A contemporary artist must understand the
possibilities and limitations and historical context of their chosen medium/
mediums and make artistic choices, even if not necessarily directly reacting to
these conditions, remaining conscious of them.
In light of the possibilities of digital
image creation and manipulation (editing software, 3D modeling software)
painting becomes about engaging with a performance of making. Personal
blogging, micro blogging (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) facilitate a way to
narrate an idealized version of our making. The voyeuristic curiosity on the
part of the viewer often leads to the documentation of process drawing greater
attention than, say, a high definition image of the finished product. The world
outside of the screen is wholesome, nostalgic and authentic. It represents an
authentic connection with materials and materiality that the programmer-artist
or software-reliant artist does not or cannot experience.
To then draw from this and assume that
creating artwork in digital media is a way for an artist to engage better with a
more honest type of work is also problematic. More specifically, pursuing digital work in this way endangers our ability for self-reflection by attempting to write out biases and flaws. We are still performing our making in online and digital spaces - the hallmarks of this performance are simply camouflaged into our interfaces. Screenshots of half complete projects in photoshop and maya, unposted facebook statuses, etcetera are seen in the ranks of visual content that is marched through our feeds daily. How then to react to these challenges to the legitimacy of artists? How to best engage or not engage with the constant "feed"? Do we make our bodies of work themselves our contributions to this feed? Do we acknowledge a need to perform and publicise our process as being of greater importance than a tangible result? Do we escape these corporate branded spaces and determine our own digital platforms, if any, to express our work (see: white box website)?