Curator Statement for Digitalis 2: The Spiritual in Digital Art

James K-M, 2003

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Mat, pigmented ink on canvas, 2003

It has always seemed to me that art comes from or is destined for a place beyond itself. Mystics call this place a realm beyond thought and for me this realm represents a viable, visual, pre-literate, multi-sensory and spiritual path for all to interface with. All the works in this exhibition evoke this metaphysical realm and represent a diversity of strategy to get at or interface with that place beyond thought, time and art.

Digitalis 2 is our second exhibition of digital print and it is the mission of the Digitalis Digital Art Society in curating this exhibition to explore what the digital world has to offer the analogue world. Hence our interest in the traditional picture hanging on a wall. Unlike Digitalis 1, which was held at Moon Base Gallery in Vancouver in December 2001, we have included a small selection of work that resides only in the computer such as CD-ROMs, a DVD-Video and Web sites. The two worlds of digital/computer media and analogue/print media can certainly co-exist and complement each other very well, but our interest here is in how the first can propel the second forward, carrying as much tradition with it as the medium can handle.

Some of the work in this exhibition is not what you would call technically accomplished but most is. Some artists are still in transition and dependent on how well they can understand a Photoshop manual, how large a paper size their home ink jet printers can take or how much RAM they can afford. Others have day jobs where they teach the software they create with or otherwise are employed or self-employed creating commercial Web sites, CD/DVD-ROMs, CD-Audio, DVD-Videos, printed annual reports, newspaper layout or graphic design and all with software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, Director, Flash, Dreamweaver, Pro Tools, Final Cut Pro, After Effects or DVD Studio Pro. In the end though, it is the inspiration, insight, vision and spiritual struggle in any artist that drives the software we use and which is represented by the work in this show.

This exhibition is about the spiritual in digital art. This is not a show about the existential. In selecting the work I simply tried to sense a spiritual visual communication that makes contact with the life of forms, the mysterious realm beyond thought, of no-thingness and a depth of simultaneous play, radiance, introspection, light and darkness. None of this work is necessarily about the computer or the software used. What we have here is the unknown interfaced with a marvelous convergence of everything our civilization has collected; a convergence of oil painting, photography, Pop Art, ritual, male and female spirit, technology, dream communication, criticism and cultures.

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Rise, pigmented ink on canvas, 2003

 

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