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Computer Art

Computer art is any art in which computers play a role in production or display of the artwork. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, video game, website, algorithm, performance or gallery installation. Many traditional disciplines are now integrating digital technologies and, as a result, the lines between traditional works of art and new media works created using computers has been blurred. For instance, an artist may combine traditional painting with algorithm art and other digital techniques. As a result, defining computer art by its end product can thus be difficult. Computer art is bound to change over time since changes in technology and software directly affect what is possible.

Artists first began experimenting with computers in the 1950s. The first computer art show, Computer Generated Pictures, was held at the Howard Wise Gallery in New York. Another large-scale exhibition of computer artwork - Cybernetic Serendipity - was held in London in 1969 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. At this point most of the artwork produced (called Digital or Cybernetic art) was graphical and emphasized geometric shapes in different random combinations.

Different Types of Computer Art

Computer Graphics

This is the most lucrative area of computer art and involves using specialized software to create computer images. The images can range from something quite basic (like a company logo) to incredibly sophisticated animations and realistic computer-generated film (special effects).

Digital Installation Art

This is the use of computer technology to produce large-scale public art projects. It can involve projecting film or computer-generated images onto an object like a wall or even an entire building front.

Generative Art

This is another method of making computer art. Generative art means an artwork has been generated in a random automated manner by a computer program using a mathematical algorithm. To qualify as generative art, the artwork must be created with a certain degree of autonomy - in other words, with limited artist influence. The artist usually sets the ground rules for the formula but then the random process takes over. The computer might produce a painting or drawing which can then be printed onto paper or canvas.

Computer Illustration

Also called digital illustration, this is the use of computer software like Adobe Illustrator to produce works of art, similar to traditional fine art. Digital illustrations are produced from scratch. It is typically employed in the fashion industry by designers for their design mock-ups.

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