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An Ongoing Bias?

Has digital art truly moved into the 21st century?

Maybe a better question is whether or not our recognition of valid art, within the art community, regardless of it's origin or execution, has evolved to keep pace with lightspeed gains in technology.

My previous post asked about acceptance of this mechanism, this process, among buyers. Having recently had the opportunity to join a local art club, and upon reading the fine print in the rules for what is billed as the 'premiere event' of the year for this club, Rule 1 stated "All art must be ORIGINAL. No prints, giclees, or other reproductions allowed, with the exception of printed photographs.".

How disappointing, on many levels.

As I am sure you are aware, digital art (as with modern day photography), has no true original physical product. As such, any product produced for presentation or resale is a print; a reproduction. I won't even get into how the term 'ORGINAL' might be defined. See where I'm going?

When I questioned this rule, I was told that the rule had been in place for many years (read: "that's they way we have always done things") and - my interpretation - was possibly in place before the emergence of a mature digital art process. Without any offering of a reexamination of outdated rules in light of this being the 21st century, and all, I was given apologies that the club might not be a good 'fit' for me. I tend to agree.

How revolutionary was the advent of the paint brush, a stick with animal hair strapped to it, 2500 years ago when, previously, the accepted artistic tools were sticks, palm leaves, and tree bark? Was this new tool met with opposition and exclusion in the Paleolithic Period?

I am certainly not saying that digital art should or could ever replace traditional media. My point is that there is room for both. Parallel paths to the same end. Any sense that one is better than the other is invalid. Artists live in a world where there should be no boundaries (fundamental rules - yes). I cannot see how a new tool in my toolbox is less valid than any existing tool in that toolbox.

Twenty-plus years ago, I might be able to understand the bias. Today, I don't get it. And no, I didn't join the club.

Tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree? Speak up! All feedback is welcome.

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