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Ever get the feeling that people think that computer generated art is not really art? and that because of the process and means to achieve the results implies that it should be inexpensive? anyone can do it attitude?

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I think we need to make a distinction between computer "generated" and computer "mediated" art. If an artificially intelligent computer really did start generating art on its own, that might be interesting, but I'd put it in a different category than human-generated art. It still might be art, of course, just like the nest of a bower-bird is art even if it's not human art. But most artists use computers as tools, similar to how they might use a paint brush. You don't call their paintings "paintbrush-generated" art, do you? Computers are powerful and versatile tools, but they aren't calling the shots (at least not yet...) And it's not necessarily quicker to make something using a computer; as anyone who has worked with them knows, getting something exactly right can take a lot of time - the advantage is that it becomes possible to keep working on a piece until it expresses exactly what was intended.

It's been more than a hundred years now that we've been going back and forth on the "anybody can do it" issue. Photography took a lot of the skill requirement out of making images of things; that caused many people to proclaim the death of painting - which never happened. Artists like Paul Klee and Picasso became fascinated with the art of children and so-called "primitives" and began making paintings that some people derided as something that "even a child" could do. But many of these efforts have stood the test of time, and sell for prices higher than many more laborious-looking paintings. Should computer-mediated art be dismissed because it requires a different set of skills than those traditionally thought of as artistic? Should it cost less even though the equipment required is more expensive? Personally, I'd judge by the results, not the means it took to achieve them, and let the price be set by what people are willing to pay.

Andrew Werby
I agree with what you say. Educating the public is a different matter. As I have often stated in my purpose- the computer is a tool just as a screen is to silkscreen, printing press to etching and lithography but the public doesn't view it the same for almost everyone now has a computer in their home. The process of art isn't the materials or the implimentation but the thought of one who does it. How does one go beyond the obvious to the spiritual of what is art? It is an old argument but one I find still very open in the minds of people today who still go to galleries and view art as art- whatever that may be. Perhaps it is all in the mind of the artist-that this is something as "special." Perhaps we need to view it as something nonane? Is it special or do we assign that to the act of art?
Nonane: Non"ane\, n. [L. nonus ninth.] (Chem.) One of a group of metameric hydrocarbons C9H20 of the paraffin series; -- so called because of the nine carbon atoms in the molecule. Normal nonane is a colorless volatile liquid, an ingredient of ordinary kerosene. Is this what you meant? Here we go again. Hokusai was painting with mops, because he wanted to do larger brush paintings that were less gestural and he wanted to get his whole body in to these Sumi ink on rice paper, paintings. Sumi of painting came from the Tang Dynasty in China (600 to 900 ad) which shows that all art derivative. People in Japan were up in arms about these very large paintings that weren't even painted with a brush. OMG! as today's "texter" would say. In the nineteen fifties a guy rolled out a large canvas on the floor of his studio and poured paint on the raw canvas OMG! That can't be art, Jackson Pollack doesn't even us a brush and furthermore anyone can do this. Well I could go on and on, but no one seems to have equaled these artist work. The application of a media to what surface is very disturbing to the public and to the art world in general, because it interferes with preconceived idea of what is art or should be. I am more comfortable with a brush and a pencil only because I have using them for over sixty years. That said, I use Mig, Tig welders and plasma cutters in my metal sculpture. Why? Aluminum and stainless steel can only be welded with this process. Computer generated art is just another tool the impetus comes from within and many times it doesn't make the work any easier and a flesh and blood model would be nicer and certainly more romantic. As to changing the public's ideas about art it is a total waste of time. When Willem deKooning died the media had all the top Museum directors and art dealers discussing his art they showed "Exavation" a primarily white abstraction purchased by the Chicago Museum of Modern Art in 1950 and it was deKooning's reaction to the Northern Renaissance, that took perspective to the nth degree and stifled all artists that didn't conform to this style. The De Stijl Group came out of this stricture and devoted its primary focus on two dimensional art and Willem deKooning came out of that approach to art and "Excavation's" exploration of flat planes was his way to search his past and explore his heritage or "Excavate" it, if you like. All the best Donald
NONANE: nonaligned, neutral, impartial, nonpartisan, uncommitted, neuter, uninvolved, unbiased, unprejudiced, etc, etc. But I agree with you. My thoughts do not go to the process thus the process becomes ???? ===>>>>
This was the subject of many discussions a couple years ago in school.

Perhaps its more than an "anyone can do it attitude" that leads people to think less of this new art tool, perhaps this general perception toward computer art is a reflection of peoples opinion and relationship with technology itself... just a thought....
Hey I just read the last few comments here! This is really on target with what I have been struggling with. Is creating with the computer really a printmaking technique? I can only make prints with the images I create. Like photography it is different than painting because even though I see the color and the form it is removed from the tangible "arena" until I print it. So thinking along the lines of print-making is computer generated art any different than drawing on a litho stone, or creating a silk screen?
Sarah, I also don't like the term digital art for that seem to put it in an arena outside the person. I have always looked at the computer as another tool- one major diff. being that I can revise and revise and revise till it feels right. I use to be an etcher and silkscreener- once done it was done- no going back and undoing so the thought process alot of the times took over the intuit and "going with the flow" or the "casting of the bones." Alot of the prints and attempts are now gone for they never met my vision. The computer and the software prog. have unleashed the vision and I have never looked back but I still feel that others view the process as "not honest." Someday hopefully that will change as it is beginning to- Europe seems to be way ahead of the USA in that area.
I hope so, I agree with your comments 100 percent ! Where I teach the head of the department does not feel that digital art is valid. My Graphic Design and Digital Photo courses come out of the technology Department which is not really where they belong. I think it is because people do not know how to use the tools. Using a Tablet PC is incredible. The pen tool allows me to draw naturally.
I have a book of computer art produced in the '80s and I also (in the mid '90s) attended a conference of the International Society for Electronic Art in Montreal which was a real eye-opener. So, I think what you are facing is what art often faces, a very uneducated populace. Fundamentally, I think anyway, the resulting image (however it is created) is the art. Computers are, and have always been, just tools--without human interference they don't produce a thing. Computers can be programmed to make beautiful objects like moire patterns, fractal patterns, etc. and they will run endlessly like an automated Kaleidescope, but it's not art, it's decoration and entertainment. The artist makes choices that are not based on fluctuating numbers, but rather on experience and emotion. All to follow their individual path to saying something which has meaning -- at least for them at the time of creation. The ability of their choices to create something that others respond to (or not) produces art. And, it gets bought not for how it was made, but for what it is. If I am stopped in my tracks by an image on a gallery wall, how it was made is secondary (very secondary). I'll shut up now.
There is much tension between those who use e-tools for the creation of fine art, and those who prefer to use traditional art instruments such as a material canvas, and real world paint. These differences need not be a basis for argument(s), because artistic merit is determined by inner vision, and the individual determination to master whatever instruments are chosen. There was a time when ground pigments, wax, and egg whites were the technologically advanced instruments for creation of visual art. This issue is addressed in my Artist's Statement posted on my website e-graphx digital fine art gallery ( )
Sometimes, but I know better. Just like photographs that have been blown up to 20 x 10 ft, I think presentation means a lot in digital cases. The design and technical aspects are one you decide to present specific works can make a wold of difference on how it is perceived.

(It's kind of like the "painting versus sculpture" argument; there's a place for everything!)
(Oh, and don't forget, it's not limited t prints...I've seen some wonderful projections lately.)


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