Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A More Personal and Analog Approach to Computer Art

Those of us who worked to create a new art form(s) with computers have been gratified by some of the progress in the creation of computer generated art. But we must also acknowledge that the process of exploration has been uneven, with some areas going from triumph to triumph, and others lying neglected and underappreciated. Sure, it is easy to be enthusiastic about vast expense paid to create impossibly stupid movies with computers which are sequels to impossibly stupid movies that make a half a billion dollars.   Indeed, how could we not celebrate them as clearly they are the very highest form of art that our society could aspire to. And this is shown in the most sincere way we prove these things: by success at generating commerce. Without commerce, some would say, there is no real art.

It is easy to celebrate a film and a director who publically dismisses as irrelevant the technologists and artists who made his lead character of his film, in this case a tiger. A director who laughs at them in their misery and impoverishment. It is the fate of these so-called digital artists to suffer as they are worthless scum and anyone can be hired off the street and be trained to do their job. In fact governments spend hundreds of millions of dollars to impoverish and destroy their places of employment so that they may have the glamour of computer animation facilities in their own country. That is only natural and correct. (1)

Since we must acknowledge that doing computer animation as it was traditionally performed is a failure in this country, with a few exceptions, it is time I think to reexamine our roots and look at other forms of expression with computers. For example, a friend of mine, Tom Brigham, sent me an interesting youtube video of an unknown artist (unknown to me) doing an art experiment by applying the power of a neon sign transformer to a former LCD television. Thus the artist experiments with the interface between the analog represented by the voltage from the transformer, with the digital, as represented by the cracked LCD display, in unexpected and creative ways.

All potential practitioners of this process are reminded to be very careful with those high voltage logic probes.

Although the final work is not a success, the process demonstrated by the artist clearly has potential and I hope that many will also experiment with creating new art in this way. Of course, I hope they are very careful with the power transformers, and avoid death by electrocution, which would be unpleasant.

LCD TV vs Neon Sign Transformer

Ed Systems on Youtube


1. Examples of such countries include Canada, the UK, Taiwan, the People's Republic of China and New Zealand.

modified 12/5/2013

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