2002 International Digital Art Awards (IDAA)

Directors Statement:

I would like to thank Professor Vincent McGrath, Head of School of Visual and Performing Arts,  Malcom Baywaters, Gallery Director and the Visual Arts Committee  for presenting the IDAA exhibition at the Academy Gallery in Launceston. We look forward to continuing our relationship with this gallery.

About the Sponsors:
Epson Australia, Digital Photography & Design magazine, Artistscope/Copysafe software have supported the IDAA from the start and this project would not be possible without their dedicated sponsorship.

A note about "Digital Art":
There has been much debate about the defining of digital art. These definitions have concerned the process, style, output, contextual validation and comparisons to traditional mark making techniques.This is an ongoing process and will continue to develop in it's documentation as the contextual language evolves. We are now seeing dedicated programming from major international academic institutions and galleries supporting digital art as an established and genuine multi-disciplinary practice. This, I would like to suggest, is indicative of two things: the subject matter of digital art has evolved to the point it has something valid to say; and secondly the archival issues have been removed, making it a legitimate subject to include in a serious collections.

Ephemeral, organic and textured are descriptive terms not  synonymous with digital art, however artists who incorporate mixed media including digital process techniques (or digital synthesis) into their work, such as Rauchenberg  and Seah, take digital beyond its preconceived  sterile environment by exploring a wide variety materials and media. These techniques include transfer  using pigment and organic dye inks onto a wide variety of traditional substrates. Using gelatin-coated media to transfer onto rice or handmade papers is one example.

In part I hope to re-clarify the term "digital artist" to simply "artist," one who uses digital process within their creative production. Subsequently digital process is a new language construct evolving to extend and partner many styles relating to traditional printmaking, mixed media, video, animation, flash, hypertext landscapes and web art. All these styles would be considered specific art practices and in part branded equally under the digital umbrella. I see little reason to validate one style against another because contextually there are no absolute truths in art and in my opinion all mediums including digital process are valid statements at this point in time.

About the IDAA:
In the 2000 IDAA call for artworks, I wrote, "...anything your imagination can handle!" It would be bold to suggest that the IDAA is making a definitive statement about digital art but I will say, it reflects the current thinking towards digital fine art and specifically as 2 dimensional digital artworks on paper.The 2002 IDAA exhibition provides a valuable opportunity for all image makers to see how current digital technologies translate as a documented hard copy exhibition. For this exhibition I chose to print on Epson premium semi-gloss media using pigment inks and by definition what we have are fine art ink-jet prints - not digital prints. Given that the original idea for the IDAA was to be an Internet project, we could safely say that the success in presenting both online (www.internationaldigitalart.com) and hard copy exhibitions have received a positive outcome in positioning this project as an important international award.

Technology today has seen a natural interfacing between artists and hardware and software that was not necessarily designed for fine art use. By creating archival museum quality prints; companies such as Epson produce small to large format printers using lightfast pigment inks which have been rated at 200 years+ (outlasting traditional giclee prints by a factor of 2 to 3) and subsequently major institutions, museums and galleries are collecting digital prints as important works of art. The IDAA prints have been printed on a 7500 Epson Pro Graphics printer @ 1440 dpi.

This is the 2nd year for the IDAA and we have enjoyed continued growth and support from artists, galleries, media and sponsors. This year we received 2,500 images as entries from which 100 images where selected by an international jury, headed by Laurence Gartel a leading US artist and early pioneer of digital art. The major award with a rather lengthy title, The 2002 International Digital Art Awards Laurence Gartel Award for excellence, went to French artist, writer and film maker Yann Minh with his image titled sthéno.

The IDAA  includes 53 artists representing 35 countries (2 Australians Shannon Hourigan and Christopher Barnaby are represented) and will tour nationally and internationally to Russia and selected galleries in the USA during 2002 and beyond.

Digital Photography & Design publish the IDAA exhibition as an annual feature in their magazine. The IDAA issue can be purchased at all newsagents across Australia from June 2002.

The IDAA database has grown to 35,000 members over the last 2 years. Members receive a fortnightly newsletter updating all the events associated with the IDAA and World Digital Art web site. More than 1 million Internet visitors will have seen the IDAA exhibition by the end of 2002.

We have also provided an iMac computer loaded with an interactive special effects IDAA exhibition where the general public are invited to play, create and explore this exhibition.

Ha Ha:
Every statement needs a humorous reference so in closing I will briefly mention about computer art history.

The origin of computer graphics dates back to the late 1950's at which time scientists worked out that by applying mathematical rules to their programming, it would allow the computer to translate and output a visual pattern (chaos/random patterns - ie. "mathematical art") - it wasn't until the mid to late 1960's did we see any formal interest by computer artists such as Manfred Mohr who began a serious investigation in this genre. However, in 1963 a US periodical by the name of "Computers & Automation" presented the world's first computer graphics competition. The brief was simple, a call for the most creative "image" made by a computer. At this point I would normally make a large offer of cash to anyone who could provide me with an answer to who won this award. Interestingly 1st and 2nd place went to the US Military Ballistics Missile Research Dept....... I guess I could make another offer of cash to anyone who knows the titles of these works - the mind boggles!

On behalf of the 2002 IDAA, enjoy the show and visit our web site at www.internationaldigitalart.com.

If you wish to join our database please forward your details to Steve Danzig - giznad@ozemail.com.au.
Steve Danzig
International Digital Art Awards
World Digital Art

Academy Gallery University of Tasmania Australia
May 2 to May 31 2002

Academy Gallery University of Tasmania Australia
May 2 to May 31 2002

8 Feb - 3 Mar 2002 Counihan Gallery in Brunswick Australia

2002 IDAA closing party & Brunswick music festival



more photos coming