Dare to be Digital: Japan’s Pioneering Contributions to Today’s International Art and Technology Movement






  • A number of pioneering artists began experimenting with the computer as a visual arts medium in the late 60s and early 70s when most fine-arts circles refused to recognize art made by computers as a viable product of human creativity. This was the era of computer punch cards, when the visual results of algorithmic input were nothing more than line drawings. Many of the forward-looking artists who were experimenting with this technology were not taken seriously by the established art venues, and were, in fact, often ostracized by their peers. More recently, the work of computer artists has begun to appear in general textbooks on the history of art, but each book fealures one or two completely different artists. The books are inconsistent in their documentation of this fairly new medium. There are a number of journals that have had special issues devoted to this topic, including the Art Journal, and there are also whole journals dedicated to the field, such as Leonardo. There are, however, very few books that do justice to the movement, and few that include artists of Japan. In other words, there is a great deal of activity in the field, but the documentation is neither thorough nor consistent.

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