Dominic McIver Lopes, Digital Art, Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information, ed. Luciano Floridi (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003)
Artworks are artifacts, their making always involves some technology, and much new art exploits and explores new technologies. There would be no novel without inexpensive printing and book binding. The modern skyscraper is a product of steel manufacture. Jazz married the European technology of the diatonic scale to African rhythms. A factor in the origins of Impressionism was the manufacture of ready-made oil paints in tubes, which facilitated painting outdoors in natural light. As soon as computers became available, they were used to make art and since then the body of digital artworks has grown by leaps and bounds. But although the first philosophical paper on ‘cybernetic art' appeared in 1961, philosophers are only now beginning to address in depth the questions raised by digital art. What is digital art? How, if at all, is it new and interesting as an art medium? Can it teach us anything about art as a whole?