Christopher Fahey
Since the beginning
Works in Brooklyn United States of America

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BIO
Christopher Fahey has been making computer games and graphics since childhood, and he continues to experiment with new ideas in computer art and design. He is the creative force behind the online laboratories http://www.graphpaper.com and http://www.askrom.com. Christopher is a founding partner of Behavior, a New York-based interaction design firm, where he serves as the Information Architecture practice lead. He has led many interactive productions as an art director, game designer, interface designer, and information architect. Christopher graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art in 1993 with a focus on interactive sculptures and installations, and has worked in the new media business ever since.
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DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Re: Re: Defining Digital Art


> curt:
> > > When a definition encourages a piece of music to be considered
> > > digital art when it's stored on a CD, but not considered digital
> > > art when it's stored on a cassette, then that definition is
> > > focusing on distinctions that are not useful at best, and
> > > diverting at worst.
>
> chris:
> > Do you really think that the Amoda definition encourages us to
> > reach such a rigorously retarded conclusion?
>
> curt:
> "Art whose final form is digital in nature is digital art." It's
> their very first argument.

In addition to partially quoting the Amoda page to prove something that
doesn't exist (that Amoda would consider any ol' music CD "digital
art"), you have also conveniently cut off my second sentence (which was
"Did you read the whole page?"). This is terribly ironic insofar as your
deletion is symptomatic of exactly what I'm talking about:
Short-and-sweet art definitions suck... and
definitions-deliberately-abridged-to-make-it-seem-like-they-say-somethin
g-different-than-what-they-really-say suck even more.

> Amoda might argue, "you know that's not what we meant."
> But if you're going to bite off the slippery job of defining an art
> genre, you've got to come up with something better than, "you
> know that's not what we meant."

Since when did art definitions become so strict? Can you name any art
genre definition that is sufficiently precise?

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Cloned Object or Cloned Zanni ? This is the problem


> I've just seen the " Hole in the Sky " by Tom Scarpino (Hi
> Tom) http://www.rhizome.org/object.rhiz?14018
>
> I was wondering if any of you saw my piece done two days
> after the 9-11 fact. (more or less 2 years ago)
> It's the same piece: http://www.zanni.org/pagine/menu12twc.htm

Wow! I looked at the source code, and it doesn't look like he just
cut-n-pasted you. So either you both came up with exactly the same idea
in different places and times, or he saw your work once and either
consciously or unconsciously reproduced the page himself. Have you sent
him an email?

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Defining Digital Art


curt wrote:
> When a
> definition encourages a piece of music to be considered digital art
> when it's stored on a CD, but not considered digital art when it's
> stored on a cassette, then that definition is focusing on
> distinctions that are not useful at best, and diverting at worst.

!?! ... Do you really think that the Amoda definition encourages us to
reach such a rigorously retarded conclusion? Or are you an artificial
intelligence? Did you read the whole page?

> They're coming at it from a "digital culture" angle.

I agree. It is "digital art" if it speaks to or about "digital culture".
Now, how do we define "digital culture"? Well, I think I kinda know what
that is. It has something to do with an interest in (or even an embrace
of) a digital future, an understanding that digital technology is
changing mainstream culture. A digital artwork is one that is created by
and/or for people who think a lot about how digital technology affects
the mechanics of culture. Amoda's definition allows them to take a
curatorial approach that speaks to this "digital culture" without having
to make ludicrously specific rules about the format or content of the
artwork.

> I get more out
> of folks coming at it from a media analysis angle. The latter
> approach (although more exclusive) seems more likely to lead to the
> production of thoughtful, media-aware art. The former approach
> (although more inclusive) seems more likely to lead to George Lucas
> winning the Golden Nica for digital excellence.

Again, do you really think George Lucas has any knowledge whatsoever
about "digital culture". Do you think that any "digital culture" gives a
flying duck about George Lucas? (actually, don't answer that second one
:( ...)

Do you think that defining a digital art culture so as to allow people
who paint about computer programs or use computer programs to make
paintings is really a slippery slope towards making Steven Spielberg the
new curator of the Digital Arts department of the Walker Art Center? I
don't.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Defining Digital Art


Geert wrote:
> Is this really to be a discussion? When I saw the
> subject I thought the thread would soon die out.
> The definition the Austin Museum of Digital Art uses
> is boring to the extreme, however noble the cause.
>
> As always, my answer would be that art is not about
> the medium, but about commitment, strength, and
> being to the point. If there is to be a true discussion
> on digital art, it should be about the way art should
> or could propogate though the art community.

LOL! First you say that defining digital art is a tiresome topic and
that the Amoda definition is boring. Then you immediately proceed to
enthusiastically discuss your own opinion on the issue.

Furthermore, I think your definition ("art is not about the medium, but
about commitment, strength, and being to the point") is totally
compatible with Amoda's point: that we should keep our minds open and
use definitions to inspire communication and conversation, not to
classify and compartmentalize. I don't think either you or Amoda are
boring.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com

DISCUSSION

Re: Re: Defining Digital Art


curt wrote:
> To me, that definition of "digital art" is too broad to be useful.
> ... Terms of definition such as "digital art" are meant to
> single out certain things at the exclusion of other things for the
> purpose of more precise understanding.

Not a "precise" understanding, but a "deep" understanding. An art
definition should help understand the subtleties and exceptions inherent
in talking about the subject. Is there an art definition you can think
of that is *more precise* than Amoda's page? Certainly not "painting",
"drawing", or "sculpture".

I agree that it seems overly broad (and you know that I am usually among
the first to express skepticism about calling many artworks "digital
art" or "net art" -- including a large percentage of what is currently
in the Artbase, I might add), but I do like the fact that the Amoda page
specifically includes a breakdown of how there *can* be several ways of
talking about and/or making "digital art". I think that the Amoda
"digital art" page is a great example of how it is impossible to make a
succint, strict definition of any art genre, that there are always
exceptions and room for discussion. In art-talk, a "definition" is, at
best, a living, multifaceted conversation - not a strict "rule".

I think the Amoda definition allows artists, audiences, and curators to
forge affinities that a stricter definition might not allow. My
drawings, for example, which are almost all simply pen and paper, are so
wrapped up in the culture of digital art that it would be ludicrous to
not talk about them as such.

> One could argue that almost everything produced today in the first
> world has been "touched" somewhere along the way by the digital
> process.

If you stretch it a bit, the Amoda definition can also allow us the
flexibility to *not* talk about certain works of art as digital art,
even if it might technically fit under the initial definition. For
example, artists who use computer graphics software to generate virtual
landscape images generally have more in common with traditional
landscape painters than they do with, say, you or I. Their work should
probably be discussed as part of that tradition. I think the Amoda page
allows us to think that way.

Like porn, digital art is something that I recognize when I see it. The
Amoda page permits this kind of flexibility. That's why I like it.

Ruth wrote:
> would it be helpful to know why?

I dunno, you tell me. Was the above helpful?

Miguel wrote:
> Following this broad definition almost everything that is being done
> in the art scene is digital art (digital as product, as process or as
> subject). And, by the way, is it so important to establish a border
> line betwwen analog and digital art?

Are those two sentences contradictory? One implies that an overly broad
definition is useless, the other implies that precision of definition is
unimportant.

Anyway, as I say above, I think that it's cool to have a definition that
implicitly says that the definition is flexible -- but that there are
also some general concepts that you should bring to the table when
choosing to talk about digital art.

-Cf

[christopher eli fahey]
art: http://www.graphpaper.com
sci: http://www.askrom.com
biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com