Traversing postdigital art: reimagining humanness between the spaces of paint and pixels

Doctorate other than PhD

Fisher, Catherine Bridget. 2019. Traversing postdigital art: reimagining humanness between the spaces of paint and pixels. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Creative Arts. University of Southern Queensland.

Traversing postdigital art: reimagining humanness between the spaces of paint and pixels

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorFisher, Catherine Bridget
SupervisorBaguley, Margaret
Hetherington, John
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Creative Arts
Number of Pages270
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

This practice-led study explores the area of ‘Postdigital’ (PD) visual arts that is characterised by the visible inclusion and balance of the human hand in combination with digital technologies to create artworks. As artists can now create using algorithms and pixels instead of physical media, such as paint, there is a concern that the transience and infinite reproducibility of digital media is eroding the uniqueness, tactile materiality and authorship of artists’ work. It removes us from the art object, and changes the reality of making and experiencing art. This sense of digital disenchantment is the focus of many PD artists work (Cramer 2014).

My long-standing art practice, which traverses both analogue and digital media, has provided me with important insights into the artist’s presence in the PD art world. In my practice I combine digital and traditional media to create a transitional zone between the real and virtual and haptic and generative. This is in order to decrease the perceived dissonance and demarcation between the traditional and digital by including specific references to the human element within these works. The inclusion of the human hand, such as by including intentional aesthetic ‘glitches’, which are normally used by PD artists to highlight the unintentional system errors, failures and disruptions of digital, becomes a critical essential part of the artworks and encourages the viewer to consider the artist’s presence in a form which is usually devoid of such elements.

Using bricolage and visual ethnographic methodologies, I explore themes such as privacy and surveillance, feminism, the environment, globalisation and the impact of technology through my practice which draws from traditional practice to create PD artworks and incorporates my presence as the artist. Given the limited research available on PD art practice (Roestenburg 2018) this study is also informed by a visual analysis of selected PD works, an international and national survey with PD artists and a series of in-depth interviews about their art practice. Drawing from this data, a set of guiding principles has been developed to assist the viewer in appreciating the particular characteristics and qualities inherent in PD art,
including the critical importance of humanness in this type of artwork.

Keywordspractice-led research; visual arts; postdigital art; digital art; analogue art; humanness
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020360503. Digital and electronic media art
369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
360104. Visual cultures
360602. Fine arts
360699. Visual arts not elsewhere classified
360102. Art history
500299. History and philosophy of specific fields not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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