Digital Art in the 21. Century

As one of the youngest branches of contemporary art, digital art has by now taken its rightful place within the international art world as well as in the international art business. Just as the computer has significantly changed our work environments and private lives over the past decades, so it is now, as a matter of course, employed as a tool in the fine arts alongside traditional media – artists have recognised the fascination exerted by this new medium as well as its possibilities.

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Through its many modes of expression, digital art continuously displays ever new images: software art on the screen and as art objects respectively, art on the internet, interactive installations that fill an entire room, plotterdrawings and animations, which exist as moving images or prints on a canvas, photographical material or paper, are merely some of the many possibilities of artistic expression this medium provides. One can also experience digital art in public spaces through projections and installations.

As visionary pioneers, some of the artists began to engage conceptually and aesthetically with the computer fifty years ago.

The [ddaa] has already awarded the price for their life’s work to two of these visionaries, Vera Molnar (F) and Manfred Mohr (G). Alongside them, other artists like C. E. B. Reas (USA), Julien Opie (UK), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (USA) und Gerhard Mantz (G) are established in the art business. Many young artists today view the computer as an appropriate means for the realisation of their ideas. While searching for new forms of expressions, they employ the ever new technological possibilities, experiment, learn programming languages and exchange ideas in internet forums and international communities. Digital art is mobile, on the cell phone, the PDA or the screen at home, available everywhere in a speedy manner through the internet.

Digital art will accompany us through the coming decades as an art form that still leaves much room for future developments and novel ideas. Like no other medium, digital art is typical of our time and culture.

This has led to the growing establishment of digital technologies in artistic production whereby digital art as such is still afforded a special role, as it was in the past.

The newly initiated dam digital art award is given to honour major artists for their life’s work or for a significant group of works. It can therefore be said to be the first major recognition of extraordinary achievements in the field of digital art.