Art schools within Australia have been subsumed into the University system, in line with this they have been forced to compete with the traditional university disciplines for research funding. The application of electronic technologies to the visual arts has become a fruitful area for conducting (and having funded) Fine Art research. The concept of research in the visual arts is somewhat antithetical to 20th C. modernist (or even post modernist) notions of art practice. Current research projects focusing upon aspects of digital imaging at the Tasmanian School of Art not only seek to explore and extend the printed digital image, but to develop multidisciplinary research paradigms within the visual arts which allow the aesthetic to drive the technical aspects of research. The focus of current work is upon the printed digitally processed image, initially attempting to transfer many of the traditional skills and approaches of painting and printmaking to digital imaging. Along the way many aspects of the imaging and printing process have proven to be un suitable or unsatisfactory, seeking to address these problems involves delving into the technical/engineering levels of the processes. What has begun to emerge are not only possible solutions to problems with the digitally printed image, ideas about how imaging software can be made more flexible and expressive, but as a realisation that aesthetically directed research can produce more useful and effective outcomes than those where only engineering or technical aspects are considered.
- Bill Hart, Australia