Monday, June 23, 2008

Windows and Mirrors

Wow- I really enjoyed this book! Maybe because the authors' style seems to drip with a McLuhan-like sense that seems to be ingrained in our Fordham Comm department; or because I could just really get into it.

It was presented in an easily accessible manner, and the content was engaging. How better to enumerate 'The Medium is the Message' than to create a wooden mirror!? Absolutely brilliant!

Digital art, as demonstrated early in Windows and Mirrors, can be such an interactive experience that no other artistic medium offers, it is almost limiting to call it just 'digital' and not interactive digital media.

Digital art could be a collection of LOLcats from I can haz cheezburger, where fans generate comical captions in a stylized form that has evolved into a highly ritualized fashion - with its own stories, syntax, and plot lines, and eventually spreading out to include all sorts of animals.


its easy to see that the grammatical errors and designs are completely intentional- catering to those who 'get it'.

Another, perhaps less low-brow example of digital art could be something as simple as Times Square . With its carcophany of lights, who could possibly say it is not a digitally mastered environment meant to be experienced by active participants?

If its not a stock ticker that runs into the sidewalk and gives you the latest news headlines as you literally walk over it, or a Digital Toys-R-Us Giraffe that follows your gaze as you walk down the block of surreal lighting and atmosphere, digital art is a force that is certainly here to stay.

It would seem that advertising has probably the most readily identifiable application of this budding art, but it is not an exclusive relationship. Digital Art, has found a niche as a form of entertainment, to be appreciated by the masses.

I contest that CGI is also a form of Digital art. creating and mastering zeros and ones into a sequence that serves to amaze movie goers and spectators of all sorts.

sure The Incredible Hulk may not be art- (trust me I saw it) but the care and dedication that went into the design and execution of the movements of the 'hulk' were impressive. Immense detail was taken to emulate the human form in movements and muscle structure, although the detail was highly sensationalized.

Just because its commercial does not mean it cannot be art.

A whole Genre, I would say has come to be known for beautiful animation and emulation of the human form- that would be Japanese Anime. Often based on Manga- which could itself is an art form of story telling, great care goes into being accurate and beautiful with all the animation.

Here is a link to a series called 'Gunslinger Girl' - this particular anime is a few years old, but from the inclusion of musical scores, to the animation, to the website, and the desire to be as accurate as possible to the original story and development of subplots- it would be a press not to consider it a type of Art- even if a person does not enjoy this particular example.

Below is the opening sequence of Final Fantasy XI - sure its a video game, but these things are nothing short of impressive!

Now I know I focused on commercial examples of digital art- for which I apologize but our culture is so immersed in it we would be silly not to recognize it.

I know the book touches briefly on film in chapter 3 I believe and eludes to gaming in chapter 7, but there importance goes beyond a medium through which art can be expressed, because those commercial outlets drive the technologies that fuel digital art.

Also I realize this post says nothing of the Montage as an artform, or any of the other recent developments that have touched more on the musical aspects or sensory aspects of digital art; but then again this post is probably already too long :)


Lance Strate said...

I wonder if you would think this was too long if it was a paper? In any event, these are all fine examples of more mainstreams forms of digital art? I wonder how you would apply the windows and mirrors dichotomy to them?

mike's spot said...

Point taken professor- I was comparing it more to a tweet than a paper ;-D