Is There an Avant Garde in Digital Arts?


Session Title:

  • Digital Aesthetics

Presentation Title:

  • Is There an Avant Garde in Digital Arts?



  • Starting from the question ‘Is there a digital aesthetic?’, the paper focusses on the revolutionary concept of the avant-garde and discuss whether developments in new media arts that make use of digital technologies can be considered as avant-garde. The history and the theory of the concept of the avant-garde in twentieth century makes clear, that the term avant-garde has been widely used to determine revolutionary developments in arts and politics. The essential characteristic of avant-garde arts, that is to say the strong emphasis on new technologies, might be applied in the discussion of new media arts, in particular when the metaphors of revolution are applied to digitally processed arts. The shift in the arts that is caused by new technologies is often described in terms of a digital revolution. On that basis Spielman would like to compare the issues of the European avant-garde at the beginning of the twentieth century with developments in media arts, where the questioning of traditional aesthetic concepts, such as the image, is effected through electronic and digital tools. The question the author would like to answer here could be this: ‘Is there an avant-garde in digital arts?’