View Full Version : Computer Art

11-10-2000, 06:53 AM
I thought this was interesting and Jen thought I should post it here. It's from artnet.com (I'll try to relocate the direct link if I get a chance):

About: Digital Art Computer Art as a Fine Art Medium

From David Em to Marilyn Schwartz, Manfred Mohr and John Fischer there is a direct line of development and discovery about the power and possibilities of computer generated fine art.

The art that John Fischer has worked on is directly related to two aspects in his own work with traditional media and with the discoveries of the computer's capabilities.

On a broader scene though, the DIGITAL (Tech) world has yet to be accepted in the Fine Art arena. The reasons are clear: the Digital Art has been both a disappointment and a threat.

Allan Stone has stated that he is "mortally afraid" of computer art. I surmise that he understands its inherent power to change the aspects of visual art in the present and the future. He is afraid of losing value or not knowing how to go with this new phenomenon. I don't know which.

Most importantly: DIGITAL technology has created distinct visual language that permits fine art practitioners to enlarge their color vocabulary ("Color Renaissance") to find new ways to transform reality, to create surreal and abstract space and content that is dramatically brilliant and amazingly creative. (Film special effects among others). For Painting the computer offers an enormous color universe and a completely virgin canvas, disembodied from the traditional media but capable of far more subtlety, new vocabularies (pixel.gradation.overlays.transformation in time etc). And: Projections, multiple screen environments, laser lights, interactive games and installations, internet communications between all parts of the world, email interactive messaging, Computer art or digital art (Electronic Paintings) has established itself as a new valid medium for fine art paintings and prints. Even as this is written the technology has advanced to archival standards. Printing has succeeded in rivaling the finest photo detailed content. And the new reliance on the image and the mind with less involvement with the ancient view of transforming a material to create another reality (oils/inks etc) is giving visual art new possibilities for invention. The computer is new on the scene in the same way the Video explosion was fifty or so years ago. Video was condemned, and dire consequences predicted. IN the following decades it became not only a medium in itself but also a world wide popular phenomenon i.e. from the highest aspirations to the most commonplace consumer usage. Video was here to stay.

One hundred years ago it was the motion picture camera that was vilified and ultimately found its way. Television in the late 30' had a similar outcry. And so on we can trace back to the invention of oil paint, and tubes and the still camera and the radio and all of which technical advancements contributed to culture and fine art.

That's where the computer is today and looking ahead...

11-10-2000, 11:38 PM
Yep - many media have had to go through this transition, as you have already noted. So many new media began as something "below art" until certain artists finally elevated the medium to a high art form.

Photography, Film, Craft media (glass, weaving, etc), and so on...

thanks for the post!

11-14-2000, 07:47 AM
Below is a review from (http://www.artnet.com/magazine/reviews/henry/henry11-13-00.asp) about a painter who uses a computer in his process:

Like the aforementioned Ross and Ritchie, painter Randy Wray (returning after several years in his first solo at Derek Eller) has developed a lexicon that is uniquely his own. He photographs abstract ceramic sculpture he's produced, scanning the photos into a computer then altering their structure. The resultant paint-by-number schematic of 43 colors acts as a roadmap for these complexly elegant paintings, allowing for margins of improvisation and unexpected twists and turns. Wray is to the immediate eye, a gritty abstract painter to the core, yet his interests also incorporate Photo Realism and representation.

They're untitled still lifes of sculptures propelled by an abstract sensibility. The jagged pixilated gestures perhaps riff on pointillism and the van Gogh brushwork in one primarily orange work crescendos and dips into a graceful relief effect, appearing from a distance as aerial maps of topography or satellite meteorology photos. He stitches swatches of burlap onto the surface and cuts openings in the canvas sewing open weaves across the holes.

Painters don't seem averse to exploiting computer tools for their own devises, its notable that Wray's potent canvases make one think of the special effect called "noise" offered on the software Photoshop. Even so, he's a gunslinger, confident in form, willful in intent and daring in execution.

11-28-2000, 04:00 AM
Hmm, I've dealt a great deal with digital graphics/art, though mainly on an amateur level (mostly 13-20 yr olds.) in which filters are used for almost everything.
The effects Photoshop makes with filters, such as noise, are very obvious when used for images, and any Photoshop artist can point them out in a picture. It's the people who go beyond simple filters that can create magnificent, detailed figures with computer equpiment...
I used to use filters, but began to focus more on using the digital airbrush/paintbrush to create the effects instead, since filters use patterns and the random strokes and gestures of a more natural medium are lossed (this is in reference to actual drawing/painting/[in some cases] photo-manipulation; although certain photo-retouching effects may require filters such as curves, levels, noise, despeckle, etc.).
I think this is a wonderful medium with endless possibilities from vector to rastor to 3d graphics.
However, the one downfall I've seen is that this technology is still not at its peak. To me, very high-resolution images that all but eliminate pixels (at least 1200 dpi?) on large canvas areas are impossible given current computer speeds. I still prefer off-computer art, without all the pixels and time spended waiting for the CPU to catch up.
Just my 2 cents.

11-28-2000, 03:52 PM
I couldn't agree with you more about filters. But I've been through that arguement before...

Regarding the file size:
A place I use for Giclee output can print the files at 200 percent without any noticable loss in quality. I have an 18x24" print on my wall that was created in Photoshop at 9x12". There is NO noticable loss in quality. It's a great printer that can allow you to output big prints from managable files. A few years ago I had info from a guy on the west coast that had modified a billboard printer to output giant files. Not sure about the quality though.

12-04-2000, 10:21 AM
It's definitely true that Giclee printers (and other wide-format high res printers, like ENCAD) can give you some really nice large prints. The optical resolution is something like 2000 dpi... you basically can't see the individual ink droplets.

Of course you don't have to actually render at 2000 DPI, though. That would definitely be limited by your processor, and it would also be very unnecessary. You'd need say, 300 DPI. That would be enough so that the individual square pixels aren't very obvious, even if you have very very sharp high contrast lines or something like that in your pic. If you're just printing out something soft and painterly, or a photograph of the outdoors, or something like that... usually 300 dpi is more than enough (and usually you can resample it so you can increase the size).

One thing to keep in mind is that the word "giclee" is trademarked by Iris Corporation. But, there are plenty of other printers on the market that achieve comparable quality (and they're just as archival). So... giclee prints are all wide-format digital art prints, but wide-format digital art prints are not all giclees. Make sense? http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

-=- Jen "Giclee (TM) Iris" de la Cruz
http://www.Pixelscapes.com and http://www.BewareOfArt.com