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Today, art has taken on a whole new world.  As time and technology changes, so does art.  No longer is art just done with some pencils, paintbrushes excreta, it has become something much more then that. Artists have used the technology we have to their advantage by creating interactive art.

“Interactive art is a piece of art intended for the spectator’s direct participation. Interactive artists aim to positively encourage viewers to create their own narratives or associations with their interactive works (Rush, 1999, p.201). This can be achieved by letting observers walk in, on or around the art work (Art History Club, 2005). Other works include computers and sensors which respond to body reactions such as motion, or heat (Art History Club, 2005). Many pieces of Electronic art and Internet art are highly interactive. Some art works allow visitors to navigate through a hypertext environment online; some works are altered by textual or visual input from outside; and some allow the spectator to alter the course of a performance (Art History Club, 2005).

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“Interactive art provides a high-level of entertainment value, while allowing you to replace dull, lengthy text and/or table information into visuals that take up less real estate on your screen. Interactive art is fairly extensively used in Computer-Based Training (CBT), Web-Based Training (WBT), and as doorways or portals in website design, game interfaces, kiosks, and image maps.

How can you use Interactive Art?

  • transform dull bulleted lists
  • show features and benefits of a product or service
  • present supporting information
  • define steps or processes
  • replace table information

The possible uses for interactive art are endless.”


One question that is raised is do we consider some forms of interactive art actual art? Sometimes the artist gives an idea and then someone else makes the creation. Should that person get full credit of the piece? Interactive art can be anything from playing a video game to staring into a mirror. As the modern, post, modern, and all the other periods of art related to the time period, art today does as well.  Today our society is based off of technology and art is becoming apart of that as well.


Modern Art is typically considered as the art created from about 1900 to present, however Modern Art technically only shows the art beginning with Impressionism in the late 1800s to the beginnings of Post-Modernism in the mid-1970s. The primary idea of Modern Art that sets it apart from prior art is the rising need for expressionism in art. From the beginnings of Modern Art, it was recognized that in this new age of art, the viewer was as important as the creator in defining the work. For the first time, there were meanings other than what was initially available to the eye in each work. ( ) Post modernists lashed out against Modernism with an explosion of art of numerous different mediums. the goal of postmodern art is to separate the works as far away as possible from the monotony and blandness of modernist art, so all forms of art come together to create visually stimulating, unique, and original pieces of appropriated art. ( ) Paul Rand is an example of a modernist designer and David Carson was a post modernist artist.

Paul Rand (born Peretz Rosenbaum, August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996) was a well-known American graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs. He was one of the originators of the Swiss Style of graphic design. He designed many posters and corporate identities, including the logos for IBM, UPS and ABC.

“Among these young Americans it seems to be that Paul Rand is one of the best and most capable [. . .] He is a painter, lecturer, industrial designer, [and] advertising artist who draws his knowledge and creativeness from the resources of this country. He is an idealist and a realist, using the language of the poet and business man. He thinks in terms of need and function. He is able to analyze his problems but his fantasy is boundless.”

“He almost singlehandedly convinced business that design was an effective tool. [. . .] Anyone designing in the 1950s and 1960s owed much to Rand, who largely made it possible for us to work. He more than anyone else made the profession reputable. We went from being commercial artists to being graphic designers largely on his merits.”

In A Designer’s Art Rand clearly demonstrates his appreciation for the underlying connections:

“From Impressionism to Pop Art, the commonplace and even the comic strip have become ingredients for the artist’s caldron. What Cezanne did with apples, Picasso with guitars, Leger with machines, Schwitters with rubbish, and Duchamp with urinals makes it clear that revelation does not depend upon grandiose concepts. The problem of the artist is to defamiliarize the ordinary.”

This idea of “defamiliarizing the ordinary” played an important part in Rand’s design choices. Working with manufacturers provided him the challenge of utilizing his corporate identities to create “lively and original” packaging for mundane items, such as light bulbs for Westinghouse. (

David Carson during the period of 1982–1987, Carson worked as a teacher in Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, California. In 1983, Carson started to experiment with graphic design and found himself immersed in the artistic and bohemian culture of Southern California. By the late eighties he had developed his signature style, using “dirty” type and non-mainstream photographic techniques. He would later be dubbed the “father of grunge.” Carson became interested in a new school of typography and photography-based graphic design and is largely responsible for popularizing the style; he inspired many young designers of the 1990s. His work does not follow “traditional” graphic design standards. ( )


As time changes, as does art.  The values, techniques and styles have changed more then ever in today’s society but in all reality, a work of art has always been reproduced.  “Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain. ( Benjamin)” Today, to make a look alike or to reproduce someone else’s work is simple to do therefore it is more frequently done.  Sculptures and paintings are more personalized therefore the value appears to be higher then the replicas of that work.  

According to Benjamin’s “Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” with lithography the technique of reproduction reached an essentially new stage. This much more direct process was distinguished by the tracing of the design on a stone rather than its incision on a block of wood or its etching on a copperplate and permitted graphic art for the first time to put its products on the market, not only in large numbers as hitherto, but also in daily changing forms.

The question is, does the stone in which the design was sketched on have more value then the many prints made with the material? A few decades after its invention, lithography was surpassed by photography which also is done so that many copies can be produced.  Does this suggest that only the negative itself holds value?

It seems that the replicas of art done in these mediums seem to have a different value compared to paintings and sculptures.  The replicas hold more value then the object made to produce the pieces.  The more of these images that people can have is the more it can be appreciated.  When a piece can be recognized and appreciated by many people, this is what will increase the value of the work. 

“Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence. This includes the changes which it may have suffered in physical condition over the years as well as the various changes in its ownership. (Benjamin)” This is seen more in sculptures and paintings.  In photography, prints can be made an essential amount of times therefore when it seems to be getting worn out it can simply be replaced.  With a painting the age is easily noticed by the fading of colors and the ware and tare on the piece.  It cannot easily be reproduced but if were to be, it would never be the exact duplicate.  No line would be the same and the emotion from the original artist will not be present. 

Today, a simple photograph can be taken by one artist but then made into someone else’s piece of artwork.  By the use of Photoshop and many other programs, a simple photo can be manipulated.  After this is done it becomes someone else’s work and they are the one who receives the credit. Is this fare? Should the person who took the original photo get complete recognition of the piece?  Although some photos can be purchased at a small price, after it is in the hands of the new owner and it is changed, even the slightest bit, the value may become much higher then the photos original price.  To many this is an unfair conclusion. If it were not for the original photograph the piece would have not existed, therefore when the value of an altered piece of work increases, that person should get credit as well.


Benjamin, Walter.  Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.  1935.


With the creation of the computer and Internet, there is a new revolution taking place. Today, we have the ability to access worldwide documents with just an easy click of the mouse. We can access anything from books, new, photographs, videos, and even personal information. Although this advance in technology seems like a necessity to us today, people from the past felt the same when the printing press came about. The printing press era had such big and profound effects on its age which we should see and expect the same for the era today. We tend to think that there is no other way to send or retain information faster then what we are familiar with but when the printing press was a new technology information seemed to be moving faster then ever. The invention of the printing press allowed books and news to be mass produced and the creation of the internet allowed people around the world to communicate much faster.

The first movable printing press was invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1440. It was able to mass produce books and news and increased the amount of communication around the world as well. Although this was a great improvement and became important of this time, as does everything, there were some negative effects of it. Information was being shared more and seemed fast for the time but when compared to the fast connection of the internet it is actually slow and can be considered today an inconvenience. When the internet came about it opened up a whole new world. Although this revolution would have not existed without the printing press era, it brought about much more problems along with great opportunities. The negative effects that the internet brings about are that anyone can access anything. In today’s society you can research personal information about anyone you chose and you also can have people hack into your computer and regain information you wish not to share. Also the spread of pornography has greatly increased because of its easy access. With the printing press this was not possible. Although this is a very serious problem, people still tend to use the internet daily. Overall, both inventions greatly affected the world, in some way good, and in other ways for bad.

Many will argue that the internet had a much greater impact on society as did the printing press. Although both greatly furthered communication, the internet brought it to a whole new level. There is no more waiting days or weeks to receive a letter or to no what is happing in your town, country, or any in the world. Updated daily you can retain all this information and it is just becoming easier as time goes on. Using the internet you can even find old friends and classmates and their contact information. It is also a great way for students to get in touch with teachers when needing assistance or just looking for the notes they might have missed in class.

The printing press seemed to amazed people back in time but today it is slowly being pushed out of business because of these new astonishing technologies that are only going to get even more advance over time. There is no longer need for mass production of papers and books when they can be accessed much more easily and much cheaper with the internet. The internet also supports Going Green in today’s society.

work cited

Nosotro, Rit. “From Blocks to Bites.” “Hyper History.” 2009. 21 October 2009. <;


The subject in which separates art and design is very debatable.  Many designers may consider themselves artists but very rarely does an artist consider themselves a designer.  A work of art stems directly from a view, opinion, or an emotion.  The artist makes a creation to share with viewers which allows them to be inspired or learn from the piece.  In relation to this, a designer always tends to have a starting point in any piece they do.  A designer’s job isn’t to invent something new, it is to communicate or change an IDEA that already exists. To be an artist you need talent, to be a good designer you need some type of skill.  Many designers create pieces that are visually attractive.  Artist intensions are not to produce something to sell but to get their expression across.  They do their work over long periods of time.  To argue this point further, if art is an item that generates a response, and design serves a purpose, would art be a subject of design?  An example of this argument is the Book of Kells.

The book of Kells contains many historical and artistic facts, mainly having to do with the catholic religion.  Jesus’ story can be seen throughout the entire book, also shown throughout the book is the Virgin Mary and Child.  It is a culmination of Irish and Celtic art and calligraphy.  The book of Kells is an illumination codex- which is “a form of printing to add colored elements to page: to add color, letters, illustrations, or designs to a manuscript or the borders of a page” (Merriam- Webster).  A codex is a form of manuscript.  It contains and is divided into four gospels, Matt, Mark, Luke, and John. The Book of Kells was “written and richly adorned for use in the conduct of public worship. In its taste and delicacy, in its originality, and in its elaborations of coloring and design, The Book of Kells must be placed among the wonders of the world” (  The book was most likely displayed by the monks on a church altar.

“In the opening page of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the painter transformed the biblical text into abstract patterns, literally making God’s words beautiful” (Kleiner pg414).

Looking at the images closely it is very hard to determine whether this is art or design. It may possibly be impossible to choose one side of this argument.  The images within the book all tell a story which may have been used for inspiration to influence others to fallow this particular religion.   As mentioned before, the purpose of art is to represent a view or opinion which this most certainly does.  Therefore, since it is fulfilling the definition of art, it then fulfilled its purpose which leads into the meaning of design.

Nothing in the Book of Kells was just put in places without a reason for doing so.  It is a book, and books tell stories therefore can it be art? It is very clear that each and every little detail represents something and it is made beautiful to grasp some ones attention.  If this was meant to just show emotion it probably would not look as neat and organized as it does and would not encourage others to pay close attention to the story being told.  This is clearly a example of design.


 Work cited

Kleiner, S. Fred.  Gardener’s Art Through The Ages. Boston Massachusetts, 2009.

 Jewell, Jarron “The Book of Kells.” Long Island University.   


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