Author of Art of the Digital Age; Lumen Prize Juror: Choir Emeritus, MFA
Computer Art Department & Director of Computer Education, School of Visual Arts, NYC; Curator & Director of the New York Digital Salon
When approached by the Barrett Art Center to be the juror for the Digitalia exhibition, the thought of helping to bring digital art to the Hudson Valley and Poughkeepsie was attractive. I first discovered digital art in 1976 when a graduate student at Syracuse University. This was before the IBM PC, Macintosh, iPhone and World Wide Web were invented. The potential of using computers to make art expanded my view of what was creatively possible with programming and emerging technology. Digital art at that time was viewed as outsider art and there were only a few galleries and museums that would include it in their exhibitions. There was some early interest in this art form in 1968 with exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. My first exposure to digital art as a Curator was with the New York Digital Salon in 1993. It was not until 2001 that digital art gained significant exposure through 010101: Art in Technological Times at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, BitStreams at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Digital Printmaking Now at the Brooklyn Museum. Since then, digital art has been increasing exhibited and accepted and is now merging with contemporary art. Our new generation of artists has never known a world without digital technology and do not see making art with it as unusual.
Digitalia was organized as a national juried exhibition of digitally-created art that features creative work that complicates (implicitly or explicitly) perceived boundaries between “art” and “technology.” With that in mind, I took on the task of reviewing the over 900 entries and narrowing them down to an exhibition that incorporates this idea. The creative work spans a wide range of media from prints to digital sculpture, interactive art and projections. I define digital art as contemporary art created with software, programming, and new technology, along with traditional art methods. As such, I hope the Digitalia exhibition succeeds in making a statement of what digital art is and how contemporary art is evolving.
Yuge Zhou "Midtown Flutter"