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Digital Impressions The nature of pictures has everything to do with technology This is as true for hand prints on the walls of Lascaux as it is for a childs fingerpainting or hi-tech computerized animations Unlike singing which uses innate tools and an invisible medium people need external tools and visible media to make pictures As new tools and techniques emerge artists quickly start playing with them The effect is often profound The first mosaics for example were made from pebbles Technology soon provided other ingredients - coloured bits of glass precious metals cut jewels carved wood glazed tiles - that could last ofr thousands of years Occasionally whole artistic movements spring up It must have been a revelation to travel hundreds of miles to Paris to get a glimpse of Seurats magical Grande Jatte but Pointillism and other forms of Impressionism represented a small step compared to the impact of photography audio recording and transmission cinema and television And then came computers Suddenly it seems the world looks very different when seen through digital eyes Of course people draw with computers but this is not simply an extension of using a stick to scratch a picture in the sand on a beach or a digital Etch A Sketch People paint with computers They photograph with computers They animate with computers Computers are emulating pencils and paper brushes and canvas cameras and film Artists like to say that ideas matter more but the impact of digital media on art is intense It is now possible to shape and to share sounds pictures movies sculptures and more with a single tool The brush is loaded not with paint but with bits and the palette is as rich as the global internet Photomontage has consequently grown up real fast The photomosaics in this book exemplify an evolutionary step into the digital domain At the MIT Media Lab Rob Silvers - then a
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