“The Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF) is dedicated to connecting the world through music by providing resources (including, but not limited to facilities, supplies, and educational programs) to musicians and their communities around the world.”
The YouTube video of “Stand By Me” exemplifies, what I consider to be, the greatest impact that digital art has on our Western culture. Whether the expression is in 2-D (photography, print, and digital canvas creations) or considered 3-D (computer modeling and animation) the outcome is the same as for the “Stand By Me” project. The world is shrinking and individuals are crossing cultural boundaries. Those of us in the Western world who have neither traveled nor experienced the subtleties of other nations can benefit from digital art or, as it is also called, new media.
Satellite Arts illustrated a similar co-operative effort when Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz created their 1977, three-location, interactive, satellite dance performance. There was certainly no internet access then, so artists’ integrated NASA’s satellite feed time delays into their dance routines—routines that were performed in three different worldwide geographical areas to the same music. With the advent of high speed and wireless internet, modern digital art can scream past (and in some cases, secretly beneath) cultural boundaries.
Elaborate art installations may include digital components. Digital art is often a collaborative effort between the artist and a team of technical experts. Programmers, engineers, scientists, and designers cross bounds of their disciplines, as well as, boundaries of their countries to create a final work of art. Gregory Colbert’s Ashes and Snow has been visited by over ten million people on four continents. The installation includes digital art components and is showcased on the Ashes and Snow Web site. Gregory Colbert’s traveling art installation takes the form of a nomadic museum and is built anew with each engagement.
Digital art is time-based and, often, interactive. The rapid evolution of computer software and hardware threatens the stability of the art, over time. Operating systems, screen resolutions, and browser upgrades complicate sharing older artworks. The problem of establishing archival standards has united governments, institutions, private corporations, and international organizations in ground-breaking initiatives that are aimed at preserving digital art for future generations. Cross-cultural dialogue is required for the standardization of archival emulators and software migration methods. In the case of Ashes and Snow, Rolex purchased Gregory Colbert’s artwork; it was then, with his profits, that Gregory took the show on the road. The next stop is in Brazil.
Whether it is in understanding other cultures by viewing their digital art or from working cooperatively to create a world message of “peace”—whether elaborate installations enlist international teams or the initiative of saving digital art reaches across continents and through traditional bounds—our Western culture has definitely been impacted by the new media, digital art.