[FISEA’93] Paper: Samia Halaby – Technology, Abstraction and Kinetic Painting


There are many types of pictures and many uses for them ranging from practical applications to experimentation and to decoration. Which of them is appropriate to the electronic media and to digital computing? Some picture makers have long since embraced the electronic media and depend on it economically such as those who work for practical and commercial ends. those who make pictures for wall decoration or for status collecting may be hostile to it as it undercuts their economic base. One might be tempted to say that the practical arts have pioneered the use of computing and that the stodgy Fine Arts are still hiding in their ivory studios. It is important to note however, that the practical arts and the so called Fine Arts should not be seen as unconnected categories. They differ only in their relationship to production. Some pictures are intimately linked to production such as industrial and technical drawings while others are a little less directly linked such as architectural or medical illustration. Pictures for entertainment, decoration, and illustration, though they seem to have no relationship to production, serve it indirectly. After all we educate and entertain the young so that they too can start working. Still yet there are other pictures which are experimental and their connection to production is similar to that of research and development. Thus ultimately all pictures, regardless of their distance in relation to production, serve its functioning to fulfill our needs. Where do I as an artist locate myself in this continuum? Like many other painters, I define my artistic intentions as a search to expand the language of pictures. This follows the principles of the avant-garde and modern abstraction in the twentieth century. With such an ambition it is essential to experiment with new media. We begin by learning its technical basis so that we can discover what forms are possible based on these techniques and what new content these forms might convey. If we succeed, then our discoveries permeate all pictorial uses and become beneficial to our practical needs in production. Therefor, the artistic use of form suitable to a new technique is a progressive choice.

  • Samia Halaby, Palestine/USA

Full text p.57-66