Hello everyone ūüôā For my presentation I have decided to write out what my intentions are in a blog post,

To expand on my initial proposal when applying for this Masters course, I intend to study the use of the body in the creation of art and more specifically, how artists are incorporating digital technologies into their practice to achieve their final works. Over the past few decades digital hardware and software has advanced at a tremendous speed and my interests lie in how these technologies will be applied when working with the body, a theme that has been present in many different cultures and art movements that go as far back as the cavemen and ranging to greek sculpture and also present in more contemporary examples such as performance art.

At this stage in my project I am still trying to really focus my ideas into an area to work on. As with every project I start I find my brain is all over the place, thinking about a million things at once which can be quite frustrating. To try and combat this I have spent the last couple of weeks doing a lot of reading both into the Digital Art field and how different artists have used the body in their artworks. ¬†Whilst doing this I have found a quote by Sally O’Reilly in her book ‘The Body in Contemporary Art’ which I have been going back to as a starting point for my research.

“Besides he fact that our self image is a social construction, it is suggested that our perpetual negotiation and interaction with the people, places and situations that surround us must include the¬†technological entities that¬†pervade¬†all our bodies, senses and intellectual perception.”

In this quote O’Reilly is touching on the fact that our self image and individual identites are created by the environment around us, people, places and situations, as well as stating that this list must include the ‘technological entities’ that are gradually becoming more and more used within the 21st century. Using this as a starting point I have developed a list of aspects which I intend to research:

  • How artists have used the human body in their work over the ages, the body as a vehicle to express human experience to others.
  • To research the idea of cultural aspects such as religion, mythology and the environment to develop an understanding of this.
  • How technology has changed our perceptions of culture that is different from our own
  • The use of technology such as the Internet to learn and integrate with others, the effects of a multi cultural society and how this changes our¬†preconceived¬†ideas of who we are and the world we live in.
  • The effect of digital technologies as a tool for the artist in the creation of art objets.
  • How these technologies will become embedded in artist practice in the future.

Hopefully with some criticism and feedback from the group I will be able to refine these ideas ūüôā

Background on myself and work I’ve done

For the past four years I have been studying Digital Art at the University of the West of Scotland where I obtained a Honours degree at 2:1 level. My time there has opened my eyes to an extensive range of mediums and disciplines in relation to digital technologies, and many ways of working that I would not have had the chance to experiment with if I went to study a fine art degree which was my original plan.

For this presentation I have included pictures from my degree show Digital Renaissance where I created an installation based on the idea of progression and memory. This theme was something I had been thinking about for a while and created several projects based on this over the course of my time at University, in my Honours year I decided to make this the core concept of my work and I intend to continue with this whilst taking a more in depth approach to how the body can be used to develop and explore these ideas.

To go back to O’Reillys quote on the idea of self image and identity based on the people, places and situations around us I decided to use myself as the focal point of a project where I documented several stages over the past 20 years into different sections of a chest of drawers. The video I created of myself attempting to pull this up a hill was to symbolise the idea of keeping memories with us, keeping them with us throughout our lives as if they were an extension to¬†ourselves. This idea was also followed up in the installation above, where I used old shoes to show a progression symbolising a journey with the shoes representing the different stages similar to the items in the chest of drawers.

these images are the first digital paintings I did on photoshop examining still life and portraiture 


List of Artists I find inspiring at the moment

Doug Aitken, Sam Taylor Wood, Michelangelo, Eva and Franco Mattes, Gustave Moreau, Douglas Gordon, Francoise Gamma, Michael Rees, Randy Morra, Glenn Brown, Pawel Althamer, Matthew Barney, Frank Auerbach, Urs Fischer, Gregor Schneider, Ron Mueck, Marc Quinn, Jesse Kanda, Simon Starling, Michael Landy.

Initial thoughts

Digital art in itself, being a bit of an umbrella term, means different things to different people. In relation to myself, I was always interested in the traditional aspects of the fine arts, namely painting and sculpture, and gradually through out studying my undergraduate course in Digital art, began to be interested in Video and Installation projects. What I am interested in is studying how digital technology can be used a tool in the creation of ‘traditional’ art objects. What will the role of digital technologies play in the future of painting and sculpture for example, disciplines that have been more based around physical ability to work with materials in the real world.
For my degree show Digital Renaissance, I created a series of works that aimed to try and incorporate what I have said above and functioned as somewhat of a starting point in my interest in this field as opposed to working completely within a virtual environment where the only visual output of the work was on the screen. My research into this saw me looking at the techniques of artists such as Fiona Rae, who creates painting templates using computer software and replicates that using paint on canvas. Similarly with artist such as Robert Lazzarini in his work manipulating 3D CAD files and producing them through 3d printing processes to create sculptures for a gallery environment.

Urs Fischer

Urs Fischer examines classical sculpture, his figures are made up wax that melt throughout the course of the exhibtion.

Another example of looking into the body in contemporary art whilst bringing up the idea of mythologicaly based ideas in sculpture.

Doug Aitken – Sleepwalkers

Thinking about representation of the body in contemporary art, had a look at this by Doug Aitken where he follows members of society who work at night when the rest of the population are asleep.

This idea of human experience is a topic I would like to explore further.