as introduced to me in school visual art is comprised of a set of well known and established forms. painting, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, and most recently photography. photography was interesting because the story of ansel adams fighting to establish it as a credible medium was always attached to it. this created the impression that yes, new art forms do come about, but only once in a very long while, and only after a fight to establish its credibility.
artwork made with computers has in some ways been grouped into a new form. there are many names for it, none of them really accurate or properly encompassing. poetic computation is nice, but like many of the other names it comes with tradeoffs. are we talking about digital art? electronic art? creative code? what is the name for this form?
one thing that is starting to stand out to me through sfpc is that maybe what we're really looking at right now is not a particular new form or medium like photography, but rather a massive flood of new mediums facilitated by technology. technology is both augmenting and enhancing existing mediums and spawning completely new ones at a remarkable rate.
so far in sfpc we have been introduced to two new mediums. nick's class taught us all about generative text. he showed examples of this medium dating all the way back to before there were computers. we were also taught todd's performance keyboard poetry slam medium (official name still pending) which is a completely novel medium which he invented by combining a few other mediums.
i bring up these examples because they show the range of what you can really do with art and computers now. you can take old mediums and add technology, you can take existing new mediums that utilize technology and push them further, or you can invent completely new mediums out of thin air. that's right, you can invent mediums. this is huge. it means that if you can't find a medium to properly express yourself you can just invent one. for now though i'm still having a lot of fun with this poetry slam thing.