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How can art help you in the Digital Era?

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

Art in the twenty-first century is a burgeoning subject of practice, research, and publication, making it a fascinating field to study.

The art of the twenty-first century is made up of a wide range of materials and methods. These include cutting-edge electronic technologies like digital imaging and the Internet; well-established genres that are still being practised with vigour, such as painting (see, for example, Julie Mehretu and Shahzia Sikander's work); and materials and processes once associated primarily with handicrafts, re-imagined to express new concepts.

Many artists blend media and forms on a daily basis, deciding what works best for their ideas and needs. Activities range from large-scale initiatives with large budgets and high production qualities to small-scale projects that emphasise process, ephemeral experiences, and a do-it-yourself mentality. With advancements in communications and technology, the concept of influences has altered as well; artists from all over the world respond to local geographies and histories as well as the sway of global visual culture.

Computers and digital technologies have changed the visual arts environment, just as photography did more than 150 years ago. Digital technology is now being used by certain artists to broaden their artistic horizons. The adoption of sophisticated software allows any computer user to generate and alter images and data. Computers have evolved into high-tech artistic tools, ranging from still photographs and animation to streaming digital information and digital installations.

With the ability for high-quality photos, better editing facilities, and more areas for the artist to explore, digital technology is a key element of the video and motion picture industries.

The camera arts are a relatively recent medium in the realm of art, but they have made some of the most significant achievements. They are, without a doubt, the most difficult. They allow for creative exploration of ideas and the creation of objects and images in the same way that traditional mediums such as drawing, painting, and sculpture do.

The difference is in their mode of expression: by recording images and experiences through light and electronics, they, on the one hand, bridge the gap between the "real" and "imagined" worlds, and on the other, they provide us with an art form that can create its own reality by incorporating the dimension of time. We stand there watching while a story develops in front of our eyes.

By the late twentieth century, public art had become a well-established genre, attracting both traditional and experimental artists. In the twenty-first century, public art has become even more of a field of activity in which creative exploration can take place. Public art now includes new purposes, forms, and locations, such as pop-up art shops, street parades, and online projects, in addition to traditional forms such as site-specific monuments, murals, graffiti, and collaborations between artists, engineers, and architects. Public artists of the twenty-first century may use tried-and-true techniques like installation and performance, but with fresh twists.

For instance, it is now usual for artists to employ others to perform on their behalf, sometimes with specialised expertise. Vanessa Beecroft used professional athletes as performers in some of her installations, while the collaboration artists Allora & Caldazilla used professional athletes as performers in some of their pieces.

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