Paul Pfeiffer is a New York-based digital artist born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1966. He works in video, sculpture, and photography. The main, overarching theme of Pfeiffer’s art is an examination of the way in which mass media shapes consciousness. His Art:21 biography states that his “intimate and idealized video works are meditations on faith, desire, and a contemporary culture obsessed with celebrity.” A representative example of his oeuvre is his series The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a collection of photographs of NBA games in which the contextual clues of the basketball game and all the players except one are edited out. He usually presents his pieces looped on small LCD screens.
I admire Paul Pfeiffer’s art. One bit of information that I repeatedly came across in my research was the fact that his work is incredibly labor intensive and time consuiming. With current digital technology it seems that great visual effect can be achieved with minimal work on the part of the artist. Not only are Pfeiffer’s pieces insightful meditations on our technology and celebrity-obsessed culture, they are also intricate, highly-worked pieces of art.
The main element of Jenny Holzer’s artwork is text, particularly text displayed in public spaces. Her work incorporates an array of media including LED signage, light projection, posters, the internet, and condoms. She first used street posters to publicly display text. The text Holzer chooses for her work often deals with various powerful issues including war, power, oppression, feminism, and consumerism. She wrote her own text for her work up until around 2001 but has mainly worked with text written by others since about 1993.
Holzer’s display of text reminds me in some respects of the work of Matt Siber, an artist the class previously reviewed. Both artists’ work involves a manipulation of text in public spaces in a manner that is surprising and makes a statement. Jenny Holzer’s biography page on the Art:21 website states, “While her subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public space, its arresting content violates expectations.”
Jenny Holzer’s art is assertive, bold, and subversive.
A digital approach to fine art entails the use of digital technology in the production of the art form. To this student at the beginning of his digital art learning experience, it seems like the most prevalent form digital approaches to fine art takes is the reproduction and manipulation of pre-existing images using technology such as scanners and Photoshop. However a pre-exisitng traditional art form such as a photograph is not needed; digital art can be created in and of itself completely electronically
To use a digital approach in art is to participate in a relatively new expansion of art’s definition. Technological advancements like digital technology or bronze production have been employed throughout history to create new art forms and to altar old ones.