Digital Art: An Analogy
A conclusion and synthesis of time and transformation in digital art by its own transformation into an analogy and a reflection on the medium and reality of this project.
Picture from Blue Ridge Botanic.
Through the film, a radio play, and a transformation from poetry to music and video, this project has evaluated different aspects of film and literary theory and philosophy of art to review the authenticity of these digital artworks. As we have seen, the discussion of time and movement in these digitalized artworks, especially when there is a use of video or audio, becomes at the forefront of their defense as true art. Time and time again we have seen the discussion of these translations and transformations and how they have perverted or destroyed the beauty found in earlier art forms like literature or song. The development of technology has allowed the world of artists to grow and develop in many unprecedented ways, many of them present in the collection here. Being able to scroll through an audio recording of a play, having removed the visual aspect of watching a play, can completely change how an audience interacts and feels during the performance. These questions have been evaluated and presented from a perspective of creation and interpretation that we see in both Deleuze and Hutcheon.
Ultimately, the struggle for defending digital authenticity in Art will continue to be a battle, but through their presentation and use by digital humanists like myself, we can continue to provide these digital presentations of these artworks in an attempt to provide the audience with a holistic aesthetic or emotional experience as well as the individual ones experienced with the independent artworks themselves. My goal was to present this florilegium as an analogy for one of the most important aspects of these pieces and a main pillar in the structure of digital art: timelessness.
There seems to be something deeply personal about how we interact with art, and that is no excuse for our experiences with art virtually. As Deleuze mentioned, the bridge between the virtual and the real can be turned into a new and beautiful experience of its own; one having never been seen within the works of literature or song, one that crystalizes and invents a way of experiencing; a creation that transcends the natural world but lives in synchronicity with it. I’d like to finish off with a quote from Tennessee Williams on this act of transformation, even despite his own personal views of how he initially would interpret some of these newer mediums of art due to the rise of technology:
“Everyone should know nowadays the unimportance of the photographic in art: that truth, life, or reality is an organic thing which the poetic imagination can represent or suggest, in essence, only through transformation, through changing into other forms than those which were merely present in appearance.”
This project was created using the AudiAnnotate Extensible Workflow (AWE) which is a Mellon grant-funded workflow and web-app, created by Dr. Tanya Clement and developed by Brumfield Labs, for curating and sharing annotations of audiovisual collections held at libraries, archives, and museums. The project is hosted at the University of Texas at Austin within the Initiative for Digital Humanities. Working on this project through AudiAnnotate has been very helpful in not only working through my desires and goals for the project as I went along due to working with the materials themselves but also very helpful in that each step of the process has given great insight into the project itself as I am doing the work of putting up and realistic visualizing where the artifacts or pieces will be for the audience. This is why, while envisioning my project, having it become a work of art itself as a florilegium was very important as it intended to fuel its fire, so to say.
AudiAnnotate is a tool that allows someone like myself who is deeply interested in this tension and translation of art into the virtual world, and it allows me to look at it independently as well as through the process itself. This has made working on this project a lot more fruitful and creative than it would’ve been had it been a long essay with merely a couple of references to the different aspects of art that you would have to go find yourself. The aspect of having both texts as essays and annotations is also very helpful. For someone like me who is intending on going deeper into the world of academia, I am growing more and more tired of my reading list getting larger and larger. Tools like AudiAnnotate can also be a great asset to allowing academics to not only make their work on digital artifacts more accessible through technology but also more accessible through its usability and interactive aspects. Through the annotations, you get to experience the work with the audience at the same time, and then allow for a more guided experience in clarifying whatever point you are trying to make.
In this sense, as well, it allows for claims and arguments to become a lot more clear and cohesive in the way that you are guiding the audience through the material, but you are also being guided as you put the project together as it requires a lot more tensions of the real world and the world of art to collide and bring to light more experiences of how an artist or human can translate those ideas more smoothly. As someone working on a screenplay right now, someone who is actively looking for ways to get more inspiration or motivation, this project has allowed me to see the beauty in the process of putting something together and how much you can love a project even if its original vision wasn’t completely noticeable at the end.
Make sure to check out the Index to see a holistic picture of all of the annotations we've looked at and their connection to time and transformation.