Even though Picasso might be turning over in his grave, the art world is undeniably and forever altered from the introduction of the computer. Since photographers and painters alike can create works of art without traditional media, such as paint and paper, with the help of computer programs, digital artwork is becoming an important subset of modern art.
UB's online art gallery includes links to dozens of student artworks, all made with the help of computers. From abstractions composed with Adobe Photoshop to mathematical, "algorithmic," art, the Web site (www.art.buffalo.edu/gallery/ub.gallery.html) demonstrates many emerging varieties of computer work.
The gallery has been displaying artwork from students and faculty in the same setting since the mid-1990s. Site visitors may delve into a listing of various groupings of computer artwork from the featured artists.
Though some links, like "algorithmic art," and "motion imaging" may sound a bit intimidating to the layman, the artwork itself is interesting at its worst and downright original at its best.
For example, Serge Domkowski's "Car Repair" is a piece of animation that layers several images of cars and scientific diagrams, while sounds sketching the clatter of an ailing car supply an ambient backdrop.
However, Dana Deskewitz's short animated piece seems to be nothing more than a fancy screen saver with some bedazzling electronic sounds numbing the listeners' ears. In all fairness, the piece was created in 1996, before the time when many modern computer programs were available to digital artists.
The algorithmic artwork in the online gallery is probably even more stimulating, however, as before contemporary times, art was never created with the use of mathematical algorithms (sets of instructions given to the computer to create the work).
Chris Pedilla's untitled digital picture is a blocky, postmodern exploration of color. Instead of approaching the work from a traditional perspective, it is more impressive when we can consider that the artwork is less of a visual marvel than a technical one - the artwork itself isn't formed by the hand of the artist directly, but is transposed through him, and into a computer by means of logical instructions.
An optically eluding image by Seamus O'Keefe is equally stimulating, as it is so pedantic and rhythmic that one begins to wonder what kind of rules and instructions govern our ability to simply see correctly, especially as the picture's colors are dizzying.
The site also represents other genres of computer art. A collection of photomontages, also created with Photoshop, demonstrates the prowess many UB students have in creating photo-room quality effects at an even more expressive degree than the real thing.
Again, though photos such as Erin Nickler's untitled portrait of a woman in the bathroom are surprisingly innovative, other older pictures from the past few years may lack the modern edge to seem interesting to a veteran Netizen.