Failure in the Digital Realm: Special Feature Article
When there are no rules, you cannot fail. When you go where others have not gone before, you can only succeed. You are the doer, the trailblazer, the one who sees infinite possibilities, new visions, and unique ways of expression.
When you create a new iconography of vision, because you recognize that our limited world view inherited from Renaissance artists no longer encompasses the vast possibilities afforded by space exploration, then you must accept that it will take time for others to catch up with you. You may be told that no one else speaks your visual language, that your art is created by a machine and therefore lacks validity. You will have sufficient rejections to wallpaper your home.
But that does not mean failure. That means simply that you must be patient, tremendously patient, until others realize what is happening to us as humans today. Because the changes brought about by the computer, by NASA’s explorations and Hubble’s revelations, represent a profound expansion of the place of humans on the planet and in space.
We are but tiny memes in a vast panoply of galaxies, wide beyond our imagining. Yet so far we are the only creatures to understand this vastness. Are there others “out there”? Quite possibly. Are there parallel universes, unseen creatures, unexplored worlds? Probably.
As an artist who understands what happened when zero and one joined hands you have a unique opportunity to bring these profound changes to others around you. The issue is not how many pieces you sell: you are, after all, not a pork belly to be traded in a commodity market. The issue is whether you have the courage to break barriers and overthrow preconceptions.
And the danger is not that you will fail, but that humanity itself will. Will we self-destruct with weaponry? Will we succumb to the blandishments of ego-driven powercrats? Will we get so enamored of high-tech toys that we waste resources and ignore the real problems that we face? Does someone always have to be better, smarter, richer, than someone else? If we fail, it is because we are addicted to combat, to killing, to violence as a daily habit. We spread hatred on our toast in the morning, teach it to our children, breathe it in our pores. Can we change? If not, we will all fail, and history, if it sees us at all, will not see us with favor.
No More War
We are addicts.
The human species is addicted to war.
The media, encouraged by politicians, feed us sugar-coated images of bravery.
Governments hand out medals. Numbers of dead are counted against numbers of bombs dropped. Economies improve. Patriotism soars. Leaders beam. Winners brag.
But there are no winners in war. Everybody loses. Soldiers, civilians, children oh-my-god the children– all lose. Why do we continually send our strongest youths to be annihilated? Do we really think that a soldier trained to kill can come home and change diapers?
No More War looks terror in the face, sees it in the shattering of bodies, in the eyes of humans. War is not an abstraction. War is pain. War is horror. War is wrong.
After all, what’s one less human? There are plenty more where that one came from. Aren’t there?
© Corinne Whitaker, 2011
No More War is the world’s first fine art series created on the iPad/iCloud. Whitaker used only the primitive camera that came with the iPad 2 and photographed herself as the basis for all of the images. There were no extra apps or equipment, only what came with the machine. After all, is there an app for horror? For truth?
Corinne Whitaker, aka the Digital Giraffe, has been acclaimed for 34 years as one of the pioneering artists in the fields of digital imaging and digital sculpture. She has exhibited worldwide in over 80 solo and 260 group exhibitions, including a large solo exhibit entitled “Corinne Whitaker dot Uncom” at the San Bernardino County Museum. Her work has been published in over 100 magazines, books, catalogs, media and newspapers, including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. She presented the first digital fine art exhibition in India and has shown work in Thailand, Germany, England, Japan, Russia, France, China, Singapore, and Italy. She has shown at the Austin Museum of Digital Art and the Museum of Computer Art. She has also been interviewed on live simulcast on London TV and the Internet. She has lectured extensively on the radical new iconography offered by the computer, including “Look Ma. No Paintbrush!” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2007 Whitaker exhibited at Art Biennale in Florence, Italy. In 2010 she exhibited her work at United States Biennale in New York City. In 2011 her solo show “Mind Over Matter” took place at Evolve the Gallery in Sacramento, California. Eight of her digital sculptures are located in DAAP, the world’s first virtual sculpture park online. In 2014 she was included in “Best of 2014” at ARC Gallery in Chicago. In 2015 she is one of the distinguished sculptors invited to participate in an International Conference on 3D printing at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
Whitaker is one of the featured artists in the CD ROM and book, “Women Artists of the American West”. Her work has won over 30 awards, including “Best in CyberArt” and two Golden Web Awards as well as an Artist’s Fellowship Award from the City of Pasadena. She is featured in “Art of the Digital Age”, as well as the DVD set “International Digital Sculpture, 2009”. She is also the author of 10 books of digital paintings and poetry.
Whitaker’s award-winning Digital Giraffe online journal now in its 21st year of web publication, has been visited by 165 nations. It presents a changing exhibit of digital sculpture, sculptural renderings, and paintings along with features, critiques and articles, most of them archived online for the free use of scholars, curators, academics and critics.
Whitaker has been actively involved in the art community. For ten years she ran the Digital Giraffe gallery in Carmel, California. She has been a Board Member of the Fellows of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Carmel Gallery Alliance. She founded and curated the “Sculpture Withindoors” exhibit at the Carmel Art Festival.
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A Man Called It (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Bits and Pieces (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Caught Flatfooted (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Crushed (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Shredded (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Transfiguration (No More War series), Corinne Whitaker, Digital painting, 2011
Issue One: Failure
Issue Five: Affective Framing: Cinematic Experience and Exhibition Design
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