The Future of Digital Art

Future is a notion many tend to associate with progress. It is a concept of a time dimension that is expected to fulfil our wishes for improvement, for better. For me future is simply about change, just a process of search for solutions, accidental discovering and what happens in between.      

I have known Andrea for a few years when she suggested a project involving curating and showing illustration and art created by digital tools. She already had a lot of experience working as an illustrator and graphic designer and I, influenced by my recent studies in Visual communication and iconic research, was very intrigued by artistic side of these creative forms.

Somewhere between initial ideas of a pickup exhibition, illustration workshops and a weekend long festival dedicated to illustration and digital art, We Show Off was born and our future began. 

We Show Off is a platform, a virtual space that shows curated illustration, photography and digital art by artists who Andrea and I consider talented, inspiring and special in the
way of execution, wit, intelligence and concept that is behind the visual language they create.

We find these creatives through an online and offline research, using already existing platforms or simply reaching out to them personally, with a clear explanation that we would like their art to be seen in a We Show Off context. 

By opening the eyes and minds for these digital creative ways of expression and reminding of its artistic values we hope to financially support them and their artists and help them find their audience and customers for their work.

In that way We Show Off can be defined as an online gallery, where artwork can be seen and purchased. On the other hand We Show Off is also a mini manufacture, dealing with the printing of the purchased artwork entirely on its own.  

Physical and virtual dimensions in which We Show Off simultaneously lives and acts are taken over from digital art itself. 

We saw this beautiful and intriguing dualism of existence of digital art together with its amazing ability of being reproducible as its essence and embraced it as our main concept. 
Simple at the first glance, this concept opened a field of questions for us and motivated us to work with range of what seem to be contradicting.

We offer art for everybody. We make art available and accessible. We curate an online gallery.  We use the Internet as our core environment, but we keep it small scale, cozy and personal. We name reproductions artwork. We print digital but with care and not in masses. We frame digital artwork and sell it as decorative material objects. We celebrate colour and paper qualities through printing digital artwork. We use best printing
technique and high quality paper in order to preserve the authenticity and intensity of colour, as well as the long life of digital art in the physical world.       

Why shouldn’t we challenge the known and play with paradoxes?  

Because digital art isn’t art for some reason? Because they exist in digital formats and therefore are reproducible? Because the presence of the creator is visible only through style, technique and the idea but not through traces in the medium. Do digital tools and high quality printing make it too perfect and therefore less human? Does it flawlessness make us feel vulnerable?      

Because it is awkward to frame digital art? Is it because framing gives an object an aura of importance and suggests that the object should be hanged up on the wall and looked at? Because it is one of a kind and never to be seen anywhere else? And digital art doesn’t deserve that? What if digital art not meant to be printed at the first place? Is it meant to spend its future in its digital habitat and not invade the material world in order to prove that art is what we thought it was? 

Maybe… 

But there is a mind behind those images, there is an emotion and an idea and a hand using digital tools that moves in urge to express, to find solutions, to discover, to entertain, to comment, to criticise and fantasise, to question. And that is future, the constant motion, the magical combination of questioning what we know and what we want to know and all the serendipity and change that happens in between. 

Future is to never reach it.
               
Jovana Hitz text
Andrea Forgacs illustration