Virtual art is the product of long-standing traditions in art merged with revolutionary technological advances. With innovations emerging almost as fast as end-users can test and master new systems, technology has dramatically altered our daily lives and changed our thought processes. Like many technological advances, virtual and cyber realities have been embraced, and often created by, artists that experiment with the myriad of possibilities that technology can offer. While there have been many works of art inspired and created by means of digital advances, the medium has yet to be defined and its boundaries have not yet been identified. Since technology and virtual art are just beginning to be explored, the medium is in its infancy and thus cannot be judged based upon traditional mores of art. Before virtual art can achieve prominence and respect within the art world, many barriers of tradition must first be abolished. Virtual and digital technologies are rampant in American culture and thoroughly utilized in entertainment mediums like television, movies, magazines, and video games. Our capitalist economy creates a fertile environment for these mediums to prosper by feeding off the public's hunger for entertainment. Because these industries are in such high demand and accrue billion dollar revenues, new technologies are often conceived in and funded by these trades: "For, in essence, all socially relevant new image media, from classical antiquity to the revolution of digital images, have advanced to serve the interests of maintaining power and control or maximizing profits" (Grau 339). That being the case, new technologies "hardly ever…advanced solely for artistic purposes" (Grau 339). Because "power" and "profits" are the central means of motivation in our culture; art, in the classical sense, is often an afterthought. In an age where entertainment and art intertwine, however, distinctions between the two based upon their creation are impossible. With...
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