Digital Technologies as a Medium

It is problematic to claim that all digital artworks can be neatly categorized according to different forms: most of the time, these works combine various elements and defy a purely formal classification. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the formal aspects upon which the art is based. Ultimately, every object is about its own materiality, which informs the ways in which it creates meaning. Among the forms that a digital artwork can take are installation; film, video, and animation; Internet art and software art; and virtual reality and musical environments.

(Christiane Paul, Digital Art, 2003)

In this book Digital Art, the trend of digital art has evolved through the growth of technology with time. According to this phenomenon, classifying kinds of new media art or distinguishing new media from typical art is very difficult because the art is extremely hybrid and includes diverse meanings to express various artistic emotions or philosophies. Moreover, digital art seems to emphasize the technology rather than artistic aesthetic.

In New York, many artists want to explore new technology, like traditional artist find new kinds of brushes and new textual canvases, and display an art piece which uses complex computer programming or various multimedia data formats. Many of the new media artists come from computer engineering backgrounds or related areas. If someone thinks about or makes something, it seems that everybody wants to attach the name of “Art”.

The social scientists observe people’s behavior using GPS technology and they convert their research work to kinds of new media artwork. Many students or people who program Java or C++ create new algorithms and generate new images or new interactive skills and they want them to be called artistic creation. The physical computing engineers develop various robots and new kinds of computing devices and they think they developed art pieces. In digital art, is the technology essential property in art? Should the digital artist be an engineer or technophile? What is more important: the new exploration of the technology or artistic philosophy?

New media art easily gets an effect from new technology development with time and technology trends. This kind of phenomenon makes people confused about defining or recognizing art. The audience wants to see more and more new technology shows rather than understanding the background or hidden meaning because they already used to experience new form of interaction. Finally, the artist also follows the trend of technology and adapts it a their work. This will be a vicious circle in new media art. “Digital technologies as a medium” are occupying the creation of the artist and distorting the true art.

In numerous examples of the new media art in Digital Art, what does the examples show us? In the future, will we have more variety of digital art pieces or experience more new ways of interacting with art? People and artists should control the media, and when they use the media, they have to have a certain reason to use it. That will be the true new media art.