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Computer Art

  As there is no longer anything sacred about a paintbrush, and thanks to the development of digital imaging, artists may now use computers as tools for the production of art, and do so relatively cheaply and to increasing effect. So long as the work of art is on the computer screen, it is just a collection of points of light. Each point is controllable through software and various input devices (mouse, joystick, electronic pen), so that it can be infinitely modified; modification is also made by executing various computer processing convolutions (for example, reverse, enlarge, make smaller, sharpen, blur, change all colours, turn into fine art, and so on). The image may be printed out at any stage (either as a computer bit map or, on some systems, as a video signal), and its development can be further continued while copies of the ‘printing stage’ images can be stored on disk (computer disk or video disk).

Such flexibility is exciting, and useful in the graphic arts, but at present (mid-1990s) tends to be held back by the high cost and relatively low quality of suitable output devices. One intriguing development is interactive art, where you can sit at a computer, load whatever image you want from your own creation to any work of art from the present or the past and modify it and play with it to your heart\'s content. MG

Further reading J. Lansdowne and , R. A. Earnshaw (eds.), Computers in Art, Design and Animation; , Caron Ward and , Rhonda O\'Meara (eds.), Towards a New Aesthetic: Exploring Computer Aided Art & Design.



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