Digital art has a fifty-year history of innovation and experimentation with new technology. The Pioneers of digital art were not artists but people who were exploring new visions through computers and the writing of computer programs. According to the Digital Art Museum, which is a joint venture between London Guildhall University and two independent art galleries, digital art can currently be classified according to three phases Phase I of digital art was from 1956-1986. The Paintbox Era, the second phase, lasted from 1986-1996. Art software became readily available and attracted more artists to the new media. Especially useful was the paint program and devices such as the scanner and film recorder. Phase III, 1996-2006, is called the Multimedia Era because of the increase in technology and Internet access allowing the digital media artist interactivity with many art forms. The widespread availability of computers and software has allowed the digital artist to create distinctive works of art. Digital art is able to combine and transform more traditional types of art such as painting, sculpture, photography, animation and filmmaking. Digital technology allows the artist to create and manipulate color, images, and texture, instantly. Images can be made to appear, disappear and even combine or morph.
The technological aspect of digital art often leads to questioning of whether or not it can be considered art. Digital art has been accepted and embraced by the commercial and entertainment industries for many years, but is finding it much harder to become part of the fine arts community. Digital art has many hurdles to overcome before it will be fully accepted by the mainstream tradit...
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...ises the use of computer technology for creative expression but the main purpose is to create something aesthetically pleasing.
If history is any example, then the acceptance of digital media art will be slow. Vincent Van Gogh was considered such a poor artist that he could not sell a painting in his lifetime. The Impressionists in general were laughed at and considered to be untalented artists and refused admission in the important galleries and exhibition of their times. Now these artworks sell for millions and are treasured in many museums. Photography has taken 150 years to achieve respectability in the fine art field. This art form faced many of the same problems as digital media art, ease of reproduction, use of new technology, and seeming lack of skill. With art, sometimes only time can tell what will be truly treasured by the next generations.
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