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Posted: November 14, 2008
IMAGING IN THE DIGITAL
Guest Editors for this special issue are Paul Coldwell, Professor, Project Leader of FADE (Fine Art Digital Environmemt), at the University of Arts London and Joan Truckenbrod, Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Rachel Clarke, Editor-in-Chief, media-N
The studio practice of the artists in this issue presents provocative views on Imaging in the Digital with a blurring of the threshold between materiality and digitality. Cathy Treadway presents her collaborative artwork with artist Alison Bell in her paper “Shorelines: Revealing Experience in Digital Practice”. Their work overlaps computer haptic devices with rich materials and experiences in the natural world. Following is an article, “Digital Raw Materials” about my artwork that has transformed with digital technologies, initiating a new set of raw materials that spontaneously incorporate an intuitive trajectory through the digital and physical. Tensions erupt between the impulse to create by hand, and the drive to compute form.
Two articles instigate unique digital printmaking processes. In “The Small Magnetism: Interrogating the Nature
of Collection” Paul Catanese discusses new avenues for modularity and interchangeability of components. He uses
a suite of drawing tools that allow him to explore video input as a time-based method of collapsing the ephemeral space
of the installation into the concrete space of the print. Paul Coldwell poses the question of emotionality of the digital
form in his paper “Between Digital & Physical Some Thoughts on Digital Printmaking”. He asks if we are
trading the value of touch for the power of digitalization. Within printmaking an image moves from analogue to digital
without change or loss, minimizing the difference between media, and focusing on image over the physical object.
In his paper titled “Social Networks, Privacy, and Self-Portraiture” Ethan Ham utilizes the web to search and find faces that match his own, accentuating the social networking tendency to define oneself in relationship to others.
The landscape as an object of fascination is extended into the digital with remote and webcam images and Dan Hay envisions these images as paintings. Through his paintings the instantaneous digital information from a webcam is given “material and temporal existence in fleshy brush strokes and daubs”. He describes this practice in his paper “The Reassurance of Atmospherics”. A discussion between Susan Collins and Sean Cubitt (“Interview between Susan Collins and Sean Cubitt”) includes Susan’s Fenlandia/Glenlandia project that includes web images and prints. Tim O’Riley provides a narrative in “Technological Claustrophobia” in which the computer embodies multiple realms - at once a material object and simultaneously a space for action, or a place for retreat.
The last two articles illustrate the power of the computer and Internet to connect peoples from diverse cultures. In Penny Leong Browne’s article “Virtually India” she shows how artists in India are using new media technologies to create spaces of possibility, both spatially and temporally, for dislocated and a-historical narratives of place and identity. Melissa Plourde describes the blogging used by artists in Lebanon to post their responses to the 2006 Israeli – Lebanon conflict (“Blogging, Art and War: An Analysis of Lebanese Art Posted Online as a Response to the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon Conflict”).
The digital realm prods the artist and invigorates and stimulates alternative processes and concepts of art making. The context of being digital affords innovative perspectives in our studio practice, and presents choices for integration with traditional media. Artists are consumed by the digital realm, engaged with digital studio practices, or confront digital processes or artifacts. The artists and writers in this issue probe these issues with insight, intelligence and creativity.
Joan Truckenbrod, Guest Editor
Please also check out our Call for Papers link.