Kay Perkins, Chairman
Alfred Sikes, Vice Chairman
Carolyn Williams, Secretary
Dirck Bartlett, Treasurer
Thomas Collier, MD
Doris Fischer Malesardi
Joseph Schulman, MD
Tom D. Seip
Joan W. Cox
Paul W. Makosky
Earl “Rusty” Powell
Arthur L.S. Waxter
Paul C. Wilson
In March of 2014, the Museum will open its new digital studio and soon thereafter begin to offer courses for both artists and students. The studio will be populated with computers, monitors, scanners, printers and most importantly the underlying software that responds to the imagination of the artist-at-work. Artists will be able to push their work to the edges of technology.
In looking back on technology, we see that television began its life as analog. YouTube is organically digital. Absent the capacity to translate images into packets of computer code with their distribution across digital networks, there would be no YouTube. And unlike conventional television, YouTube does not feature a linear channel of video programs, but a seemingly endless choice ranging from brilliant to terrible. Most filmed narratives today do not start as film, but as computer code, and digital editing is now the standard. The computer has become the transformational tool in capturing and editing moving images.
Fine arts are also increasingly affected. Recently the Academy Art Museum presented an exhibit of David Douglas’ works and later acquired four of his dramatic renderings. Douglas begins with a digital photograph and then uses his computer much as a painter uses a brush. An article highlighting the exhibit in the Talbot Spy (which is a digital newspaper) noted that Douglas “layers images in the computer, prints them, paints on them, cuts them apart, layers in other images, scars them, draws on them, scans them back into the computer, and repeats the process again and again.”
Inevitably, importantly, and increasingly, artists are turning to the computer as an indispensable tool. Pixar’s software, for example, produced better animation than Disney could produce with it’s hand drawn progression of images. Disney then bought Pixar and today animation is rendered by the skilled hands of storytellers using ingenious computer code. While the edges of fine arts are yielding to these new tools, the computer will not displace traditional media, it will complement.
While the Museum has for some time used digital tools to produce and display across a broad range of media, it continues and will continue to celebrate the classic. Analog studios will not disappear; indeed the artist working with traditional tools will be able to use the new studio to enhance their work. Tools with names like InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects and others will be introduced. Students will be able to engage in graphic design or book making or sound editing or—well, just let your imagination take over.
Coursework is being developed for the digital studio, so set your Google alert so you won’t miss when announcements are made.
Alfred Sikes, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees