Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Is the digital art vs. photography line moving and isn’t it time the shows updated their categories? I do heavily digitally modified photography. Recently I was faced with this choice:
Digital art - Two-dimensional work created by the artist using computer technologies. May include scanned images, from the artist or other sources that have been non-trivially modified through the use of computer programs.
Photography - Two-dimensional work created by the artist that includes digital and film photography that has not been manipulated to achieve results beyond what could be produced in a traditional dark room. Hand-colored photography and emulsion transfers are accepted in this category.
I applied in digital art and the show disagreed. On one of our emails back and forth the show person put forth this description – “ I personally feel that you should enter under photography since your work takes a photograph and enhances it through digital means but does not totally create a new image from the photograph. I see the digital category as taking parts and pieces from different sources and creating something new with them, or creating an image using only digital programs from scratch.” What a wonderful clear description that puts me into photography which I ultimately applied in.
When I first started applying to shows, digital photography was brand new and most shows didn’t really recognize it. In fact, to a lot of them, digital was a bad word. There was certainly no digital art category. Photographers who heavily manipulated were placed into categories like print making or lumped in with photographers
Then shows started adding a digital art category which in the vast majority of shows looks like this – “Any original work for which the original image, or the manipulation of other source material, was executed by the artist using a computer. Work in this category must be in limited editions, signed and numbered on archival quality materials. Traditional photographs taken with digital media should apply in the photography category.” In my opinion this puts me in digital art, which I usually apply in because I am manipulating source material with a computer. But that word “traditional” can go either way so I am always questioning if it is the right category for me.
At that time (8 or 9 years ago) I don’t know of anybody who was doing pure digital art not involving photography of any kind. But – the tools are better now, art that is being created today with computers and no photographs at all is very impressive. And I believe that most photographers, even if their images look completely unmodified, are making use of techniques that could not be done in the darkroom.
The line is moving and I think shows need to take a good look at their categories and make that division more distinct.
Tell me what you think that description should be.