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    The Engagement of Digital Art with Contemporary Art

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)

    London, UK, 11 - 13 July 2017


    Bruce Wands



    Digital art is increasingly becoming engaged with contemporary art. Artists began using programming and technology to create art in the 1950s and 1960s and the revolutionary advances in digital technology have spawned new approaches to making art. Originally viewed as outsider art, digital art gained international recognition in the late 1960s and again at the turn of the century. Traditional art institutions were not as quick to embrace this creative use of technology as artists did. In the 1970s, several international organizations were created to support this art form and remain active today. Exhibitions during this period were both juried and curated. During the 1970s and 1980s, there were very few digital art curators. The change occurred during the late 1990s when museums began to take notice of and exhibit digital art. The Internet has enabled artist, scholar and art institutional websites and the establishment of extensive archives of this art form. This online presence is contributing to the integration of digital art with contemporary art. Publishers have also followed suit and there is now a good selection of books on the theory, history and practice of digital art, led by the MIT Press, Thames & Hudson, and others. As digital art continues to merge with contemporary art, the division between the two will continue to lessen. However, what is important is to rectify the art historical record to give digital art the rightful place it has earned in the contemporary art landscape.


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