A brief history of digital art and its development

Digital art is the artistic manifestation that uses technology as a tool for its creation. Digital art began to develop as such in the early 60s, thanks to the help of computers, and has been developed in different categories. Charles "Chuck" Csuri, is considered as the father of digital art, since he was the first to work with computer graphics in 1964 to later perform animation work, being the hummingbird work the first one he made.

To achieve this, he used an IBM 1130, with which through only lines he managed to draw the hummingbird, making 30,000 images to get 25 moving sequences.

For more than 22 years, his research through computer graphics was applied in different areas such as:

  • Special effects for film and television.
  • Flight simulators.
  • Architecture.

When did digital art begin?

Woman in the background of lights as an example of digital art history and development.

It is said that the first time a work of this style came to light was on January 5, 1965, in Stuttgart, Germany. Traveling further back in time, Seurat (1859), a Neo-Impressionist painter, is considered one of the predecessors of digital art. Why? Because I create a technique (pointillism) very similar to what we know today as pixels, which are the smallest unit of a computerized image.

In the history of digital art, at the end of the twentieth-century technology focused on images begins to have an accelerated transformation, breaking with the traditional representation of works, since any digital image can be manipulated in many ways: devices to capture scenes (photography), programs or software developed for its manipulation from its correction to include objects that were not in the original shot, the perspective, and many others, as well as the possibility of creating them from scratch through a computer.

Video as part of the history of digital art

Film clapper as an example of digital art history and development

Artistic video is also part of the history of digital art. In the 60s, artists began to produce videos and films, also taking charge of their editing, to then be proposed to film and television.

The rise of Net.art in the history of digital art

In 1994 the Net.art was born, driven by the artistic proposals of the late 80s, where artists began to experiment, through the network and the advancement of technological language. With the arrival of the internet, these forms of interaction and the creation of virtual spaces emerge as platforms that generate art.

With the emergence of the Net.art, two works that have come to be considered historical for their technique and aesthetics stand out: The file Room by Antoni Muntadas and Waxweb by David Blair.

The project of David Blair, an independent film director, consisted of making a 3D interactive for the network. It is a version of his electronic film Wax of the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, calling it Waxweb. Here sounds and images are combined into a story that does not carry a timeline, so users can modify the script. It is interactive work that is constantly evolving and changing.

Antoni Muntadas with The File Room created a database that talks about cultural censorship, and any user can write their opinions or personal experiences.

The evolution of the history of digital art in our days

Image of a prism as an example of digital art.

Digital art is constantly and rapidly evolving. Today we see his presence in different disciplines such as music, literature, even in the theater. Other branches have also been enriched thanks to technological advances such as photography, cinema, and sculpture with the presence of 3D printers.

More and more artists are turning to modern tools and software for the realization of their works and projects.

What do you think of the evolution of digital art? Share your point of view by leaving a comment.

We invite you to continue reading these articles that may also interest you:

Multimedia art: meaning of the change and revolution

Art and technology: the fusion that faces the digital future

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