Digital art

Digital art

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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. Since the 1970s, various names have been used to describe the process including computer art
Computer art
Computer art is any art in which computers play a role in production or display of the artwork. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, videogame, web site, algorithm, performance or gallery installation...

 and multimedia art, and digital art is itself placed under the larger umbrella term new media art
New media art
New media art is a genre that encompasses artworks created with new media technologies, including digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, computer robotics, and art as biotechnology...

.

The impact of digital technology has transformed activities such as painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

, drawing
Drawing
Drawing is a form of visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. Common instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, markers, styluses, and various metals .An artist who...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art
Installation art
Installation art describes an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called Land art; however, the boundaries between...

, and virtual reality
Virtual reality
Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...

, have become recognized artistic practices. More generally the term digital artist is used to describe an artist who makes use of digital technologies in the production of art. In an expanded sense, "digital art" is a term applied to contemporary art
Contemporary art
Contemporary art can be defined variously as art produced at this present point in time or art produced since World War II. The definition of the word contemporary would support the first view, but museums of contemporary art commonly define their collections as consisting of art produced...

 that uses the methods of mass production or digital media.

Digital production techniques in visual media



The techniques of digital art are used extensively by the mainstream media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 in advertisements, and by film-makers to produce special effects. Desktop publishing
Desktop publishing
Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

 has had a huge impact on the publishing world, although that is more related to graphic design
Graphic design
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

. Both digital and traditional artists use many sources of electronic information and programs to create their work. Given the parallels between visual and musical arts, it is possible that general acceptance of the value of digital art will progress in much the same way as the increased acceptance of electronically produced music over the last three decades.

Digital art can be purely computer-generated (such as fractal
Fractal
A fractal has been defined as "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole," a property called self-similarity...

s and algorithmic art
Algorithmic art
Algorithmic art, also known as algorithm art, is art, mostly visual art, of which the design is generated by an algorithm. Algorithmic artists are sometimes called algorists.- Overview :...

) or taken from other sources, such as a scanned
Image scanner
In computing, an image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner—is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image. Common examples found in offices are variations of the desktop scanner where the document is placed on a glass...

 photograph
Photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...

 or an image drawn using vector graphics
Vector graphics
Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon, which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics...

 software using a mouse or graphics tablet
Graphics tablet
A graphics tablet is a computer input device that enables a user to hand-draw images and graphics, similar to the way a person draws images with a pencil and paper. These tablets may also be used to capture data or handwritten signatures...

. Though technically the term may be applied to art done using other media or processes and merely scanned in, it is usually reserved for art that has been non-trivia
Trivial (mathematics)
In mathematics, the adjective trivial is frequently used for objects that have a very simple structure...

lly modified by a computing process (such as a computer program
Computer program
A computer program is a sequence of instructions written to perform a specified task with a computer. A computer requires programs to function, typically executing the program's instructions in a central processor. The program has an executable form that the computer can use directly to execute...

, microcontroller
Microcontroller
A microcontroller is a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. Program memory in the form of NOR flash or OTP ROM is also often included on chip, as well as a typically small amount of RAM...

 or any electronic system capable of interpreting an input to create an output); digitized text data and raw audio
Sound recording and reproduction
Sound recording and reproduction is an electrical or mechanical inscription and re-creation of sound waves, such as spoken voice, singing, instrumental music, or sound effects. The two main classes of sound recording technology are analog recording and digital recording...

 and video
Video
Video is the technology of electronically capturing, recording, processing, storing, transmitting, and reconstructing a sequence of still images representing scenes in motion.- History :...

 recordings are not usually considered digital art in themselves, but can be part of the larger project of computer art
Computer art
Computer art is any art in which computers play a role in production or display of the artwork. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, videogame, web site, algorithm, performance or gallery installation...

 and information art
Information art
Information art is an emerging field of electronic art that synthesizes computer science, information technology, and more classical forms of art, including performance art, visual art, new media art and conceptual art...

. Artworks are considered digital painting
Digital painting
Digital painting is an emerging art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc. are applied using digital tools by means of a computer, a digitizing tablet and stylus, and software. Traditional painting is painting with a physical medium as opposed to a...

 when created in similar fashion to non-digital painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s but using software on a computer platform and digitally outputting the resulting image as painted on canvas
Canvas
Canvas is an extremely heavy-duty plain-woven fabric used for making sails, tents, marquees, backpacks, and other items for which sturdiness is required. It is also popularly used by artists as a painting surface, typically stretched across a wooden frame...

.

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol
Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

 created digital art using a Commodore Amiga where the computer was publicly introduced at the Lincoln Center, New York in July 1985. An image of Debbie Harry
Debbie Harry
Deborah Ann "Debbie" Harry is an American singer-songwriter and actress, best known for being the lead singer of the punk rock and new wave band Blondie. She has also had success as a solo artist, and in the mid-1990s she performed and recorded as part of The Jazz Passengers...

 was captured in monochrome from a video camera and digitized into a graphics program called ProPaint. Warhol manipulated the image adding colour by using flood fills.

Computer-generated visual media


There are two main paradigms in computer generated imagery. The simplest is 2D computer graphics
2D computer graphics
2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models and by techniques specific to them...

 which reflect how you might draw using a pencil and a piece of paper. In this case, however, the image is on the computer screen and the instrument you draw with might be a tablet stylus or a mouse. What is generated on your screen might appear to be drawn with a pencil, pen or paintbrush. The second kind is 3D computer graphics, where the screen becomes a window into a virtual environment, where you arrange objects to be "photographed" by the computer. Typically a 2D computer graphics use raster graphics
Raster graphics
In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium...

 as their primary means of source data representations, whereas 3D computer graphics use vector graphics
Vector graphics
Vector graphics is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon, which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics...

 in the creation of immersive virtual reality installations. A possible third paradigm is to generate art in 2D or 3D entirely through the execution of algorithms coded into computer programs and could be considered the native art form of the computer. That is, it cannot be produced without the computer. Fractal art
Fractal art
Fractal art is a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media. Fractal art developed from the mid 1980s onwards. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new media art...

, Datamoshing, algorithmic art
Algorithmic art
Algorithmic art, also known as algorithm art, is art, mostly visual art, of which the design is generated by an algorithm. Algorithmic artists are sometimes called algorists.- Overview :...

 and Dynamic Painting
Dynamic Painting
Dynamic painting is a movement in visual arts where paintings are updated on an on-going basis. The artist determines the general principles for image genesis and develops algorithms for transformation methods...

 are examples.

Computer generated 3D still imagery



3D graphics are created via the process of designing image
Image
An image is an artifact, for example a two-dimensional picture, that has a similar appearance to some subject—usually a physical object or a person.-Characteristics:...

ry from geometric
Geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

 shapes, polygon
Polygon
In geometry a polygon is a flat shape consisting of straight lines that are joined to form a closed chain orcircuit.A polygon is traditionally a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments...

s or NURBS
Nonuniform rational B-spline
Non-uniform rational basis spline is a mathematical model commonly used in computer graphics for generating and representing curves and surfaces which offers great flexibility and precision for handling both analytic and freeform shapes.- History :Development of NURBS began in the 1950s by...

 curves to create three-dimensional objects and scenes for use in various media such as film, television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

, print, rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technology. The first techniques for rapid prototyping became available in the late 1980s and were used to produce models and prototype parts. Today, they are used for a much wider range of applications...

, games/simulations and special visual effects.

There are many software programs for doing this. The technology can enable collaboration
Collaboration
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...

, lending itself to sharing and augmenting by a creative effort similar to the open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 movement, and the creative commons
Creative Commons
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization headquartered in Mountain View, California, United States devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. The organization has released several copyright-licenses known as Creative Commons...

 in which users can collaborate in a project to create unique pieces of art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

.

Computer generated animated imagery



Computer-generated animations are animations created with a computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

, from digital models created by the 3d artists or procedurally generated
Procedural generation
Procedural generation is a widely used term in the production of media; it refers to content generated algorithmically rather than manually. Often, this means creating content on the fly rather than prior to distribution...

. The term is usually applied to works created entirely with a computer. Movies make heavy use of computer-generated graphics; they are called computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...

 (CGI) in the film industry. In the 1990s, and early 2000s CGI advanced enough so that for the first time it was possible to create realistic 3D computer animation
Animation
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

, although films had been using extensive computer images since the mid-70s. A number of modern films have been noted for their heavy use of photo realistic CGI.

Digital installation art




Digital installation art constitutes a broad field of activity and incorporates many forms. Some resemble video installations, particularly large scale works involving projections and live video capture
Video capture
Video capture is the process of converting an analog video signal—such as that produced by a video camera or DVD player—to digital video. The resulting digital data are computer files referred to as a digital video stream, or more often, simply video stream...

. By using projection techniques that enhance an audiences impression of sensory envelopment, many digital installations attempt to create immersive environments. Others go even further and attempt to facilitate a complete immersion in virtual realms
Virtual reality
Virtual reality , also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds...

. This type of installation is generally site specific, scalable, and without fixed dimensionality, meaning it can be reconfigured to accommodate different presentation spaces.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is an advisor for the Expressive Intelligence Studio. He is an alumnus of the Literary Arts MFA program and Special Graduate Study PhD program at Brown University...

's interactive media art piece entitled "Screen" is an example of digital installation art. To view and interact with the piece, a user first enters a room, called the "Cave," which is a virtual reality display area with four walls surrounding the participant. White memory texts appear on the background of black walls. Through bodily interaction, such as using one's hand, a user can move and bounce the text around the walls. The words can be made into sentences and eventually begin to "peel" off and move more rapidly around the user, creating a heightening sense of misplacement.

"In addition to creating a new form of bodily interaction with text through its play, Screen moves the player through three reading experiences — beginning with the familiar, stable, page-like text on the walls, followed by the word-by-word reading of peeling and hitting (where attention is focused), and with more peripheral awareness of the arrangements of flocking words and the new (often neologistic) text being assembled on the walls. Screen was first shown in 2003 as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival (in the Cave at Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

) and documentation of it has since been featured at The Iowa Review Web, presented at SIGGRAPH 2003, included in Alt+Ctrl: a festival of independent and alternative games, published in the DVD magazines Aspect and Chaise, as well as in readings in the Hammer Museum
Hammer Museum
The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Culture Center, or the Hammer Museum as it is more commonly known, is an art museum in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, California...

's HyperText
Hypertext
Hypertext is text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or keypress sequence. Apart from running text, hypertext may contain tables, images and other presentational devices. Hypertext is the...

 series, at ACM Hypertext 2004, and in other venues."

Subtypes


  • Art game
    Art game
    An art game or arthouse game is a video game that is designed in such a way as to emphasize art or whose structure is intended to produce some kind of reaction in its audience. Art games typically go out of their way to have a unique, unconventional look, often standing out for aesthetic beauty or...

  • Computer art scene
    Computer art scene
    The phrase computer art scene, or artscene for short, refers to a community of individuals and groups that are both interested and active in the creation of computer-based artwork.-Early computer art:...

  • Computer music
    Computer music
    Computer music is a term that was originally used within academia to describe a field of study relating to the applications of computing technology in music composition; particularly that stemming from the Western art music tradition...

  • Cyberarts
    Cyberarts
    Cyberarts or cyberart refers to the class of art produced with the help of computer software and hardware; often with an interactive or multimedia aspect...

  • Digital illustration
    Digital illustration
    Computer illustration or digital illustration is the use of digital tools to produce images under the direct manipulation of the artist, usually through a pointing device such as a tablet or a mouse. It is distinguished from computer-generated art, which is produced by a computer using mathematical...

  • Digital imaging
    Digital imaging
    Digital imaging or digital image acquisition is the creation of digital images, typically from a physical scene. The term is often assumed to imply or include the processing, compression, storage, printing, and display of such images...

  • Digital painting
    Digital painting
    Digital painting is an emerging art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc. are applied using digital tools by means of a computer, a digitizing tablet and stylus, and software. Traditional painting is painting with a physical medium as opposed to a...

  • Digital photography
    Digital photography
    Digital photography is a form of photography that uses an array of light sensitive sensors to capture the image focused by the lens, as opposed to an exposure on light sensitive film...

  • Digital poetry
    Digital poetry
    Digital poetry is a form of electronic literature, displaying a wide range of approaches to poetry, with a prominent and crucial use of computers...

  • Dynamic Painting
    Dynamic Painting
    Dynamic painting is a movement in visual arts where paintings are updated on an on-going basis. The artist determines the general principles for image genesis and develops algorithms for transformation methods...

  • Electronic music
    Electronic music
    Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

  • Evolutionary art
    Evolutionary art
    Evolutionary art is created using a computer. The process starts by having a population of many randomly generated individual representations of artworks. Each representation is evaluated for its aesthetic value and given a fitness score...

  • Fractal art
    Fractal art
    Fractal art is a form of algorithmic art created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images, animations, and media. Fractal art developed from the mid 1980s onwards. It is a genre of computer art and digital art which are part of new media art...

  • Generative art
    Generative art
    Generative art refers to art that has been generated, composed, or constructed in an algorithmic manner through the use of systems defined by computer software algorithms, or similar mathematical or mechanical or randomised autonomous processes....

  • Generative music
    Generative music
    Generative music is a term popularized by Brian Eno to describe music that is ever-different and changing, and that is created by a system.- Theory :There are four primary perspectives on "Generative Music" Generative music is a term popularized by Brian Eno to describe music that is ever-different...

  • Immersion (virtual reality)
    Immersion (virtual reality)
    Immersion is the state of consciousness where an immersant's awareness of physical self is diminished or lost by being surrounded in an engrossing total environment; often artificial. This mental state is frequently accompanied with spatial excess, intense focus, a distorted sense of time, and...

     
  • Interactive art
    Interactive art
    Interactive art is a form of installation-based art that involves the spectator in a way that allows the art to achieve its purpose. Some installations achieve this by letting the observer or visitor "walk" in, on, and around them; Some others ask the artist to become part of the artwork.Works of...

  • Machinima
    Machinima
    Machinima is the use of real-time 3D computer graphics rendering engines to create a cinematic production. Most often, video games are used to generate the computer animation...

  • Motion graphics
    Motion graphics
    Motion graphics are graphics that use video footage and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion or rotation, graphics are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are usually displayed via electronic media technology, but may be displayed via...

  • Music visualization
    Music visualization
    Music visualization, a feature found in electronic music visualizers and media player software, generates animated imagery based on a piece of music...

  • Photo manipulation
    Photo manipulation
    Photo manipulation is the application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception , through analog or digital means.- Types of digital photo manipulation :...

  • Pixel art
    Pixel art
    Pixel art is a form of digital art, created through the use of raster graphics software, where images are edited on the pixel level. Graphics in most old computer and video games, graphing calculator games, and many mobile phone games are mostly pixel art.- History :The term pixel art was first...

  • Software art
    Software art
    Software art refers to works of art where the creation of software, or concepts from software, play an important role; for example software applications which were created by artists and which were intended as artworks. As an artistic discipline software art has attained growing attention since the...

  • Systems art
    Systems art
    Systems art is art influenced by cybernetics, and systems theory, which reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself....

  • Textures
  • Tradigital art
    Tradigital art
    Tradigital art most commonly refers to art that combines both traditional and computer-based techniques to implicate an image. It is related to digital art, traditional art, information art, new media art, video art, interactive art, and internet art.-Background:Artist and teacher Judith Moncrieff...



Related Organizations and Conferences

  • Artmedia
    Artmedia
    Artmedia, Seminar and Laboratory of the Aesthetics of Media and Communication, was one of the first scientific projects concerning the relationship between art, technology, philosophy and aesthetics. It was founded in 1985 at the University of Salerno...

  • Austin Museum of Digital Art
    Austin Museum of Digital Art
    The Austin Museum of Digital Art , located in Austin, Texas, is the first museum dedicated exclusively to the display of digital art. AMODA was founded in 1997 by Harold Chaput, Samantha Krukowski and Chris Rankin in response to the abundance of digital art in the local scene and the absence of...

  • Computer Arts Society
    Computer Arts Society
    The Computer Arts Society was founded in 1968, in order to encourage the creative use of computers in the arts.- Foundation :The three founder members of the Society – Alan Sutcliffe, George Mallen, and John Lansdown – had been involved with computing and its related concepts for some time...


See Also

  • Algorithmic art
    Algorithmic art
    Algorithmic art, also known as algorithm art, is art, mostly visual art, of which the design is generated by an algorithm. Algorithmic artists are sometimes called algorists.- Overview :...

  • Computer art
    Computer art
    Computer art is any art in which computers play a role in production or display of the artwork. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, videogame, web site, algorithm, performance or gallery installation...

  • Computer graphics
    Computer graphics
    Computer graphics are graphics created using computers and, more generally, the representation and manipulation of image data by a computer with help from specialized software and hardware....

  • Electronic Art
    Electronic art
    Electronic art is a form of art that makes use of electronic media or, more broadly, refers to technology and/or electronic media. It is related to information art, new media art, video art, digital art, interactive art, internet art, and electronic music...

  • New Media Art
    New media art
    New media art is a genre that encompasses artworks created with new media technologies, including digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, computer robotics, and art as biotechnology...

  • Virtual art
    Virtual art
    Virtual art is art practice using virtual reality, augmented reality or mixed reality as a medium in a digital environment..-Form:It can be considered a post-convergent art form, containing all previous media as subsets...