Fin de Siècle Gwyllim Jahn
What is media change? This is as open a question as ‘what is art’, I think.
When I first began digital illustration six years ago, many people were confused. “So what do you use?”
"A pen," I’d say.
They’d scrunch up their faces, having never heard of a wacom tablet before. Many didn’t believe it was as ‘real’ art as that which could be done with a pencil or paintbrush. They thought that any artist could be a digital artist - which generally, they can, but it does take time to adjust to a digital pen.
Digital art is still not an accepted form in many competitions, where the mediums are strictly traditional or photography
So when commercial 3D printers came onto the scene recently, I was surprised at the number of digitally printed sculptures that not only were on display at the PowerHouse’s Love Lace exhibition, but one had won.
But perhaps we’ve grown comfortable with the intersection between technology and art. But have we down the same with media and art?
Looking at Sydney’s Vivid Festival it’s clear that some of the most engaging art is those installations which encourage interaction with audiences. And audiences today know and like to interact - we’ve seen it with the social media, web 2.0 revolution.
If it’s comfortable, is it classed as change?
I may be full of questions this week, but that’s essentially the nature of change. It brings up questions and uncertainties. Media theorists seem to be catching up, confidently using terms like ‘web 2.0’ and ‘new media’. But this desire to define that which is morphing is perhaps not the best way to look at media.
So what is media change? It is neither here nor there. It is both technological and beautiful, organic and made from polymer as Jahn’s sculpture was.