Digital and Beyond by Anne Spalter
It is difficult to fully grasp how rapidly and completely computers and digital culture have infiltrated our lives over the last 50 years. In hand-held devices that we still call “phones,” although they are really tiny computers, we carry more computational power than NASA had at its disposal to guide astronauts to the moon. Artists recognized early on that this new machine could transform the creative process but met with astonishing resistance and hostility for their efforts, which is only recently changing.
An endless source of confusion for traditional artists and critics is the role of the artist vs the computer, just as it was in the early days of photography when critics dismissed it as a fine art endeavor. For an audience largely ignorant of how a computer or graphics software even works, the processes are mysterious and often assumed to somehow detract from the integrity of the artist’s claim to authorship.
In Techspressionism: Digital & Beyond, Colin Goldberg demonstrates empirically that the ability to create art comes from the artist, not the machine. Digital art must be manifested physically for a person to engage with it (unless one is reading code), and in this show one sees and hears and walks around works made of paper, oil paint, cloth, resin, electronic devices, screens, inflatables, and more–a multitude of real-world materials. Each work brings an emotional message to the viewer, in keeping with Techspressionism’s relationship with Expressionism and its goal of demonstrating that “The computer is one of a long string of tools which have enabled human expression…”
In my own work, I created compositions about armageddon and UFOs using artificial intelligence to process images of my own previous artwork and source imagery, and then rendered the outcomes with traditional dry pastel.
View this artist’s work included in the exhibition here.