Art and Technology - Schwartz & Moffat

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  • Topic: Art, Conceptual art, Contemporary art
  • Pages : 8 (3222 words )
  • Download(s) : 33
  • Published : October 31, 2007
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Many modern artists use high technology equipment in their works. Whereas traditionally artists used a pencil or brush to make beautiful works of art, artists in the early twenty-first century are now using sound, video or computer generated images. Digital art developed from simple patterns and shapes made using computer programs to finished works of art which can look as realistic as a watercolour or oil painting. Modern art exhibitions often include more videos and installations than traditional painting or drawings. Even artists which use traditional techniques increasingly use modern technology such as the internet to display their works and communicate with other artists. Modern technology provides a means for artists to create works faster with more tools than ever before. I will be discussing the impact of some of these technologies in relation to the art of some modern artists. I will argue that modern technology such as the computer and video is another tool for an artist to use in their work. I will especially focus on the video artwork of Tracey Moffat and the computer artwork of Lillian Schwartz as but two examples of artists today who use modern techniques. Moffat is an Australian contemporary artist who uses film extensively as an art-form, and many of her works are based on and reflect the modern technology of Hollywood movies and television. Schwartz is an artist who has a long history of using computer technology to experiment ways of creating and manipulating works of art. She has also written extensively about the topic of computer influence in art, and about art produced by computers. Modern technology is having a huge impact on recent art. Modern artists are using new materials and techniques to produce their artworks. Whereas in the past painting and drawing were the main mediums used by artists in their work, now in the 21st century installations, sound, video and computers are becoming more widely used and popular. Artists today are continually experimenting with new technology in different ways, finding new ways to use old mediums and finding new mediums as well. In modern art displays such as the various Biennales held around the world, video plays a dominant role, as well as installation art and increasingly, digital art. There are even exhibitions that solely focus on digital art, such as Ars Electronica held annually in Linz, Austria. The internet is becoming used more with many contemporary artists using it to display their works with online galleries, talk to other artists and sell their works. Internet sites such as or offer artists an opportunity to sell and display their works and communicate with people throughout the world. Computer programs such as Photoshop and Painter allow artists to easily manipulate photographs and paint pictures using custom artists tools which can create the effects in a few minutes of what previously would have taken months to paint. Many artists today are involved in using digital art technology to produce websites, computer games or online art exhibitions. The website is one example of a site which mostly displays digital art, that has over 100,000 posts by many different people. Digital art is increasingly being displayed in contemporary art exhibitions as well as being online, becoming more popular towards the end of the 20th century. "Digital art made its official entry into the art world only in the late 1990s, when museums and galleries began increasingly to incorporate the art form into their shows and dedicate entire exhibitions to it." (Paul 2003: 23) The impact that these technologies is having on contemporary art is sometimes hard to pin down at one time since they are moving so fast that they are constantly changing and being updated. However, while modern technology provides artists with many opportunities and ways to produce art, it still functions similar to any other artists tool of the past. Films are...
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