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Overload – What Digital Art Tells Us About the Future


Artists seeking to express themselves will use whatever means available to forcefully and eloquently bring forth their vision. I’d say Rick Simpson’s work shown here punctuates and exemplifies that thought.

It's been noted artists being aware, sensitive and demonstrative often have a way of portending the future through their work. I agree with this idea and have written about it here in posts such as, "Is the Next Big Thing About To Happen?" and Convergent Media – Stretching the Imagination.

Overload.Rick.Simpson.2008If ever there were a piece of contemporary art that accurately describes the current human condition, it would be Rick Simpson's magnificent piece titled Overload and seen here.

The image is the perfect metaphor for the piling on of the global financial market gyrations on top of those of us interconnected through digital communications. As if we didn't already struggle with an overwhelming amount of useful, trivial and useless data being streamed through constantly improving gadgets.

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Simpson's piece took home a well-deserved First Prize in the 8th Annual Donnie (Digital Art Contest) Awards presented by MOCA, the Museum of Computer Art. I think the judges were equally in tune with Simpson's view in foretelling our near future.

Digital art, in my humble opinion, is still in its nascent state. While there is an impressive body of important current work, I believe the best is yet to come. It might just be with equipment not yet invented, or brought to market.

It could be that futurist Watts Wacker's Next Big Thing theory as outlined in the above post may well come from the ranks of digital artists. Given we are nearly through the first decade of a new millennium, it would be a natural evolution.

Art is about expression, which is why it is an excellent harbinger of things to come. Artists seeking to express themselves will use whatever means available to forcefully and eloquently bring forth their vision. I'd say Rick Simpson's work shown here punctuates the notion.

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  1. Dear Mr. Davey

    You are also great about pointing out current opportunities for artists local to the artists themselves. Hey Hot Shot! comes to mind but also I am so glad you gave a shout out to MOCA the Museum of Computer Art, which is practically in my backyard.

    If you ahve a chance to take a look at the art work of North Carolina artist Jane L. Baldridge please do. She calls her work by the term “digitalism,” which makes a lot of sense. I feel that art is art is art, and sometimes guilty about admitting to using the computer for generating art. I come from the old traditional academic background but have emerged as a digital artist more out of necessity but also pleasure. I get just as much satisfaction from working digitally as I do manually. It’s a different skill set to some degree.

    What is helpful about artists who id their work as digital is it can open up a conversation with other artists who use the computer in similar or contrasting ways.

    I also love the work of William Low (www.williamlow.com), a New York based illustrator, whose work is purely digital but emerges from what has to be a deeply traditional (and magnificent) approach.

    Thanks again
    Brian Lee Boyce
    http://www.brianleeboyce.com

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