Arts 1A An Overview of the Digital Media Arts Discipline

Media Arts
| Digital Arts | New Media



An umbrella term covering a wide range of practices in which digital technologies are integrated into the artmaking process to create works of art. Digital Media implies the production of art with technological media.

Technology as Tool

Technology as Medium

Hybrid Media

Digital Medium Specificity

In dialogue with Science

Distinction needs to be made between the use of digital technologies in artmaking:

As a tool by which to enhance the practice of analog media: Writing, photography, painting, sculpture, film, sound, etc.

Technology as a medium where the artwork produced with the technology produces a result that could not have been achieved without the technology.

Due to the nature of art practice since the 1960's, and the fact that digital technologies have entered the culture through the commercial market, hybridization can occur at many levels: subject matter references, production level, aesthetic quality, narrative discourse, etc. Nonetheless there is a substantial difference between, let's say, a commercial website, and webart.

Basic unit: bit/bytes. Usage requires conceptualization and specific language coding. Artist writes code based on hypothesis, then sees results. Not unlike tradition of music.

Knowledge of math, physics, processes, music, useful.

  Technological Background

Mathematical Background
Calcul. Machines/Computers
Innovative Years 1960-1982
Invention of Internet
Research Centers
Cultural Shifts1980's
  Babbage: Differential Engine, 1822
Computers: An Illustrated History
The future | Space Age, military, Cold War, ARPANET
Rand, Historical Maps of Computer Networks, Ted Nelson's Xanadu
Bell Labs, Xerox Parc, Interval Research
Apple II
(1980), Osborne (1981), IBM PC (1982), Commodore 64, Atari, etc.

  Visual Representation & Technology: Photography & Cinema

1850-80's Chrono-Photo
Constructivism, Bauhaus
1930's Scientific Images
1920's Cinematography
1960's Independent Films

Jules Etienne Marey [1] | Muybridge
Rodchenko | Moholy-Nagy | Man Ray | Marcel Duchamp [2]| Bruguire
Edgerton | Berenice Abbott
Lumiere | Vertov | Eisenstein | René Clair
Vanderbeek | S.Brahkage | M.Snow | J.Whitney Sr.

  Some 20th Century Intersections

Conceptual Art

Malevich | El Lissitsky
Levi-Strauss | Buckminster Fuller | Agnes Denes
Jean Arp | Cage |
Daniel Spoerri
Haacke (systems)| Lewitt (algorithms) | Bochner (numeric systems)
Barry (actions) | Kosuth (propositions) Huebler (propositions) | Baldessari (narrative) | On Karawa (Classification)


  Early Digital Media Art Works

  E.A.T. (Experiments in Art Technology), Billy Kluver
Noll | Cohen | Nake |

1990's Media Arts becomes a Discipline

Interactive Art
Artist as Inventor
  Luc Courschene | Moeller |
De Marinis | Rath | Pomeroy
Paul Sermon

Video | Motion Sensing
Mixed Realities
Virtual Architecture
Data Mining | Mapping
Computer Code & Algorithms
Immersive Environment
Net Art
  Telegarden (Goldberg) | Rinaldo | Paulos | SRL |
Rokeby | J.Campbell | Gabriele |
Scott Fisher | Fujihata |
TransArchitecture |
Sack | Link | Knowbotic Research
John Simon Jr |
Osmose |
Heavy Industries | Lialina | Josh On | jodi | WonderWalker | Central City |

  Some Research Directions

Self-Organizing Systems
Artificial Life/Emergene
BioGenetics, BioHybrids
Artificial Intelligence
Moura/Ramos | Swarm Intelligence
Sommerer/Mignonneau | Sims |
GFP Bunny (Kac) | Stelarc | Jeremijhenko
[1] | Boids |


Ars Electronica 2003
Block Jam
Aegis Architecture [UK][DECOI]

  Digital Basics

Digital Unit
Cellular Automata
Wolfram's Cellular Automata (Simple Rules lead to Complex Results)
How it Works | Rule Results | NKS |
Architecture Design Implementation | Processing

  UCSB Digital Media Faculty

Interactive Art
Data Mapping
Interactive Art
Space & TeleCommunications
Graham Budgett
Lisa Jevbratt
George Legrady
Marcos Novak
[Eduction] [Torus Warp ]
Marko Peljhan
[Image Archive][Research Topics ]

Online References

Intersections of Art, technology, Science & Culture, Steve Wilson
From Wagner to Virtual Reality, Randall Packer
A Story of NetArt, Natalie Boochkin
Constructivism, George Rickey
Cyber_Reader, Neil Spiller
Digital Art, WebLinks, Christiane Paul
The New Media Reader, Fruin, Montfort
Me++, William J. Mithcell

Langlois Foundation | ZKM | DEAF | Siggraph