Art collecting has long been a passion for those who wish to own and display a piece of work to which they feel an emotional connection. There are many reasons why a person would want a piece of art in their home—perhaps the piece or artist evokes strong positive memories, they feel the piece speaks to the design, mood and aesthetic of their home or perhaps they purchased the piece as a financial investment.
In today’s digital age, it is hardly a surprise that art, following books, music and movies, has entered into the digital era. Perhaps comparable as the shift as Romanticism gave way to Impressionism, in the world of digital art, “New Media Art” is being driven by artists seeking to explore new creative methods of expression that are impossible to achieve through conventional paintings. At the same time, New Media Art's appeal has spread beyond art collectors to homeowners, architects and interior designers who see this new art format as a way to turn the ugly black rectangle on the wall (the video display) into one of the key focal points of a room.
Defining New Media Art
While there is no unanimously accepted definition for New Media Art, a good baseline is any work created with new technologies such as digital art, computer graphics and animation, virtual and interactive art, and even art as biotechnology. And while that might seem like a very broad cross-section, it is this variety that fosters such unique creativity. New Media Art is the new frontier of the art world and one that is evolving. There is a lot of room for artists to creatively experiment.
To prove this point, you will see several video examples of digital art in this article, be sure to see them all. They are all truly amazing videos and open up a whole new era of what is possible in interior design.
How to Display New Media Art?
Many digital artists prefer to focus on creating art and relying on the collector or their home technology professional to determine the best way to display it. Home technology installation professionals are in a great position to specify the most appropriate 'digital canvas' as they are well-versed in the different display technologies available. Advancements in laser projection, LED video displays and display monitors are inspiring architects, interior designers, and home technology professionals to find innovative and cost-effective ways to incorporate New Media Art into homes and businesses.
Laser video projection is able to display art on a large surface, making it a great option for homes with ample wall space. Applications of this technology may include “projection mapping,” where multiple projectors are integrated to create three-dimensional visuals. Projection mapping isn't limited to indoors. The entire side of a building or home can serve as a digital canvas. See a video example here of the entire front of a chapel serving as a "canvas" and, if you scroll further down, the Walt Disney Concert Hall used as an art display surface.
Another display option, Direct View LED, offers unique configurations of New Media Art, as a group of individual displays can be assembled into different shapes, a large square or a very wide display that takes up the entire width of a wall. They are capable of high brightness, allowing digital art to “pop” even in a brightly lit room. Weatherized outdoor versions are available, too.
Finally, New Media Art can be exhibited on the same video display that’s used for watching TV and movies. Samsung has a TV called "The Frame" that is designed to do double-duty as a conventional TV when needed and an art display at all other times. Its bezel is designed as a frame you would expect to see around a piece of art. It is becoming more common to have custom frames put around conventional flat-panel TVs when used in such a dual-purpose role.
New Media Art displays co-exist perfectly in home theaters that use variable aspect ratio (shape-changing) projection screens. Showing New Media Art in the home theater when it is not being used to watch movies lets viewers enjoy a whole new immersive experience.
A New Era of Design: Digital Wallpaper
In much the same way artists in years past have been largely unburdened by physical canvas size or shape, new media art creators have artistic freedom when it comes to their creations. The fact that a digital canvas can be created to custom specifications means that it can be integrated seamlessly with the architecture and design of the home. A custom-created interior design can make the digital canvas the centerpiece of the home, further elevating the experience.
A wall can look as if it’s made of brick one moment, of wood in another scene, or look like you are sitting on a beach as the waves crash in, or standing in a virtual forest with a waterfall in the backgroundDigital art also gives users the ability to choose and alter the experience and the content as frequently as desired. For example, a video projector or LED video wall can turn an entire wall of a room into virtual ‘digital wallpaper’ with the ability to change the entire wall’s appearance instantly. A wall can look as if it’s made of brick one moment, of wood in another scene, or look like you are sitting on a beach as the waves crash in, or standing in a virtual forest with a waterfall in the background. This marries beautifully with another growing trend in home design: home "wellness." Part of the home wellness movement is bringing nature indoors. Imagine how amazing it would be to have an entire wall of your home show ultra-high-resolution ever-changing nature-inspired video art. You can do all of this with the same digital canvas. See the video here (and the videos further down this page) to see this in action. It is mesmerizing.
Engaging your home technology professional as a consultant will provide you with the experience and market-proven testing to assure your digital art installation will be successful.
The Future of New Media Art
We are still in the early years of New Media Art. As more artists continue to experiment with what this exciting new medium has to offer, we will see a wider variety of art pieces than ever before. In parallel with the artists' experimentation are the technological advancements on the horizon. It is possible to envision homes that contain pieces of art that use augmented and virtual reality aspects to create completely immersive installations.
Regardless of what the future holds for digital media, the primary reason for collecting art remains the same—enhancing one’s home with pieces that have an emotional impact. It is up to architects, designers, home technology designers and video display manufacturers to ensure that the art is displayed in the best way possible.
If you would like to learn more about this exciting new era of art collection and display, an HTA Certified integrator is a great first step in helping choose an appropriate digital canvas for your home or business.
This article was written with help and contributions by Tim Sinnaeve, Managing Director at Barco Residential and Marc Billings, Founder/ CEO at Blackdove.
Tim Sinnaeve may be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Barco is at the forefront of working with New Media artists to provide them with ultra-high-performance advanced digital canvasses. Tim Sinnaeve is responsible for Barco's Residential Group. He oversees the global strategy to build brand awareness, drive sales, and direct strategic marketing. Read more about Barco Residential by clicking here.
Blackdove represents new media artists in the sale and licensing of their artwork. Blackdove offers both subscription-based digital art collections streamed to your displays through the Internet, and private commissioned pieces by world-renowned digital artists.
Photo credit of the banner image: Artist: Refik Anadol
Digital art credit in the Barco videos above from NIIO, creator of a curated distribution platform for digital art.
See videos of Digital Art, New Media Art, Data Paintings & Data Sculptures below: