Panel: Digital Tools
Over the past several years, I’ ve been involved with authoring tools and environments in one way or another. Initially I had absolutely no use for the tools whatsoever. Then I became a user of the tools, and inevitably moved to programming them. Now I argue about and with them. On one hand I am thrilled about all the new developments and possibilities that are continuously emerging at an impossible rate, yet at the same time, of late, I’ve often wanted to just throw up my hands and seriously request a bit of a “time out!!”. Fact is though, both my experiences and those of countless others have brought a number of issues and questions to bear. For example, the question at issue in today’s panel – a painter needs many years to master the tools of painting; an electronic artist would not recognize the work environment after such a time span. How does one master the tools in such an environment: by programming them themselves?
Yes and No! Yes, by default one will have theoretically understood the possibilities and limitations of the tool if one has programmed it oneself. But no, that doesn’t necessarily imply a mastery of the tool, Using or applying it towards an effective artistic end may still require some time and experimentation. One still has to learn to use it. (A little aside…there are times one spends so long trying to get the tool they are building just right that the original intention is forgotten. But I suppose that’s all part of the process). One way or another, the artist must be involved!
- Kharim Hogan (Canada) has worked professionally in theatre, television, photography, audio and music. Most recently the Senior Software Designer of the New Media Research group at Banff Centre for the Arts where the focus was the development of authoring tools for artists, she is presently Head of Information Technology at the Canadian Centre for Architecture where such tools are being explored and used in the area of virtual exhibits.
Full text p.144-146