Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reading Review

I was looking at different art blogs and found this one where someone is posting things they find and consider "new art". It really encompasses anything current going on and it quite interesting. He also has a great extensive list of books and websites to check out. 

Anyways, it was on his blog that I found this Realtime Art Manifesto. I found it interesting as I haven't really considered digital 3-d programs as a medium for artwork, instead my mind immediately goes to video games. But here they are calling at creatives to consider the technology in new ways and also reciting their own ideas about how the programs should be used creatively. To respond to this, I'll break it all down just as they have in the Manifesto. 

1. Realtime 3-D as a medium for artistic expression. 

I enjoy the idea of taking this medium that is so often used by people to get rich, and make it something creative and expressive. Especially this technology, its a completely new idea to me, perhaps I was just to ignorant to think past it's use for video games, which I have no interest in. However the statement, "the most stunning art to grace this planet so far" is a bit forward. My major is graphic design and I love working with computers to create DESIGN. But I don't always consider my design "art" because I can be trying to communicate the most simple of messages such as "sign up for this contest". Although the work can be beautiful, I think art lies more in the meaning, reflection, and analysis of things. I think digital 3-d rendering can be hard to define as art because its usually the look of things that is stunning rather than the ideas behind them. 

2. Be an Author

I really enjoy this section. I feel that they are communicating what I just tried to say about design as art. It's typically not! It often is driven by marketers and shaped in board room meetings, there's no getting around it, its a business.  But I also feel they are making an argument that for all these mediums that are so heavily driven by business, there is an artistic aspect that can be reached through a "singular vision" and "personal passion". I apply this myself once again as I think about graphic design projects in class/in the business world vs. my own projects that I choose to take on. One is sterile and driven by many outside forces, the other is driven by a personal vision and love for design. 

"ignore the critics and fanboys. make work for you audience instead". I think this is a really defining statement of their overall message. They want this medium to be taken out of the field thats trying to appeal to a group that determines success, and put in a field that appeals to a group that interprets, interacts, and appreciates. "stop making games, be an author" or in other words...stop using the medium for its typical use and create something unique, original, and thoughtful. 

Im glad they make a point of giving current video games for having artistic moments, because honestly the way they are using the technology can sometimes be absolutely incredible. 

3. Create a Total Experience

I find this section interesting in that I'm surprised there hasn't been a game that hasn't already aimed to do this...I feel like there may have been and they aren't giving credit. Maybe not in the exact same sense they are speaking, but Im sure there are video games that do their best to stimulate multiple senses and immerse the user in a new world. I guess they major departure point for video games is that there is the one element, the one goal that stands out. As opposed to what they are arguing as having every element be equally impressive and important. 

4. Embed the User in the Environment. 

" It has to feel real, not necessarily look real" ... what a challenge! It amazes me that such a medium exists. 

The idea to imitate life, not photography, games, and to aim for realism in a multi-sensory way seems so obvious for such a medium, but then again I can't think of a video game that doesn't simply strive for photo-realism...

They discuss interaction here as well. Funny that not once did this come to mind while discussing our participation reading. After all, it is participating. Although it's not in our real social sphere, it can easily be viewed as a constructed social sphere that aims for similar goals. I see a similarity in the article and this manifesto when they say "reject the body-mind duality". I felt that "Participation" addressed interaction through critical awareness, but more so encourage physical interaction, which is emphasized here as well. 

5. Reject Dehumanization: Tell Stories

This is another departure from simply using the medium as a "game". They encourage users to reject plots and embrace non-linearity. Why not? If you are using a medium where you want to create environments that resemble reality, you have to. Reality has no set plot, all of our lives are non-linear. That is why games are in fact games! They have a goal, they have set levels and a set course. I never thought of this medium having ambiguity until this manifesto. Before my mind was stuck to the idea that it was only used for games, but here its intriguing to think that it can go so many places/directions based off of a users interaction. 

Their three additional elements of drama are interesting, in that without them, the idea of having somebody participate would be de-emphasized. Not only does the creator/artist determine how things look/work within Realtime, the user/participants role is crucial to how its effective and how its interpreted. 

6. Interactivity wants to be Free

Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing aspect of this medium, according to me. It's choices and its limitlessness. There's no boundaries unless the author sets them. 

7. Don't Make Modern Art

This section is quite the statement, a bit presumptuous, and a bit too general. They completely downplay the museum, and to me, it feels like they are saying this art can save the world! People are starving for the experiences and the best way to give them these experiences is through a digitally rendered medium! You can share your vision without the use of a computer. You can connect and communicate just as well on the street as you can in a digital world. I believe there is a lot of thought involved in some artists "modern art" and to discredit that is slightly irrational and arrogant. 

8. Reject Conceptualism

Im biased here because I really enjoy conceptual things. here we go. Conceptualism is so much more than simple documentation and ideas to read about. Its often therapy or a search for something more within the artist himself. I feel they are limiting the definition of art here and ignoring the fact that sometimes its ok to allow your art to simply be something that soothes your soul rather than changes the world. 

"Go over their heads! Dominate them! Show them how its done!" .....Yikes. This scares me. 

I enjoy ideas and like making people read about them rather than saying it all in a work. It's a way of showing who you are and letting people in. 

9. Embrace Technology 

A relation to intermedia lies here as it encourages artist to use whats available. However intermedia doesn't discredit the more subtle and overlooked mediums, where as I feel these people would look at somebody who considers their creative writing art and laugh in their face. 

They also say that distribution of software is unique as it can be done over the internet ( a non -elite medium ). However there are still plenty of people who either dont have the financial abilities to access the internet or dont have the training/knowledge to know how it works. Id say it can be pretty damn elite. 

10. Develop a Punk Economy

I think it goes without saying that much of todays art has to go unfunded by government/industry funding. The amount of art that goes unwitnessed/unrecognized far outnumber the art that is being created through grants and outside financial sources. 

Cutting out the middle man is a nice thought as it leads to direct communication, but in most art forms I feel it may be impossible. 

"Do not allow institutional or economical control of your intellectual property, ideas, technology , and inventions." I think this also goes without saying. Most art would be discredited once it came to this point.

Interesting, frustrating, and eye opening article. Not quite sure how I feel yet. Sorry for writing so much. 

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