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How does digital art challenge the regimes of cultural value that underpin Art worlds? Essay


Digital arts incorporate the use of the current digital technology as a major art in a range of its artistic practices and works in the creation or in the presentation of a certain piece of work. There are various terms which are used to describe the art viz: – computer art or multimedia art. It is basically contained in the new media art (Mundloch 2004).

Digital technology has been able to transform many traditional modes of art into newer forms. this has been through the reduction of the manual works into technologcal modes.

For example net art, digital-installation art, and modes like virtual reality (VR), have come to be the most grossly recognized artistic practices. In a more general way, the term digital artist describes an artist who brings into play the digital technologies which is found in the creation of art. in other terms, digital art is an art that has been able to employ mass production and digital media (Samis 1999).

The techniques which are mostly applied in digital arts are in most cases used in the media in such realms as advertisements and also have been extensively used by filmmakers in the production of certain effects which add quality to the film. Another use of the technology though not a direct use of the digital art is desktop publishing.

The acceptance of this kind of technology is rather low and will require time before it has been full accepted as a form of art. This paper will discuss the various ways and means in which this kind of technology has had an impact on the traditional and cultural values that have been the strengthening factor in the art world.

Challenges emanating from the digital art

According to most people, traditional art is the real meaning of art. Cases of drawings, paintings, dark room photography, print making, sculpture and lithography and any other form of art which can be done using the hands is considered to be the traditional art. The major contrast of this form of art with the digital form is that digital art can be done using a computer. This ranges from photography to photo editing using specialized software like Photoshop and such other kinds.

One of the challenges that the new kind of art brings to the world is the perception of the artists. Traditional artists are viewed to be people who are angry, sad and have scattered brains.

They are left wingers who are radical and have a certain ill feeling towards the outside world. On the other hand, digital artists are people who are viewed to be possessed with technology (Soukup 2005). They are sheltered from the other part of the world due to use of much of their time with computers. They are more than often assumed to be nerdy individuals.

Unlike the traditional artists, digital artists have the extra obligation of keeping in touch with technology at almost all times. The artists have to be more so very emotionally connected to their work and also be very creative.

This plays a great part in making sure that the material they come up with is always interesting. The artists have the tendency of being in a totally new set of ideas and vocabulary which is not common to the outside world, an issue which makes them look different in their conversation with the common fork (Steinheider and George 2004).

Both traditional art and digital art have a mode of principles and elements that have a considerably good composition. They have a link to the color theory in that the work is much determined by the variety of colors that they impose on their designs. Their concepts have to be creative and a good coordination of their hands and their eyes plays a great part in determining the end piece.

there are various advantages that digital art has over traditional art and vice versa. the originality of the latter is determined by a messy nature due to splatters while digital art is precise due to the ability to undo moves.

The biggest challenge that the digital art has is when it comes to preciseness (Muhammad 2001). It is a little way difficult to place a dot or a mark in an exact place using the cursor the way you want it to appear than it would have been when one is using his or her hand. Some programs do not have the ability to accept search marks as compared to others.

Digital art has made the traditional form of art to lose the grandeur that it has had in the museums over ages. Works of art like the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo has been remembered over ages as the pieces were done by people who had an impact in the society due to their masterpieces.

Today, digitization of the art has made it with only a little experience to produce works which have grown to be remembered by many. The major and useful role of film productions have been made easy and simple to manipulate. This has resulted to a greater sophiscation in the production of the images which has also proved to be very interesting; this has led to many people being oriented towards this mode of art.

However, according to most traditional artists the reason as to if this kind of work could be referred to as “art” is still very doubt. This has created a debate amongst a big group of artists who doubt whether the upcoming artists will in future have the ability to use oil-based colors to create the magic found in most traditional artistic impressions. The main challenge here is whether the digital artists have the ability to create their images in oil.

This brings about the need for extra training in the art for production of better masterpieces. Digital art is further involved with more than just basic computer skills; it is composed of an integration of some artistic talents and also an advanced knowledge of computer technology. If an artist has the mandate of making a great painting in a digital format, there is no difference between this and doing it on canvas.

The artist is required to be as skillful and as passionate as if he were doing it on canvas. A painter must have the integration of the extra needed computer knowledge in which he can make use of in transferring his work from the canvas to the computer if it were to be in digital format. Such a skill can be a simple scan of his final piece of work followed by the necessary editing (Taylor and Joe 2005).

Digital artistry has been seen to be ruining the traditional mode of art. It has also been viewed as to be ruining the desire to create the traditional art pieces. This is due to the large amount of time that a person sits before a computer thus has the uncontrolled urge to copy and paste pieces thus discarding originality, undoing unwanted works which on the other hand does away with the interesting messy bit of the traditional art (Weil 2002).

Arguments have been raised concerning the time and effort that the traditional artists take in creating their artwork which should be praised by the digital artists as it is basically a revolution of the traditional ways. Looking at a traditional piece of artwork, it is impossible in all ways to reproduce it (Macko, 1997).

This is irrespective of the material and technology that was employed in trying to do so search as serial graphs, color correction, offset lithographs, scanning and any other type of current technology that may be employed.

For a digital artist to be perfect and produce good work, the challenge ahead of him apart from being good in computers is to have the basic knowledge of traditional art production. This includes the knowledge of shadows, lights, shapes, lines, forms, color and anatomy of the mediums in which traditional art is based on. As much as it is easy to reproduce a digital piece in terms of the effort spent and the time involved, it is the mandate of the person doing so to be a good artist if the work is to be considered a good piece of art (Weil 2002).

It is evident that digital work is highly likely to suffer if the artists involved in the work do not have the traditional techniques of the culture involved in the other forms. There has been cultural erosion in the way that the artwork was previously viewed when digital art is compared to the traditional art. Before, art was taken to be something that one can understand and relate to in real life (Mondloch 2004).

Nowadays anything from a blank canvas with an accidental ink splatter is referred to as art. This does not necessarily mean that art should be beautiful in all ways but should have some exceptions like being intriguing, evocative and one that draws you to it. As much as this is possible with the current use of the new software that are always emerging in the market, the real question is whether there is a conflict between talent and tools in the market.

The traditional aspects of painting that go missing with the overuse of technology are the lack of paint tainted, smell of turpentine all over and pint splatters all over the body of the painter. This are some of the tell tale signs that depict a real painter from just any other software user.

The uniqueness of the traditional paintings has been lost of late. This would have been possible to note from the imperfections in lines, color and forms. In traditional art works, the painter or the artist does not use a computer to create these unique and aesthetic intrigues (Steinheider and George 2004).

Digital art in its true and real form has a bit of handwork in it though it gets incorporated with technology with time. There is a bit of inferiority that is considered when dealing with the digital artwork. In the traditional work, the artist is familiar with making the work very interesting as compared to the digital formats where he does not necessarily have to be grossly experienced. This has the effect of making the digital artwork a bit less brilliant as compared to the traditional format.


Macko, N. (1997) A View of the Intersection of Art and Technology. Art Bulletin 79.2: 202-205.

Mondloch, K. (2004) An Invitation to Think Again: Digital Media Revisited. Art Journal: 98-100.

Muhammad, E. (2001) Race in Digital Space: conceptualizing the Media Project. Art Journal: 92-95.

Samis, P. (1999) Artwork as Interface. Archives and Museum Informatics 13.2: 191-198.

Soukup, K. (2005) Artists in Webby Wonderland: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer interviewed by Katarina Soukup. ISEA Newsletter. The Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts. 10

Steinheider, B. and George, L. ( 2004) Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Digital Media Arts: A Psychological Perspective on the Production Process. Leonardo 37.4: 315-321.

Taylor, H. and Joe, R . (1995) Museums and galleries on the Internet. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy 5.1 80-88.

Weil, B. (2002). Art in Digital Times: From Technology to Instrument. Leonardo 35.5: 523-526.

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IvyPanda. "How does digital art challenge the regimes of cultural value that underpin Art worlds?" February 14, 2019.


IvyPanda. 2019. "How does digital art challenge the regimes of cultural value that underpin Art worlds?" February 14, 2019.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'How does digital art challenge the regimes of cultural value that underpin Art worlds'. 14 February.

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