Digital Art and Philosophy


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Technology is continuing to revolutionize many areas of life including creative endeavor. This presentation on Digital Art and Philosophy looks at different forms of digital art and related philosophical issues. Digital art is anything related to computers and art such as using a computer to create art or an art display that is digitized. Philosophical aspects arise regarding art, identity, performance, interactivity, and the process of creation. Specific topics include: Design Aesthetics of Meaning-Making: Info Visualization, Democratized Creativity: Performance, Music, Virtual Reality, Gaming, Natural Aesthetics: Generative Art, SynBio, Biomimicry, SocNets, and Portable ArtTech: Identity, Wearable Electronics, the Future. More information:

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Digital Art and Philosophy

  1. 1. Image: Emese SzorenyiDigital Art and Philosophy Melanie Swan She’s Geeky, Mountain View CA, Jan 2013
  2. 2. "Every culture will use the maximum level of technologyavailable to it to make art" - Scott Draves, Generative Artist 2
  3. 3. What is Digital Art? 3
  4. 4. What is Digital Art? ‘Official’ Definitions• “Digital art is anything involving computers and art such as using a computer to create art or digitized art displays” – EB Boyd• “Digital art is using new technologies for the digital, computer-based composition, display, and reproduction of images and sounds” – Katherine Thomson-Jones• “Digital art is a general term for a range of artistic works and practices that use digital technology as an essential part of the creative and/or presentation process” – Christiane Paul 4
  5. 5. What is [regular] Art? 5
  6. 6. Classic definition(s) of art• “Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture” – Wikipedia• Art “…is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.” – Leo Tolstoy• “Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.” – Frank Lloyd Wright• “Art is not a thing — it is a way.” - Elbert Hubbard 6
  7. 7. What is Digital Art? 7
  8. 8. What is Digital Art? 8
  9. 9. What is Digital Art? 9
  10. 10. What is Digital Art? Social network visualization of voting patterns of U. S. Senators during 2007 10
  11. 11. What is Digital Art? 11
  12. 12. What is Digital Art? 12
  13. 13. What is Digital Art? 13
  14. 14. What Philosophical Issues arise with Digital Art?• What is art?• Why does art matter?• How does art engage us?• How does digital art change our notions of – Identity – Performance – Interactivity – Creativity 14
  15. 15. Philosophy of Digital Art• “The virtual image lacks any material autonomy of its own and is dependent on the activity of the [viewer’s] body-brain [for its existence” – Mark Hansen 15
  16. 16. Philosophy of Art 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. Image: Emese SzorenyiDigital Art and Philosophy Thank you!!! Melanie Swan She’s Geeky, Mountain View CA, Jan 2013