The Connections Between Digital Art History and Contemporary Art

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Contemporary artists are increasingly using digital media in their creative practice. The emergence of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990’s allowed artists and their audiences to connect globally, and sites like YouTube, Flickr and MySpace are enormous databases of digital content. There are a growing number of online archives that address the creative and academic aspects of digital art, including theory, criticism and history. While these recent developments are welcome, there still exists a vacuum of documentation and information about digital art since 1960. International organizations, such as Leonardo/ISAST, ISEA, SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, V2 and ZKM have provided venues and support for digital art for decades. The history of digital art dates back over forty years with the creative experimentation of artists at research centers. Seminal exhibitions, such as “Cybernetic Serendipity” at the ICA in London in 1968, drew early attention to the creative uses of technology. This presentation will trace the history of digital art as it relates to contemporary art through benchmark works and pioneer artists.

Keywords: Digital Art, Media Art, Contemporary Art, Art History
Stream: Other
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Bruce Wands

Chairman, MFA Computer Art 
Computer Education, School of Visual Arts

New York, USA

Bruce Wands has been working in digital media and music for more than thirty years as an artist, musician, writer, and curator. His book, Art of the Digital Age, was published by Thames & Hudson in 2006. He has lectured, performed, and exhibited his creative work internationally, including ISEA 2008, Electronics Alive IV, CHArt 2006, SIGGRAPH 2006, BUDI 2005 in Pusan, Korea, the First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition, and the SIGGRAPH 2003 Art Gallery and Traveling Art Show. Time Out New York named Bruce as one of the “99 People to Watch in 1999”. Bruce is the Chair of the MFA Computer Art Department and the Director of Computer Education at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He is the Director of the New York Digital Salon, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2008 ( His web site is

Ref: A09P0110