Artists have always turned to the latest medium to express themselves. It’s something that has happened since the dawn of time. BAZAAR Art Prize judge June Yap, a former curator with the Guggenheim, says that you can even date the merger of art and technology back to cavemen times, when using ochre to mark walls and floors was seen as new.
We’ve come a long way from those days of sticks and stones. We’re well into the age of styluses and touchscreens, as British artist David Hockney will attest. In this issue dedicated to digital art, we are most excited about teamLab’s Story of the Forest installation at the National Museum of Singapore, which gives you the chance to interact with the cyberworld. But the uninitiated might not realise that this art form, which has only been recognised by museums and galleries in the past 10 years, has been around since the 1950s.
Ben Laposky used an oscilloscope and camera to capture the electronic waves that appeared on a small fluorescent screen in 1952. Then Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol and Kaii Higashiyama worked on “Global Art Fusion,” a Fax-Art Project in 1985. From our cover artist Maxwell N. Burnstein to Petra Cortright, these cool creatives with massive social media followings are the latest stars who work in this medium.
Contrary to popular thought, digital art isn’t cold or clinical. It is being used to engage the public (as with teamLab’s work) and create a community of artists who are able to share their work online, or simply to swap notes with other artists.
Technology gives us the chance to inspire people like never before. We have seen this success with our own competition, BAZAAR Art Prize. One of the best examples came from Jamela Law and her brilliant 3D printed dress made of nylon. This art competition recognises and appreciates Singapore’s emerging artists, and is proof of the undeniable talent that is out there.
Digital art is a reflection of our times—relish it, one pixel at a time. It’s your connection to the world.
—Claire Turrell, Project Editor