Tutorial: Block 5, Week 3 — Theorist Talk

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment


This week, a visiting Theorist Talk by Nicholas Lambert.


Lambert is head for research at Ravensbourne College.

Lambert’s interests revolve around the digital medium and its application in contemporary art and visual culture. Through this, he engages with questions about the boundary between “fine” and “applied” arts, design and interfaces, and the relation of art, science and technology. He has researched the history of computer art and engaged with artists and theorists in this field. He has also developed parallel interests in the history of digital technology, in particular its roots in Cold War America. The evolution of interfaces and display technologies is also part of his research, including some practical as well as theoretical outcomes.

Discerning the Digital Aesthetic

How to preserve digital art? Change of media. Change of format. Needs to be durable and long-lasting.

As I said: the best backup is a paper backup!

Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings director — apparently he decided to make a film print of his movies to create safe and secure archive for the future

Victoria & Albert museum computer art collections

Computer is simultaneously: - medium - tool - context

Terms: - rarely digital art. - Computer Art.

A question: From a conservation perspective, what’s more important: the output, or being able to run the code to re-generate the output? Depends on artistic intention.

Remediation. Old media can be expressed in new media. Translated. Expressed digitally. The computer is a meta-Tool.

Its interactive. This is new. Interactivity of digital media is new and unique (compared to earlier art forms).

Time-based arts. Can do things that were practically impossible.

Dan Flavin. The company thanks makes the tubes for his work no longer exists. For curation, what do you do? Can’t repair. So replace with something else?

Nelson Goodman: authenticity. The performance not the instructions. Uniqueness value. Code vs Content. Allographic.

Continuum of digital art. Many things feed into what is “digital art”.

Ben Laposky. First analog art. Uses an oscilloscope. Sound as means to generate the images The oscollongs. Photographed through filters to make the colours. A type of sculpture that was non-material..

Thomas Wilfred, theatrical lighting artist. The 8th art form. Lumia. Done early 1930s.



Expo at zkm.

BIT International. A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer’s Arrival in Art.

A good book talking about this era [Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hackers:Heroes_of_the_Computer_Revolution

Also 100 Artists’ Manifestos

Comments about 3 key exhibitions in recent years in London: - 2010 decode - 2014 digital revolution - 2016 information superhighway

Some books:

A Computer in the Art Room: The Origins of British Computer Arts 1950-1980

White Heat Cold Logic

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