Computer Art & Design for all
The 4th edition of CAC is organized with the collaboration of NANO LAB (www.nano.eba.ufrj.br), supported by the Graduate Program in Visual Arts, at the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (www.eba.ufrj.br).
NANO Lab was established in September 2010. Aims to develop practical and theoretical research in the area of arts with specific focus on their intersection with technology and science, offering laboratory space for practical and theoretical research in the thematic area of hybrid-natures. The motivation of this research Lab is to consolidate a transdisciplinary space for reflection and promotion of new cognitive models based on practical and dialogical exchanges.
About the Concept of Computer Art
Computer Art began its development by the 50’s of the last century and the general thought was that it would mature only by the next millennium. By the 90’s the Internet, the W W W, and the development of interactive interfaces changed the possibilities to go from a static to a dynamic and totally new multidimensional art form based on feedback, processes, multiplicity and improvisation.
There is an unfinished debate between orthodox artist-programmers who consider Computer Art only those artworks accomplished by programming customized hardware and software — by dominating the methodologies and the techniques thorough a deep knowledge of the computer, following the artists rule of knowing very well their own metier — and the ones that want to use templates and commercially available software, producing a kind of low quality ‘canned art’. Of course, this discourse has changed in the last decades and DIY systems have moved de computing creativity towards transdisciplinary approaches that suggest innovating procedures beyond programming.
The spreading of digital cultural practices add these debates, feeding either the technophobia or technolove points of view, present many paradoxes. The arts and sciences considered by many as apparently dichotomous approaches also bring fuel to this debate. Research driven, deeply connected with mathematics, sciences, logic and highly experimental speculations, Computer Art has founded its development and terminology in scientific concepts looking for ways to demystify the sacred reverence that the mainstream ART community has cultivated.
Art critics and theorists evaluating such art with the canonical parameters of traditional art forms, maybe unaware of the complexities related with such background, have overlooked its importance. However this situation has changed with the popularity of computer technologies, its transdisciplinary and pervasive characteristics, accessible prices, the way it expands sensory experiences, the emergence of cyberspace and cyberculture, and the development of IDEs (Interface Development Environment) by artists. These fact brings radical changes within the cultural and sociopolitical field, overcoming limitations and the mannerisms imbued within the Contemporary Art field.
Finally, Computer Art begins to be appreciated and begins to be analyzed by its historical and philosophical importance. To quote just a few, Herbert Frank from Germany considers it as “among the most remarkable products of our time“. The MoMA museum of New York, has recently curated an exhibition on Human Computer Interaction and, with Microsoft Research Lab, has installed a Material Lab Interactive Installation.
Nowadays, in Brazil, we see the blooming of hack and garage labs. Many universities have begun to have programs focusing on Computer Art. The fields of architecture and design have begun to focus on these ideas. It is important to emphasize that the field of Computer Art is firming up and in-depth reflection is required on the issues related to its reverberations within society. Therefore, to have the 4th International Computer Art Congress held in Brazil, within one of its most respected institution, the School of Fine Arts of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ (www.ufrj.br), will bring incentives to the research, reflection and production of such art, deeply shaping a near future on the development of Computer Art in Brazil and maybe in South America.