How has New Media or Digital Art impacted our Western Culture?

With the rise and improvements of technology in our day and age, digital or new media art has had a significant impact on our Western culture. Impacts which think are both positive and negative. Some of the more positive effects from digital art is the fact that with the internet digital art can now be shared more easily. Another positive attribute of digital art is that now distribution of art is more readily available. Instead of one original floating around between gallery and gallery, new media can be mass produced, printed multiple times, which can also be a negative thing depending on what you wanted done with your art. Digital art has also made a huge impact on our culture by how fast today’s technology is. This contributes to the speed of how fast the art gets around and is seen, it increases the speed in which the art gets noticed and recognized.
Although there are many positive impacts and uses of digital art I feel that there are more negative impacts then there are positive. With every new advance in technology I feel that we as a western culture are moving farther and father away from person to person interaction .Today we no longer have the personal touch of handwritten letter, but e-mails rather, instead of a phone call, all I get are text messages, we do not have to go to the mall for the Christmas rush, now there is ebay, and today you no longer have to leave the house to do your banking, its all online. I mean what is this world coming to when no one ever has to leave their house for anything? We are losing social aspects of everyday life. With digital art I do not like the fact that the artist is not touching the piece itself, the mouse is. I feel that with new media we are losing so much feeling and personality and character. When I look at art I like seeing the artists marks, the brush strokes, the mistakes. I like looking at a painting and saying, “Wow that’s done with paint, and not on the computer?” And I am sure there are digital pieces out there that have that same effect, I just have yet to see them.
In some ways I think that with new media, and with all new advances in technology, it has made our culture more lazy, to be honest. For example in my high school we always had a wet, dark room lab, where we learned how to make color prints, black and white prints, balance contrasts, develop our own film and print the photos using light exposures, the old fashion way, almost as a science. However in my second year of photography, the district decided to rip out the wet lab and the dark room and replace it by rows of computers and desks. At first it was a good thing. We had to learn all the ins and outs of Photoshop, and we were creating truly amazing pictures. However in my third year of photography I felt students, sometimes including myself, when it came to a project, would snap a couple pictures, load them up, increase the contrast, add a crazy filter and call it a day. I just feel that today in our culture new media art along with all the new technology has just made everything feel rushed and not really thought out. I feel like along with gaining all these new advancements we are losing so much.


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