Moore's law and the evolution of Digital Art

On 17 Feb., 2008

Though Moore's Law is not widely known by the general public it is one of the most important discoveries relating to the advancement of technology, and through it, society, in the past four decades

 Moore's law and the evolution of Digital Art
Moore's law and the evolution of Digital Art
Monday, 11 February 2008
Moore's Law is the name given to a phenomenon first identified by Intel co-founder, Dr. Gordon Moore.

Dr Moore discovered that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed on an integrated circuit is increasing exponentially, doubling approximately every two years. He published his discovery in an article in "Electronics Magazine" in April of 1965. Though Moore's Law is not widely known by the general public it is one of the most important discoveries relating to the advancement of technology, and through it, society, in the past four decades.


The development of computing power according to Moore's Law

To understand the implications Moore's Law has on our lives it is enough to realize that according to Moore's Law 20 years from today we will all have in our homes computers that are 1000 times more powerful than those we have now. If this sounds like some crazy prophecy I suggest we remember for a moment the computers that we owned 20 years ago. I remember quite clearly my first computer. I was 13 at the time and the computer was my Bar Mitzvah present. It was the cutting edge technology of the day and I was happy as a lark to be fortunate enough to own it.

All that computer's memory, and the memory of 127 more machines like it, fits snugly on a 64 MB flash drive - the kind used as a giveaway at conventions and trade fairs.

What does the development of Digital Art depend on?

Digital Art, like all forms of art before it, is a product of the technological advancements that make it possible.
Just as the great oil paintings of the Renaissance and Baroque owe their very existence to advancements in the technologies of canvas weaving and stretching, color mixing, and brush manufacture, so Digital Art's evolution depends on the advancement of the integrated circuit.

No art-form has ever before been so directly linked to a technical evolution evolving at the speed described by Moore's Law.

But Digital Art's rate of evolution is not linked only to the rate at which the technology that enables it evolves. There is another factor that governs its progress. This is a factor that is linked to the very definition of art as a human phenomenon. Digital Art's advancement requires not only technical, but also human evolutions, and human evolutions do not occur at the rate predicted by Moore's Law.

However it is my opinion that we are on the verge, if not already in the midst, of a true revolution in this respect. The social changes required for Digital Art to ascend from its peripheral role into the limelight are occurring as I write this.

A new age is upon us

It is my belief that every time a we upload a picture from our digital camera to the web, every time a we upload a digitally crafted musical composition or video, we are hastening in the dawn of a new age for Digital Art in all its forms.

"How so?" you ask.
"Simple" I answer.
All our aforementioned activities are contributing to the trivialization of the digital, and for Digital Art to be viewed on a par with other art forms, this trivialization of its medium is paramount.
The same process occurred for photography and cinema in their day. In order for an art form to mature and gain wide acceptance by the art establishment, it must first shed any curio value that its enabling technology grants it when it's still in its youth.

There are billions of us who are contributing to this process of trivialization daily and ushering in Digital Art's golden age.

No wonder that as a Digital artist I feel very optimistic about my prospects, eh?...

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