces involving A.I., Gaming, Mapping, database aesthetics, telepresence, etc. I found them all to be very intriguing for I am very new to most if not yet all of these mediums, but the piece that kept drawing me back actually was one of the more simple but magnificent installations I found. This piece is Eduardo Kac’s Teleporting an Unknown State, 1994-6. This installation redefined the relationship between objects, power, space, place, and ability to interact with them. A single seed in a piece of earth placed in the dark was allowed to grow with the strength of online presence of viewers, using teleportation, to send light particles through a projector to allow photosynthesis to take place. This is an illustration of how machine can sustain life, not just digital life, and thus continues to blur the lines between man made and machine made objects and interactions.

-Cassi Smiley