Art in the Scene by Attack of WIJ
First I think writing an article about art is always something you can't define as if it was a law or a rule, it's relative, but there's a basic general definition for it, which is the base for all the artists. I know I'm not a very well known gfxian, but it's up to you to understand and believe or not. I'm a student of art and what I'm saying here is nothing new for people who are also studying it. So to all of you who know what I'm speaking of, just skip the definition. I won't copy any official definition here, I'll just say it by my own words.
Art is creating something, expressing it using any media, style, technique, something that can have many values, many meanings. Since it's a human person who's expressing himself or herself, art has something to do with the time that person or persons lives in. It can have many forms, styles, techniques, but the main goal is is to speak by the media you choose. Poets write, musicians use musical instruments or anything else that makes sound, painters use ink and brushes over anything that can be painted, sculpturers use 3d as a support, this means almost everthing in the world from iron to garbage, just to name a few. There are much more forms of art as you probably know and mixed stuff is quite common nowadays, actually if I take a screenshot of the window in which I'm writing this text and stick it on a canvas, or the simple fact of it being written, is actually something that is mine, I've created it from my own head and ideas, it's something I'm creating, something that no one has probably made and if he did, it would surely be different from mine. This makes everyone an artist. I'll stop here, because as you can see, art is something that is huge to define, to speak the truth I don't think it can be defined. One thing is certain, art is something that came from inside of you, you feel it and you create it. Think you got the point now.
Anyway, the reason of this article isn't just to speak about art, it's obviously something to do with the demoscene.
In my opinion the demoscene is a place where we can see some great and new types of art such as demos and intros. These two are just great, they are the perfect combination between technology and logical subjects such as maths and programming with something that came from the inside of you and is far away from being logic, that is, art. Expressing art by logic is great, that logic is great, you can combine just everything that there is to do, music, 2d pics, 3d models/pics, ansi and move it all, create special effects, synchronise everything, give it a meaning, or make it lookabstract,justto makepeoplethink and have their own interpretation of what they saw is simply great, we should never see them just as a 'school' or something to learn techniques and stuff like that, it's much more, it's real art. Of course there's always exceptions to this.
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... Anyway, I'm not a coder or musician, I'm a graphician, so I'll speak about pixeling and 3d here. And of course there are two big issues especially in pixeled art, that is copying and 'faking'.
For a start, copying it`s completly different from creating and obviously is not art, since you're copying other people's ideas, style, etc. This is a stupid issue to discuss since it's obvious as hell. Be it a painting or a photo, you are still copying, and this leads to that other thing that seems so weird in the demoscene, that is trying to achieve hype realism and making it 'official'. I won't lie, I want to achieve that too although I do it in my house and don't present it as a way of art... Actually no one would even accept a simple copy of reality as a work of art, they would surely say that technically it was great, but come on, realistic painting is a thing of the past, for one simple reason, there were no photos! It was a way of art, painters chose their composition and they could give meaning to it, but with the arrival of photography it just didn't make any sense to keep making them. This is actually where all the 'modern' painting started, as it's described in the art history books...
The goal of this is just to make you understand how weird it is to see so many I-wanna-make-it-like-real pixelers. And I won't explain here what the current way of art is, that would be impossible because everyone has his own way. I think it's weird to keep making realistic paintings because they don't seem to have any purpose. If people want a thing to look real they will take a photo. Thinking art is making things look like they are in reality is typical of persons with no culture... and I'm not speaking about artistical culture. Altough I really admire people who can actually make something look real without looking at reality. These ones have technique, they really know a lot of human anatomy and how light affects the objects and all that stuff. That way, making realistic pics makes a lot of sense!
I hope this will clear a bit about what makes the difference between creating something and copying. Copying is a way of learning, copying from photos is a good way of learning how to make stuff. If you see it from reality, like walking around in the city and drawing people and buldings or landscapes, it's great! I love it! And it's art. (I think you should know why at this point.) Better than that is creating everything from scratch, that is for people who have lots of experience.
But back to the scene, I think compos are weird stuff too. There are two things I will never understand:
1st - How can there be an Art competition since everyone has got a personal style and is automatically good for himself? How can people compete without an established goal? Every real competition has a goal!
2nd - When you vote for a work only because of the person who made it, and I'm not speaking about famous people, and by the girls who were drawn (and this is quite an obvious stuff), I think there's neither any spirit nor serious competition at all.
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In my humble opinion, competing is about winning money, and it's supposed to be serious and at least have some goal! It's weird to make something for some compo if you don't know what you are supposed to achieve to win it. I'm not trying to find a new way how a party should be made or suggesting anything, I agree with compos, but they should be serious.
This takes us to another thing I would like to speak about, faking pics. Some of you might want to kill me for using the word faking since retouching photos is art too, but only if you use your own photos, otherwise it's called stealing! (As well as presenting a simple copy of a photo or painting...)
Wait, lemme stop for a moment. For the people who've seen my works, I have one or two that are made of photos, but I never restrict myself by simply copying. In those pics I used more than one photo and I composed them in my own way to give them the meaning I want. But still it's not legal to make that... and well, I've made a mistake, but I know I've made it, so it's time to change. We should all do so. Let's continue...
There should be more compos (serious ones) or at least some division for retouchings and pixeled compos. They are completely different stuff and should not be in the same compo. People who do that for fame (?!) or another goal are by far the most lame persons in the scene, and I'm no god or something like that but it's not hard to understand that. If you just scan something and use it in a compo saying it's drawn, it's actually a pretty serious matter, since other people had to work a lot to make their own pics and show that they had some technique. Now you're probably thinking that after all I do agree and understand compos. Well I don't. It's just stupid to see a person who works a lot of hours to achieve such a detail level, get a lower place than a Joe Lamer with a scanned photo. But well, we must admit it, it takes us all to reality. Except for those who really make their own stuff without caring about nothing, for those it is really unfair! We can't prevent those people who scan from entering compos, since it's difficult to see if it is a scan or a draw. This attitude should be stopped by the people who create it. This will only lead people to not having much interest in making stuff for compos, so for all Joe Lamers out there: use your head.
Okay, I think this is it, I just wanna say that making real-like stuff in 3d is acceptable, since you can animate it and rotate it, move it, etc. like you want. And given all the benefits of it, create a virtual person, make it walk as you want, stick it in a virtual world where it can move as if it was really in real life, it's really great. But even that way... making that stuff without copying from reality is even great. Which leads us to something really new and interesting, that can really make other types of computer art seem a little dated... but I don't wanna talk about this now.
I think people who spend hours and hours copying a photo or a painting don't really feel good doing it, it's boring as hell, you're forcing yourself to make something, I doubt people who make pics to look hyper realistic express themselves, but I'm not god to know what all the people think. (I'm not religious so don't take this 'god' word as if it had something to do with me.)
I'm not saying I'm better than the others, because I'm not. I just want to make something new and personal in everything I produce, coz copying doesn't make much sense besides learning techniques, but then again, we shouldn't show that as an 'offical' work and not take it to those weird compos too. It's obvious that if you copy a pic, it has already got a good composition, lighting, and all those stuff that make a realistic pic look nice, and people who make all that by their own are in clear disadvantage, since everyone needs time to get to the level where those artists that are copied usually are.
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