Where technology and fine art intersect

DVAC shows “Digital Abstraction.”

More than two decades have passed since the Dayton Visual Arts Center presented “Computer Art: An Ohio Perspective” in 1993. In the fast-paced world of technology, this year’s “Digital Abstraction” illuminates how the advanced tools of the trade have changed what’s possible for digital artists.

“From the camera viewfinder windows to the glowing screens of computer monitors, the 12 artists in Digital Abstraction create and manipulate data just as a painter might mix paint on a canvas,” said DVAC executive director Eva Buttacavoli. “Digital advances now allow artists to alter, sample and filter their digital lyricism for our experience.”

Those artists are: Tom Baggs, Lisa and Benjamin Britton, Netta Bits, Wynne Ragland Jr., Ansen Seale, Jim Shupert, Andy Snow, Nancy Willman, McCrystle Wood, Sherman Walter Wright and the late Jud Yalkut.

Yalkut and Baggs were the co-curators of that 1993 exhibit, and also the pair who suggested this exhibit in 2013.

Yalkut died that year at the age of 75. His work is honored in this show: media mythology collages, Experimental Television Center works, and an interactive work titled “Telephone Piece,” in which one of Yalkut’s former collaborators or friends will occasionally call to enlighten viewers about Yalkut’s works.

These artists have benefited from the commercialization of digital technologies: faster/smaller computers, advanced software, editing and production tools, printers/service bureaus, e-book publishing, cellphones, social media and cloud tools on the Internet.

However the phone used for Yalkut’s “Telephone Piece” is a rotary dial throwback to another era, and the only piece in the exhibit that is decidedly retro.

Baggs is showing two digital prints, “News From the Vortex,” and “Chance Cage Performance.” He is a multimedia artist, publisher and virtual reality performer.

Moving digital images in the show include “Riverwalk” by Wright and untitled cityscapes by Netta Bits. Bits, aka exhibit co-curator Tess Cortes, utilizes shifting landscapes that pass horizontally across the screen.

Showing concurrently with Digital Abstraction is Nathaniel Smyth’s eye-popping photo collage, “The Higgs Field in Pictures, 2015,” and delightfully simple floral paintings by David Kuns for the Tiny Office Show.

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Contact contributing writer Pamela Dillon at pamdillon@woh.rr.com.

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