Thursday, September 13, 2012

The word painting brings to mind…

Brushes, paints – obviously – canvas, palettes, thinner; a hundred years ago these might have been the most common words that came to mind. Even when the computer was born in the early 1970’s, not many would think that the old art of painting and the new tech of Atari would mesh well.

Flash forward to the 21st century, where thanks to programs like Photoshop and GIMP, a new brand of art called “digital painting”, has taken form. Instead of brush strokes, mouse clicks make and color and images for the artist. Pixels are used as a medium in lieu of paint.
And digital painting isn’t the only new form of art to grow out of new media. One of the more widely recognized forms is pixel animation. The first fully computer animated movie, “Toy Story” was made less than a decade ago but many more like “Despicable Me”, “Megamind”, and “Tangled” have come in its wake, visual testaments to the popularity of the modern style.  Technology has also affected how music is performed. At the 2012 Coachella Music Festival the late rapper Tupac Shakur was able to rise from his grave and perform, the appearance of his “ghost” was enabled by a 2-D projection video. Across the Pacific, England, Sweden, China, Korea, and Japan have made “Vocaloids”, synthesizer programs that can sing with humanlike voices to certain songs. As comics, video games, and even musicals have been inspired by Vocaloid songs – it’s easy to note the impact of new media on those countries’ “art”.
But with new media has come new problems. Some, for instance, have suggested that the further use of performers that have pasted on with the same projection style as Tupac is less about paying tribute to a legend and more about mooching money off the dead. Others have proclaimed “traditional” art – done with pencils, paint, are other pre-computer mediums – should still be superior to digital art, and the vice versa argument is made as well.
Thus the point of this blog is to explore any topic that the new media in art has made, from the creating itself to the controversy behind said creation.

*The drawing above was made by me, using pencils for the left side and using Paint Shop Pro for the right side and the merging

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