Art Games: Digital artists are using game technologies to create bold new works
by Christiane Paul

Digital art takes many forms: installations; Internet art; virtual-reality projects that use devices such as headsets and data gloves to immerse participants in a virtual world; software coded by the artist; or even "locative media" art that uses mobile devices (such as cell phones) to turn public spaces like buildings or parks into a canvas.

Digital photographs, films, and videos have been common in the arts since the 1990s; even paintings and sculptures are now sometimes produced with the aid of digital tools. But projects that use digital technologies as a medium in themselves--and that, like their medium, are interactive, collaborative, customizable, and variable--still occupy the margins of art institutions and find their audience mostly at new-media art festivals or on the Internet.

A few artists use digital technologies as a medium for reconfiguring more traditional forms such as paintings, photographs, or videos. Among them are Brody Condon, John Gerrard, and Alex ­Galloway and the Radical Software Group (RSG). All use the technologies of game development to investigate the status of traditional media in the digital age. Their works consider how the digital medium has changed the nature of representation, erasing the boundaries between established categories such as painting, photography, cinema, and sculpture.