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Diving into another dimension in the digital age

I am an “end-to-end” digital artist (who does all the works myself) with specialised skills in image/video processing, digital generative and derivatives arts, and using diversified methods, and multiple software, to derive my creatives.

I believes “while creativity has no border, art has no limit”, and hence injecting digital science into the art creating process should not be apologetic. In my opinion, most artworks existed because of the artist’s intention to “express” his/her feelings. In recent years, the rapid advancements in digital science may have added more techniques that a contemporary artist could employ to do just that, which traditional arts may find difficult to equalised. These techniques could include using Augmented Reality (AR), multimedia, cinemagraph, website, metaverse, etc., This application of digital science on traditional arts created a hybrid known as “Digital Arts”, which is understood by many as “artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as part of the creative or presentation process”. However, in my humble opinion, whereas digital technology is mostly used on the creative process, it is currently underutilised in its use on the presentation.

If properly utilised in the presentation, I believes the introduction of digital science into arts would eventually bring about a paradigm switch as to how arts would be appreciate in the future. For example, expression may no longer be confined to the creative itself (by size, dimension, stillness) as additional elements of surprise, interaction, engagement, etc., may now be “extended” outside the realm of the original creative with the help of technology onto other “digital devices” such as mobile phones, VR glasses, etc.

In line with the above thoughts, my artworks favor more system processed arts over painting and brushes. The techniques called for high-level digital processing using similar image processing and presentation software such as Adobe, PowerPoint, and beyond. I am never afraid to experiment futuristic digital methods to meet my expressions in the following within my artworks: (1) Light (e.g., shining contrast); (2) Space (e.g., depth, 3D); (3) Time (e.g., still or motion); (4) Optical Illusion. However, no two artworks are alike and hence one might not be able to spot all the elements at once. Also, I do not like to be “boxed-in”, and hence my artworks could range from representative to abstract, and sketch-like to painting. Rather than the “futuristic theme” and vibrant colors which I frequented, I am better identified with my boldness, and nonconventional style because I strongly believe that yesteryears’ nonconventional could be today’s contemporary and tomorrow’s glory.

However, despite digital arts have been in existence for a while, I feel they are still new to many. In my opinion, digital arts are still considered second to traditional arts and photography. In a lot of contests, they do not have an independent category like the preceding two.

Some galleries also used rules that apply to 2D traditional arts across the board without realizing it may inevitably hinder the growth of digital arts.

For example, they disallow watermarks on the artworks. Unfortunately QR code or AR markers, (which may be the best available technologies to extend expression as discussed) look like watermarks and are therefore disqualified. Other galleries may failed to recognise that digital arts are indeed unique: in dimension, technological codes application, and display. Digital arts could not really be measured by dimension and size but by pixels as good resolutions images could fit something as small as a phone but as big as a TV set. If codes are accepted “not as watermark” as discussed, they forgot that they need to be in “perfect square” to function, in display and print.

Even though digital arts are perhaps the most convenient to display, the intangibility causes harms than helps. For one, the perceived value of the artworks dropped. Hence, some artists decided to create "tangibility" by putting the artworks in huge digital frames. These digital frames when added with the shipments are expensive, making physical exhibitions unaffordable. Some exhibitors offer the use of the digital frames at their sites but charge through the sky. This is a major obstacle for digital artists and is something the art community would need to adjust so digital arts could flourish in the future.

Bobby Chen

Instagram: @youpluslink Twitter: @bobchen09812 Website: TrulyDGtal – Digital Arts and NFTs

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