Art & Computers

The Screen Between

Here's an issue that's been on my mind for many years. It relates to the great chasm that exists between the powerful experience of encountering live art and the muted pleasure of viewing art through the limits of a computer.

First of all, I am so appreciative that you have discovered my creative works through my website amid the countless digital destinations available today. Yet I am very ambivalent that you must view my artwork via this constraining medium of the computer. On one hand, I delight that my images can easily reach you this way. On the other hand, even as I rely on computers to create some of my imagery, I decry the fact that I must display them via a limiting electronic device. This is because I strongly believe that canvas or paper, that you can directly and intimately explore at actual scale, are a far superior means of delivering an image to the viewer's eye and mind. My primary concern is that we are lulled into thinking we are seeing one thing but are actually remotely seeing filtered, glary, fuzzy, glowy, dots that stand in for the real thing.

The deceptive glare, glow, flattening effect and over-hyped, still low pixel resolution of the screen is exacerbated by the limits of a small and continually shrinking electronic display. Lost is the emotional impact that true scale, unsurpassable color fidelity, texture and feel that the real thing can impart. Such limiting factors even begin to imperceptibly influence the aesthetic decisions artists may make when crafting their images. Perhaps more important than this is the subtle changes this may cause in expectations for image quality in the mind of the viewer herself.

he solution? Obviously not everyone can afford to purchase original artworks or even fine reproductions. But I pose as an imperative that we who value the fruits of the creative process, endeavor to find ways to support and contribute to the arts. Not only for the creative people laboring to break through to find an audience, but for our own intellectual and spiritual growth. We can do this in the time honored way by visiting museums, galleries and studios, music, theater and all performing arts. And of course purchasing the occasional painting, print, photograph, sculpture, quilt, etc. Refuse to be seduced by the easy accessibility of the limited computer screen. The real, genuine, actual deal is out there in life every day, though not for long if all we do is passively view the products of the creative arts for free on our computer day after day.

Don't get me wrong, I am an artist of the age and dance with the digital dilemma every day, mostly for work, and too much for pleasure. I warn you as I warn myself. The aesthetic atmosphere is thinning apace with the latest devices.

The screen is, increasingly, between.