When art and digital meet each other (1/3)
Since the beginning of time, art fascinates, surprises, leaves speechless, provokes questioning, takes us on journeys, stirs us up and sometimes even revolts us. Despite this ability to play with our emotions, the artistic community always want to go further, especially with the growing era of digital.
We can consider that digital is serving art but can we really talk of digital art ? Many debates are taking place around this subject. Indeed, it is quite difficult to find one of the seven artistics disciplines “undigitalised” : music, dance, painting or even literature, all of them are connected to the present world. It is necessary to highlight the difference between digital art and contemporary art. Although similar in many points, there is an undisputable difference : the “systematic” use of an informatic tool. A digital work of art can be a contemporary one but the opposite can only be true if there is the use of a digital tool.
Digital art market
We can talk about digital art when a work of art has been made thanks to a digital tool, this kind of work of art doesn’t have a physical frame and is completely technical, even if the origin can be material. Digital art must prove its value and claim its place inside the artistic community. The major issue is the distribution and diffusion of this art because the dissociation between art and technology is still very pronounced. The first digital art’s auction took place in New York in October 2013 and the art market amounted to $20 billion at the end of 2012, which demonstrates there is something to be done.
On the one hand, the digital artists, who integrate in their works of art digital as a tool. This appellation began in the 90’s with the net-artists, pioneers of the discipline. Digital artists are most of the time trailblazers and prepare consumers to evolution et technology. Most of them make themselves known through festivals or specific exhibitions. On the other hand, the institutions propose events and infrastructures to promote digital art : museums, art galleries, festivals, schools,… Among the famous ones : Guggenheim in Bilbao, iMAL (Interactive Media Art Laboratory) in Brussels, Bitforms & Postmasters in New York or DAM (Digital Art Museum) in Berlin.
Funding and valorization
How can this particular market be valorized ? Because of the almost nonexistent of marketing in the “products” of digital art, funding are not encouraged, added to the absence of a real national, European or international politics on the market. Some solutions have been considered : patronage, crowdfunding or the right of public submission.
In the next article (2/3), we will talk about technologies attached to digital art : interaction, motion capture, augmented reality and 3D-printing.
Etudiante en Master 2 Commerce Electronique à l’Université de Strasbourg, adepte des nouvelles technologies et du monde numérique.