Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Digital Art as Realism?

Reading “Interface Realism: The Interface as Aesthetic Form” I wondered about the use of the word realism to describe the dominant representational mode of the interface (page 3). I questioned this use because the word realism is rather broad, attached to previous art movements, and may be a dangerous term for such a discussion on new media. Pold explains that culture, aesthetics, and art influence computer programming and instruments, for instance Auto-Illustrator, but those influences of mediation are unseen, and therefore not discussed. This lack of discussion comes from the ingrained understanding that the machine is a tool for a use or purpose. What I am trying to get at is if looking at digital art as a form of realism successfully breaks apart the machine into its engineered use and societies influences? If not, does it creates a new myth of the machine that covers over societal influences? Lev Manovich discusses the political implications within digital media that are invisible and how making those links visible in digital art is extremely powerful. If this is the case, then using the term realism must work towards making visible the invisible.

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