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About

Poetics of Digital Art is a required seminar at the Digital Arts DA program with Interdisciplinary Studies at University of the Arts in Belgrade. It is a platform for structuring the skills and knowledge provided by core practical and theoretical courses in Digital Art program. Dedicated to the critical examination of creative factors in digital art and culture from a broad spectrum of aspects, the seminar enables the students to integrate the extensive research in digital art and culture with the preparation of their dissertations and the production of their doctoral projects. The term poetics refers to the conceptual, cognitive, emotional, intuitive, ethical, narrative and contextual qualities that define the production, presentation and reception of an artwork. Poetics is established in complex correlation of the artist’s experiences, notions, intentions, skills and imagination with the ideas, techniques, procedures, discourses and politics that she employs. It is a fundamental property of the artistic process and creativity in general.

Topics

The seminar explores the poetic factors in a range of areas and topics of digital art that include information society; early computer art; digital visualization and infographics; sound art; digital animation, cinema and video; game art; Internet art; tactical media; algorithmic and generative art; digital installation, physical computing and interactive art; digital architecture; bioart, etc. The focus is on the experimental art intended for the gallery, museum and festival presentation, with refined and clear poetic qualities, and exemplary characteristics of digital paradigm.

The phenomenological diversity of digital art requires dynamic program strategy. The sequence of topics and the number of lectures per topic are defined according to the contextual aspects, current academic and artistic interests.

Program

The program comprises lectures and consultations. In the lectures, I present the thematically relevant examples of digital art and cultural phenomena, and discuss them from various poetic aspects. The lectures are focused at building a complex research framework of interrelated artworks, poetic approaches and cultural phenomena, and the presented materials are not intended for explicit learning and reproduction by the students. A consultations class is slotted after each four lecture classes, totaling to 3 consultations sessions in a semester. In consultations, we explore further the themes addressed in lectures, open the special topics in digital art and culture, support student research and preparation of their exam presentations.

Outcomes

Poetics of Digital Art develops professional competences that inlcude: enhanced research methodology and critical assessment of the poetic values of digital art and culture; creative integration of the acquired knowledge and skills with current art production; comprehensive, clear and academically sound communication of the acquired knowledge in live/oral, written and multimedia forms.

Context

Digital art permeates, reflects and generates a wide spectrum of the most relevant social phenomena. It is a dynamic laboratory that creates powerful means of human expression and interaction through complex interrelations between creativity, science technology, politics, economy, media, entertainment and popular culture. Many contemporary digital artists are highly distinguished and the cultural sector is finding new ways of collecting, archiving, presenting, theorizing, promoting and commercializing their productions. The growing interest of academic community and general public in digital art and culture is evident in the expansion of all kinds of discourse—from manuals, journals, magazines, TV programs, films, blogs and websites, through workshops, seminars, festivals, lectures and panel discussions, to studies, monographs, catalogues, historical, philosophical and theoretical literature. Significant changes in art education are taking place with the introduction of various art programs which research the creative space between art, (digital) technology and science.

At the same time, creative and expressive potentials of digital art are largely unknown and unexplored, and its social consequences unexamined. Digital art and culture engender many tensions, contradictions and paradoxes ranging between technocracy, opportunism, manipulation, shallowness and arrogance on the one side, and smart, layered, insightful, comprehensive critique on the other. The rich and illuminating histories of digital art and culture are often obscured by the pace of change in commercial digital technology and its effects. In contemporary digital art, many poetic qualities and creative achievements remain unjustly overlooked, while some other get disproportionately advertised by the ideological authority of digital paradigm in cognitive capitalism.

POETICS OF DIGITAL ART