Digital Art: Using Technology to Make Artworks

4/22/2020

Experimenting with unique elements that are alien to art— instead of sticking with what's conventional — works wonders and can even lead to novel forms of art. One of the examples that the modern world has relished in is digital art. Artists increasingly depend on modern technology to create artworks, expanding the room to channel their creativity. Nowadays, digital art is used in so many fields and can also be seen in plain sight. But what falls under digital art?

Digital Art, What Is It?

Source: digitalartsonline.co.uk

It’s an art that relies on digital technology in the creative or presentation process, in other simpler terms, a merger between art and tech. Digital art landed itself in the multimedia format as it can be viewed in many ways such as TV, computers, and social media. It's also part of a broader term called new media art, which relates to artworks created with new media technologies. But it can also be highly complex when it involves multiple types of technology— think computer-generated algorithm art.

Artists are no longer be confined by the limited ability of conventional art supply such as paint and canvas. The only limit is their imagination.

History of Digital Art

Frieder Nake's Digital Artwork | Source: researchgate.net 

The history of digital art is closely related to the first computer ever made, called the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), which was created in the 1940s for military purposes. This later inspired the birth of digital art.

In the 1960s, several museums started holding exhibitions that explored artworks made with the help of computers. German artist and mathematician Frieder Nake created a computer algorithm that pioneered digitally constructed art. It involved the creation of a series of shapes that eventually became an art piece.

Early Form of Digital Art | Source: artsy.net

But the earliest real digital art was created in 1967 by Kenneth Knowlton and Leon Harmon. They created a pixelated image of a nude woman from the actual photograph and named it Computer Nude (Studies in Perception I). Since then, artists have continued to explore the possibility of a digital medium to make outstanding artworks.

Then come San Francisco-based Industrial Light and Magic, a visual effects company that brought about a technological revolution in digital art. They were the pioneer of digital media, manipulating video, audio and graphics to create a magnificent photorealistic digital image at the time.

Fast forward to 1980s, the term digital art became widely used to classify artworks, and this was around the same time the Paint program was created by computer engineers.

Source: lucasmuseum.org

Digital art developed significantly further with the emergence of the internet. For starters, it allows art to be more accessible for both artists and viewers. It also creates a vast platform for artists to explore digital art and utilize it as a medium to publish their creativity and interact with their audience.

Digital Art Forms

Typography Digital Art | Source: desktopbackground.org

In the 2D formats, digital art manifests in images made purely with computer technology or modified to a certain extent by technologies. Some of the examples are vector art, WRAP, line art, low poly art, flat design, typography, manipulation art, silhouette, illustration art, and caricature.

Source: ecopetit.cat

Meanwhile, 3D forms will have some a sense of depth to the artwork by creating imagery with geometric shapes, polygon, or NURBS curves. Some of the examples will be visual effects like CGI, which sometimes incorporates more than one form to culminate into a spectacular project like digital installation art, animation, video games, and many more. Digital artwork is famous among mainstream media, advertisers and film makers.

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