Liberation!

The fundamental question we need to ask ourselves is how do we save digital art as an art form?  How do we make sure it thrives and doesn’t wither and die out? Here are a few ideas:


Print

As the previous essay highlighted systems without inherent restrictions will ultimately be manipulated and gammed and thus transformed into something they were never intended for.  As artists, and humanity in general, we need communities, small communities, in order to thrive. In fact there is something called Dunbar’s number, the suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships, and that number is around 150.  Clearly, we are incapable of policing ourselves to maintain this limit in a digital world. With print we can create small run books of 150 or even create self sufficient magazines that only exceed this number by a few multiples.  While the final product would not be digital, every other step would. I think it is rather important to bring digital back to a set of tools and remind ourselves that the purpose of the digital revolution was to make things easier.


Liberation

The most radical thing we can do is liberate digital art from the internet.  I think we have forgotten that digital art can exist outside of the confines of the internet; it is time to remind ourselves of this again.  We are currently living in a golden age of DIY hardware with the Raspberry Pi and Ardunios. It is time we used these and other technologies to create projects that marry digital art with hardware; taking us back to our sci fi roots.


Public Art

Along the lines of liberation, I think what is most lacking from digital art is the public component.  I think the biggest problem with digital art is that society is consuming digital art on an individualistic level and we no longer have shared experiences.  If we look at the major successes in art they are all public- they are events like Burning Man or art movements like Street Art. It is time we added a public component to digital art.  This can take many forms. Digital artists can collaborate with performance artists, whether they be musicians or dancers. We can create site specific digital art with interactive components.  Or we can simply steal a page from street art and project it on the side of a building.


In conclusion, the only real way to save digital art is to divorce it from the internet.  It is time artists took things into their own hands and stopped relying on platforms and mediums controlled by billion dollar corporations.


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