What is Digital Art?

The burgeoning movement of digital fine art is exciting and I’m grateful to be living in an age with digital technology available to me. I’m often asked what digital art is and hope this page helps to better understand it.

Digital art is a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process.

This statement by Christiane Paul, curator of new media art at the Whitney Museum of American only begins to explain in the most general terms what Digital Art is. But as one delves deeper it gets complicated and confusing. Digital Artist Max Eternity, founder of Art Digital Magazine trying to make sense of all the range of artistic practices within the realm of digital technology says:

Digital Art: Nomenclature for visual art forms created prior to the digital age–painting, printing, sculpting, etc.–that now employ digital technology and virtual tools to replace or build upon former physical tools and substrates, while keeping in place such long-held protocols like editioning, which cannot be overstated as critical to the understanding and value of each rendered piece. Omni Art: Nomenclature for intentional works of creativity–usually defined as art–that may or may not exist well within the bounds of historically understood visual art categories–painting, drawing, mixed-media, sculpting, poetry, dance, etc.–terms once applicable and useful in identifying all styles and types of artistic work products prior to the industrial revolution and the subsequent digital age. These forms of art, often called new media, are currently made possible and shaped by the rise of electronic devices, like video games, capable of capturing and/or creating moving images, and include projects that employ entirely or in part electronic, biological, mechanical, digital or other tools used creatively for work products that are virtual and/or physical, and possibly interactive or ephemeral in nature, in which editioning may or may not be relative.

I point out these definitions, because not only does it help clarify some of the confusion but also clarifies where my artistic practice lies in the multitudes of artistic practices utilizing digital technology. As you can see, the term digital art is quite broad with numerous expressions. On the one hand, one  expression of my digital art  is to create digital prints as a means to render the digital information I have created on a substrate so that it can be hung on a wall to be viewed and appreciated. In this sense, my work is not much different than the traditional print maker. On the other hand, I also endeavor in sculpture in the form of 3d printing. I can translate These digital files that delineates three dimensional objects through the use of a machine, a 3d printer instead of a 2d printer, to bring the virtual into reality. 3d printing in artistic practice technology straddles both realms of Digital and Omni Art.

So simply, like artists from all times, I create pictures and sculptures. And I want those pictures and sculptures to be displayed where viewers can have a personal experience with it. It’s not unlike a traditional artist who paints or draws a picture or creates a sculpture and then aspires for them to be exhibited and displayed in a public or private environment so that it can live on for years to come to speak who ever may view it. Digital technology does not change this constant of human endeavor, it merely enhances it and brings new forms of expression. And the world goes forward.