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The History of Digital Art

  • Period: to

    1) The Pioneers

    When most artists started experimenting with digital art forms.
  • The Start of Digital Art

    The Start of Digital Art
    The 1960's was an important era in the history of digital art since this was when artists started to experiment with computers. At this time, John Whitney created the world's first computer generated art, and he is considered one of the "fathers of computer graphics." He used mathematical functions to transform visuals when making his artworks.
  • First digital art creation

    First digital art creation
    While studying in Stuttgart, Germany, artist Nake entered an algorithm directly into a room-size ER 56 computer that mathematically interpreted a 1929 Paul Klee painting. The computer ran a flatbed drawing machine and produced several images which London’s Victoria and Albert Museum called the “most complex algorithmic work of its day”. Nake chose the image above as the most successful.
  • Experiments in Art & Technology formed

    Experiments in Art & Technology formed
    Engineers Billy Klüver, Fred Waldhauer and artist Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Whiteman formed a group named EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology) in 1967. The purpose of this group was to promote collaboration between art and technology. This resulted in a series of installations and performances involving innovative electronic systems. Although these artworks were not strictly "digital" since the technology used wasn't fully developed yet, they laid the groundwork for a new type of art.
  • Exploration of technology

    Exploration of technology
    Following the example of EAT, other conceptual artists began to utilize the artistic possibilities of new technologies. An example of this was in 1969 when Allan Kaprow created Hello, an artistic "happening" where a group of people interacted by using T.V. monitors.
  • An evolution of technologies

    An evolution of technologies
    Artists began to explore the results of the connectivity made by T.V., recording equipment and nascent computers. The idea of universal communicability would later be discovered when mobile phones and the internet were introduced. This era started a development in technologies (such as the Apple ll computer which allowed colour graphics to be executed for the first time on the screen of a personal computer.
  • Development of modem

    Development of modem
    In 1979, the development of modem allowed digital signals to be transmitted through telephone lines, introducing widespread data transfer, and ultimately, usage of the internet. Since these digital signals were created, this started off the use of the internet which in the future artists would frequently use for their digital artworks.
  • The term "digital art" first came into use.

    The term "digital art" first came into use.
    The first use of the term digital art was in the early 1980s when computer engineers created a paint program which became known as AARON. It was a robotic machine designed to make large drawings on sheets of paper placed on the floor.
  • Period: to

    2) The Paint Program Era

    When the focus was more on the use of paint programs working together with the first scanners instead of computer programming.
  • Digital Artwork example - Andy Warhol

    Digital Artwork example - Andy Warhol
    In 1985, Warhol became a Commodore representative, agreeing to create digital art on an Amiga 1000 to help advertise the computer. His 28 digital “experiments” were nearly lost until 2014, but artist Cory Arcangel worked with the Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club to recover the files.These four digital Warhols have never before been seen in their native environment: a vintage Amiga. Warhol Museum visitors will soon be able to view these artworks.
  • Internet and digital technology improved.

    The internet became more widespread during the 1990's which made digital art become more accessible to artists and viewers. Artists began to explore how they could use the internet's interactive nature to create their works of art. Also the improvement of digital technology made it possible to download video onto computers, allowing artists to manipulate the images they had filmed with a video camera for the first time.
  • Period: to

    3) The Multimedia Era

    Internet and interactivity is incorporated into society which created opportunities for the artists to interact with their audience.
  • Increase in Internet use

    Increase in Internet use
    As the internet grew in significance and became involved in almost every aspect of society, relationships, and commerce, artists began to use it to expand their own creativity. They began to use as an artistic medium. Some artists worked online to explore into the sense of detachment from reality produced by internet use and the increase in personas and propaganda created by the world of social media.
  • Video: What is Digital Art?

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    What is Digital Art?-