The Digital Dialectic New Essays On New Media

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Art that uses digital technology as its subject refers to any medium of art production, traditional, performance, or otherwise, that refers to digital technology in its subject matter.

A book about social networking falls into this category, although the book itself is not digital.

Subcategories include algorithmic art, computer painting, computer-generated animation, and even art generated within online communities such as Second Life.

These forms are created at the digital level, as discussed above, but could be printed out and represented materially.

There are other ways in which art can be considered digital.

Digital art, to use the definition provided by the Austin Museum of Digital Art, is “art that uses digital technology in any of three ways: as the product, as the process, or as the subject.” Ultimately, digital art is art that could not otherwise exist without digital technology.Any attempt to define “digital art” as a key term in Media Studies must begin by defining its component terms: how do we define “art”? It only takes entering “art” into a dictionary search engine to find that its lengthy definitions rival the length of its history.Perhaps the most relevant and comprehensive definition of art is that given by Johanna Drucker in her essay “Art” in : “In the modern to contemporary period, the prevailing belief is that the distinctive identity of art derives from the unique ability of individual artists to give formal expression to imaginative thought.” Keeping this definition of art in mind, it is necessary to define the term “digital” in two capacities.Peter Lunenfeld (born 1962, in New York City) is a critic and theorist of digital media.He is a professor and the Vice Chair of the Design Media Arts department at UCLA, director of the Institute for Technology and Aesthetics (ITA), and founder of mediawork: The Southern California New Media Group.First, what the term digital means in itself, and second, what conditions art must fulfill in order to be considered digital.After forming a relevant and thorough definition of what digital art is, it will be possible to explore the implications of the digital condition, the importance of digital art for Media Studies, and its broader significance for the study of art.The material is actually non-atomic; it is simply the arbitrary code of the computational machine.In “The Condition of Virtuality,” Katherine Hayles notes that “information conceived as pattern and divorced from a material medium is information free to travel across time and space.” This is true in the practical sense of the Internet, as well as in the theoretical sense.These three uses of digital technology require some explication.Art that uses digital technology as its product is a work that, in its final stage, must be viewed on a digital platform, as in a computer or some other electronic coding apparatus.

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