In the light of our recent discussions about a certain article, it's
heartening to read Rachel Campbell-Johnston's appreciative piece about the
new Barbican show in Monday's Times: "Here's something my robot made
earlier - the new age of digital art".
Her article's probably now behind the News International paywall - like all
content from The Times - but I cut out the pages from yesterday's paper. I
was impressed: Rachel C-J clearly did her research on the area and presents
"The visual and the sonic combine and this blurring of distinctions between
disciplines and media - perhaps the most salient characteristic of digital
art - has liberated artists who now work across a wide range of forms.
[...] Digital art offers an increasingly collaborative experience. the
Romantic notion of the individual genius, which for so long has held sway,
rolls over to make room for such creative collectives as Antirom which,
formed in 1994, set out to explore interaction in its own right. "
The article refers back to Gropius and the Bauhaus, recognises the fact
that computer art was being done as early as the 1950s, looks at its
philosophical concerns, and interviews Barbican curator Conrad Bodman who
focuses on digital art as "art made with codes" by artists familiar with
programming languages. It also touches on Simon Colton's Painting Fool and
questions Colton about its ability to create independently. This leads to
questions of free will and the article concludes:
"Even as it ventures into unexplored territories, digital technology
returns us to the fundamentals: in this case, it would seem, to such
time-honoured philosophical conundrums as free will. And what more can we
ask of art than it offer us a vision that is as fundamentally human as
"Art history describes the course of this very narrative. So turn to the
current chapter and study the Digital Revolution if you want to get up to
date with the story - and discover what will happen next."
Considering it's in a mass circulation newspaper, I think this sympathetic
portrayal of digital art hugely outweighs Pobric's screed, and will
encourage even more people to see the Barbican show, which can only benefit
the area as a whole.