Abstract art in digital age

Discussion in 'Graphics' started by Dawid Michalczyk, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Hi,

    I was wondering about something that only people using art programs can
    answer. It's about abstract art, or more precisely how do you perceive
    digital abstract art knowing that in many cases it's relatively easy to
    make. This is especially true when it comes to abstract expressionism.

    Do you as an experienced user of your favorite graphics tools look at
    abstract art in terms of how difficult/easy it was to do or in terms of
    the actual artistic expression? Does it matter if the picture is
    generated or an abstract painting?

    For example, if you see an abstract picture, and YOU know that it was
    dead simple to make, yet the image looks great, what is your reaction?
    Thanks.

    --
    _DMART_ Abstract art
    http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html
     
    Dawid Michalczyk, Jan 14, 2009
    #1
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  2. Dawid Michalczyk

    Guest

    On Jan 14, 7:58 am, Dawid Michalczyk <> wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering about something that only people using art programs can
    > answer. It's about abstract art, or more precisely how do you perceive
    > digital abstract art knowing that in many cases it's relatively easy to
    > make. This is especially true when it comes to abstract expressionism.
    >
    > Do you as an experienced user of your favorite graphics tools look at
    > abstract art in terms of how difficult/easy it was to do or in terms of
    > the actual artistic expression? Does it matter if the picture is
    > generated or an abstract painting?
    >
    > For example, if you see an abstract picture, and YOU know that it was
    > dead simple to make, yet the image looks great, what is your reaction?
    > Thanks.
    >
    > --
    > _DMART_  Abstract arthttp://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html


    The value evaporates when the magic is gone.
    But I would like to know what you think. What is your measure of what
    makes a work of yours, work?
     
    , Jan 14, 2009
    #2
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  3. "Dawid Michalczyk" <> wrote in message
    news:496defb3$0$15891$...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was wondering about something that only people using art programs can
    > answer. It's about abstract art, or more precisely how do you perceive
    > digital abstract art knowing that in many cases it's relatively easy to
    > make. This is especially true when it comes to abstract expressionism.
    >
    > Do you as an experienced user of your favorite graphics tools look at
    > abstract art in terms of how difficult/easy it was to do or in terms of
    > the actual artistic expression? Does it matter if the picture is generated
    > or an abstract painting?


    Nope. Because even if it's computer generated, it had to have *some* talent
    behind it. Garbage-in-Garbage-out. If you get penalized for the garbage,
    shouldn't you get congrats on the good stuff?!

    I mean, it took someone with talent to give the illy app the input, tweak
    the this-n-that, and have the eye to know when it's done and when it's not.
    *That's* talent, IMO.
    >
    > For example, if you see an abstract picture, and YOU know that it was dead
    > simple to make, yet the image looks great, what is your reaction? Thanks.


    I usually think "Good for you! Yay!!" But then, I can understand and
    appreciate that especially when it *looks* easy and simple, it's really not.
    :)

    When it comes down to the very essence of art, it's not just the tool that
    defines the quality of the piece -- it's the person behind the tool. All the
    fancy-schmancy software in the world ain't going to make up for no talent.
    So if it looks good, there was talent behind it -- who cares what tool they
    used (unless you want to recreate the style or technique or are just
    curious!). :)
    >
    > --
    > _DMART_ Abstract art
    > http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html
     
    SewVeryCreative, Jan 14, 2009
    #3
  4. Dawid Michalczyk

    Guest

    On Jan 14, 10:52 am, "SewVeryCreative" <>
    wrote:

    > Nope. Because even if it's computer generated, it had to have *some* talent
    > behind it. Garbage-in-Garbage-out. If you get penalized for the garbage,
    > shouldn't you get congrats on the good stuff?!
    >
    > I mean, it took someone with talent to give the illy app the input, tweak
    > the this-n-that, and have the eye to know when it's done and when it's not.
    > *That's* talent, IMO.
    >
    > I usually think "Good for you! Yay!!" But then, I can understand and
    > appreciate that especially when it *looks* easy and simple, it's really not.
    > :)
    >
    > When it comes down to the very essence of art, it's not just the tool that
    > defines the quality of the piece -- it's the person behind the tool. All the
    > fancy-schmancy software in the world ain't going to make up for no talent..
    > So if it looks good, there was talent behind it -- who cares what tool they
    > used (unless you want to recreate the style or technique or are just
    > curious!). :)
    >
    >
    >
    > > --
    > > _DMART_  Abstract art
    > >http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html


    You may be discounting just how easy it has become to generate very
    nice looking bitmaps. For example, here is a procedural texture I
    developed.

    http://www.filterforge.com/filters/4539.html

    Once the texture is loaded, all the user has to do is click a button
    called 'Variation' and a new plasma ball is generated. Each new
    texture will have different colors, plasma distribution and lighting/
    reflection characteristics.

    Bitmap textures like this are sold at places like Renderosity.com and
    Second Life. Or used to seed particle systems. Typically, they are not
    sold by the person that developed the procedure, or the software, but
    rather the person that purchased the software and clicked the
    variation button.

    Admittedly, this is taking the OP's question to the extreme but it is
    essentially holds. How much credit does one deserve for being the last
    person in the chain to hit save?
     
    , Jan 14, 2009
    #4
  5. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    On Jan 14, 10:52 am, "SewVeryCreative" <>
    wrote:

    > Nope. Because even if it's computer generated, it had to have *some*
    > talent
    > behind it. Garbage-in-Garbage-out. If you get penalized for the garbage,
    > shouldn't you get congrats on the good stuff?!
    >
    > I mean, it took someone with talent to give the illy app the input, tweak
    > the this-n-that, and have the eye to know when it's done and when it's
    > not.
    > *That's* talent, IMO.
    >
    > I usually think "Good for you! Yay!!" But then, I can understand and
    > appreciate that especially when it *looks* easy and simple, it's really
    > not.
    > :)
    >
    > When it comes down to the very essence of art, it's not just the tool that
    > defines the quality of the piece -- it's the person behind the tool. All
    > the
    > fancy-schmancy software in the world ain't going to make up for no talent.
    > So if it looks good, there was talent behind it -- who cares what tool
    > they
    > used (unless you want to recreate the style or technique or are just
    > curious!). :)
    >
    >
    >
    > > --
    > > _DMART_ Abstract art
    > >http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html


    You may be discounting just how easy it has become to generate very
    nice looking bitmaps. For example, here is a procedural texture I
    developed.

    http://www.filterforge.com/filters/4539.html

    Once the texture is loaded, all the user has to do is click a button
    called 'Variation' and a new plasma ball is generated. Each new
    texture will have different colors, plasma distribution and lighting/
    reflection characteristics.

    Bitmap textures like this are sold at places like Renderosity.com and
    Second Life. Or used to seed particle systems. Typically, they are not
    sold by the person that developed the procedure, or the software, but
    rather the person that purchased the software and clicked the
    variation button.

    Admittedly, this is taking the OP's question to the extreme but it is
    essentially holds. How much credit does one deserve for being the last
    person in the chain to hit save?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Sorry, OE's just not letting me quote automatically -- and I'm too damned
    lazy to fix it)

    I do admit, that a lot of artwork out there is on the rehashed and ... shall
    we say, borrowed? side?

    But, in the end, it takes a damned good eye to put all those elements,
    original to the "final" artist or not, together in a functional, attractive
    fashion.

    If it were just monkey-work, then those crappy internet ads back in the day
    would be right (and they ain't):
    "Boot up your computer, grab a cuppa coffee and when you come back, the
    job's done! Graphic design made simple!"

    Phbbbt. The tools have changed, but talent is eternal. Once a computer can
    identify elements that work together in an attractive, cohesive fashion, can
    tweak filters and whatnot automatically (knowing exactly what the artist is
    looking to convey), and can deal with cranky clients on short deadlines, I
    still say the art, no matter how "automated by yesteryear's standards, is
    still art -- and the artist deserves the kudos.

    *whispers to Mac*
    No, sweetie ... we all know that it's YOUR work, not mine!

    Sometimes, you gotta sweet talk the "tools!" :)
     
    SewVeryCreative, Jan 14, 2009
    #5
  6. Dawid Michalczyk

    Guest

    On Jan 14, 2:06 pm, "SewVeryCreative" <>
    wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    > On Jan 14, 10:52 am, "SewVeryCreative" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > > Nope. Because even if it's computer generated, it had to have *some*
    > > talent
    > > behind it. Garbage-in-Garbage-out. If you get penalized for the garbage,
    > > shouldn't you get congrats on the good stuff?!

    >
    > > I mean, it took someone with talent to give the illy app the input, tweak
    > > the this-n-that, and have the eye to know when it's done and when it's
    > > not.
    > > *That's* talent, IMO.

    >
    > > I usually think "Good for you! Yay!!" But then, I can understand and
    > > appreciate that especially when it *looks* easy and simple, it's really
    > > not.
    > > :)

    >
    > > When it comes down to the very essence of art, it's not just the tool that
    > > defines the quality of the piece -- it's the person behind the tool. All
    > > the
    > > fancy-schmancy software in the world ain't going to make up for no talent.
    > > So if it looks good, there was talent behind it -- who cares what tool
    > > they
    > > used (unless you want to recreate the style or technique or are just
    > > curious!). :)

    >
    > > > --
    > > > _DMART_ Abstract art
    > > >http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html

    >
    > You may be discounting just how easy it has become to generate very
    > nice looking bitmaps. For example, here is a procedural texture I
    > developed.
    >
    > http://www.filterforge.com/filters/4539.html
    >
    > Once the texture is loaded, all the user has to do is click a button
    > called 'Variation' and a new plasma ball is generated. Each new
    > texture will have different colors, plasma distribution and lighting/
    > reflection characteristics.
    >
    > Bitmap textures like this are sold at places like Renderosity.com and
    > Second Life. Or used to seed particle systems. Typically, they are not
    > sold by the person that developed the procedure, or the software, but
    > rather the person that purchased the software and clicked the
    > variation button.
    >
    > Admittedly, this is taking the OP's question to the extreme but it is
    > essentially holds. How much credit does one deserve for being the last
    > person in the chain to hit save?
    >
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > (Sorry, OE's just not letting me quote automatically -- and I'm too damned
    > lazy to fix it)
    >
    > I do admit, that a lot of artwork out there is on the rehashed and ... shall
    > we say, borrowed? side?
    >
    > But, in the end, it takes a damned good eye to put all those elements,
    > original to the "final" artist or not, together in a functional, attractive
    > fashion.
    >
    > If it were just monkey-work, then those crappy internet ads back in the day
    > would be right (and they ain't):
    > "Boot up your computer, grab a cuppa coffee and when you come back, the
    > job's done! Graphic design made simple!"
    >
    > Phbbbt. The tools have changed, but talent is eternal. Once a computer can
    > identify elements that work together in an attractive, cohesive fashion, can
    > tweak filters and whatnot automatically (knowing exactly what the artist is
    > looking to convey), and can deal with cranky clients on short deadlines, I
    > still say the art, no matter how "automated by yesteryear's standards, is
    > still art -- and the artist deserves the kudos.
    >
    > *whispers to Mac*
    > No, sweetie ... we all know that it's YOUR work, not mine!
    >
    > Sometimes, you gotta sweet talk the "tools!" :)


    I agree with you. But I also think that it is rare for people to pull
    it off successfully. To me, there is a difference between something
    that is art and something pretty. I also think that something can be
    creative and original without rising to the level of being artistic.
    The difference being that one stirs the emotions while the other
    simply pleases the eye.
    Here is an example of each that I found on the web. They each use the
    latest computer technology but, imho, only one is art.

    http://images.tribe.net/tribe/uploa...db1a-4bca-9342-282c2dbcab9d.large-profile.jpg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgfhmK2mnFU&feature=related

    I do not know who authored either one but I liked them both very much.
     
    , Jan 14, 2009
    #6
  7. wrote:

    > The value evaporates when the magic is gone.
    > But I would like to know what you think. What is your measure of what
    > makes a work of yours, work?


    I agree that some of the magic is gone, yet I can still appreciate the
    beauty of it regardless of how the picture was made. As for my abstract
    pictures I work on them until they look complete to me. The colors,
    forms, composition, and the feel all have to flow in synergy to make it
    work.

    --
    _DMART_ Abstract art
    http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html
     
    Dawid Michalczyk, Jan 15, 2009
    #7
  8. Dawid Michalczyk

    Tom Nelson Guest

    I struggle with this too with my Apophysis work
    <http://www.tnphoto.com/frac.html>. I usually "add value" by
    layering/combining fractals or adding other elements in Photoshop.

    The issue also comes up in connection with auto-painting in Corel
    Painter. There, it's important to go over the painting and add my own
    brush strokes.

    Tom Nelson
    Tom Nelson Photography
     
    Tom Nelson, Jan 17, 2009
    #8
  9. Dawid Michalczyk

    Guest

    On Jan 16, 6:21 pm, Tom Nelson <>
    wrote:
    > I struggle with this too with my Apophysis work
    > <http://www.tnphoto.com/frac.html>. I usually "add value" by
    > layering/combining fractals or adding other elements in Photoshop.
    >
    > The issue also comes up in connection with auto-painting in Corel
    > Painter. There, it's important to go over the painting and add my own
    > brush strokes.
    >
    > Tom Nelson
    > Tom Nelson Photography


    Hi Tom,
    If you do a google images of my favorite 'real life' abstract artist,
    Lee Bontecou, you will see that her works took a huge investment of
    imagination and time. To me, they are filled with magic. The magic
    stems not just from the amount of her life that was put into the
    project but also the impenetrability of the back-story that leave the
    doors open for speculation and wonder. With fractals, as pretty as
    they are, I know the back-story. I remember in the early eighties when
    Scientific American, or was it Omni, did the article on the Mandelbrot
    set. I was filled with wonder. But since then my excitement for
    mathematically generated art has waned.

    On the digital side, it takes artists like Dave McKean or Michael
    Harmon to really make me stare and think.

    http://www.pixelkat.com/Copy of Digital Artwork 1.htm

    http://www.mckean-art.co.uk/
     
    , Jan 17, 2009
    #9
  10. Dawid Michalczyk

    Guest

    On Jan 16, 6:21 pm, Tom Nelson <>
    wrote:
    > I struggle with this too with my Apophysis work
    > <http://www.tnphoto.com/frac.html>. I usually "add value" by
    > layering/combining fractals or adding other elements in Photoshop.
    >
    > The issue also comes up in connection with auto-painting in Corel
    > Painter. There, it's important to go over the painting and add my own
    > brush strokes.
    >
    > Tom Nelson
    > Tom Nelson Photography


    I forgot to mention that I think both you and Dawid are making some
    beautiful images.
     
    , Jan 17, 2009
    #10
  11. Dawid Michalczyk

    Bo Guest

    SewVeryCreative wrote:
    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > On Jan 14, 10:52 am, "SewVeryCreative" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Nope. Because even if it's computer generated, it had to have *some*
    >> talent
    >> behind it. Garbage-in-Garbage-out. If you get penalized for the garbage,
    >> shouldn't you get congrats on the good stuff?!
    >>
    >> I mean, it took someone with talent to give the illy app the input, tweak
    >> the this-n-that, and have the eye to know when it's done and when it's
    >> not.
    >> *That's* talent, IMO.
    >>
    >> I usually think "Good for you! Yay!!" But then, I can understand and
    >> appreciate that especially when it *looks* easy and simple, it's really
    >> not.
    >> :)
    >>
    >> When it comes down to the very essence of art, it's not just the tool that
    >> defines the quality of the piece -- it's the person behind the tool. All
    >> the
    >> fancy-schmancy software in the world ain't going to make up for no talent.
    >> So if it looks good, there was talent behind it -- who cares what tool
    >> they
    >> used (unless you want to recreate the style or technique or are just
    >> curious!). :)
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>> --
    >>> _DMART_ Abstract art
    >>> http://www.art.eonworks.com/gallery/abstract/abstract_gallery_1.html

    >
    > You may be discounting just how easy it has become to generate very
    > nice looking bitmaps. For example, here is a procedural texture I
    > developed.
    >
    > http://www.filterforge.com/filters/4539.html
    >
    > Once the texture is loaded, all the user has to do is click a button
    > called 'Variation' and a new plasma ball is generated. Each new
    > texture will have different colors, plasma distribution and lighting/
    > reflection characteristics.
    >
    > Bitmap textures like this are sold at places like Renderosity.com and
    > Second Life. Or used to seed particle systems. Typically, they are not
    > sold by the person that developed the procedure, or the software, but
    > rather the person that purchased the software and clicked the
    > variation button.
    >
    > Admittedly, this is taking the OP's question to the extreme but it is
    > essentially holds. How much credit does one deserve for being the last
    > person in the chain to hit save?
    >
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > (Sorry, OE's just not letting me quote automatically -- and I'm too damned
    > lazy to fix it)
    >
    > I do admit, that a lot of artwork out there is on the rehashed and ... shall
    > we say, borrowed? side?
    >
    > But, in the end, it takes a damned good eye to put all those elements,
    > original to the "final" artist or not, together in a functional, attractive
    > fashion.
    >
    > If it were just monkey-work, then those crappy internet ads back in the day
    > would be right (and they ain't):
    > "Boot up your computer, grab a cuppa coffee and when you come back, the
    > job's done! Graphic design made simple!"
    >
    > Phbbbt. The tools have changed, but talent is eternal. Once a computer can
    > identify elements that work together in an attractive, cohesive fashion, can
    > tweak filters and whatnot automatically (knowing exactly what the artist is
    > looking to convey), and can deal with cranky clients on short deadlines, I
    > still say the art, no matter how "automated by yesteryear's standards, is
    > still art -- and the artist deserves the kudos.
    >
    > *whispers to Mac*
    > No, sweetie ... we all know that it's YOUR work, not mine!
    >
    > Sometimes, you gotta sweet talk the "tools!" :)
    >
    >

    I disagree, what is referred to as talent will eventually be formulated
    and synthesized, and already has to some degree. Talent is not a magical
    quality, but a notion that depends entirely on perception. And can
    usually be reduced to very specific elements. Elements which can then be
    reproduced - and even perfected.

    Artists constantly need to redefine themselves or they will be destroyed
    by the modern world, this is not new. All art will eventually look the
    same, this has been predetermined by experts. Here is the equation,
    study it!

    ^
    (.)"(.)
    O*O
     
    Bo, Jan 17, 2009
    #11
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