Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Digital Art: Teaching Humanities, Technology or Science?: Teaching Digital Art in Testing Times

Prof. Yelena Aronson.

In the past seven years I have been teaching Digital Media courses and was involved in Digital Art production. My experience shows that as the technology progresses the software used for creating Digital Art becomes more sophisticated and requires from an artist ever grater knowledge of computer science.

Strangely enough, the need for the considerable knowledge of computer’s hardware and software was necessary at the beginning of the Digital Art era, ten - twelve years ago. The reason for that being that graphic programs were more like a “bare bone” coding: no comfortable icons, no interactive menus. As the computer technology developed, the environment for creating computer art became more and more comfortable (especially with the help from Apple Macintosh company).

A few years ago I noticed the tendency in the latest versions of graphic design software of going back to scripting, or writing “expressions”, or programming. Why now? No doubt, “bare bone” coding opens up more possibilities for the artist to customize the final outcome. But my background as an artist warns me that as the graphic programs become increasingly more complex and require considerable knowledge of computer science, much of art aesthetics inevitably is left aside. Should Digital Media teaching be more about computer science at the expense of the concentrating on artist’s sensibility? How can we maintain the delicate balance between teaching art aesthetics and technology? Do we even care at this point about keeping art aesthetics alive? Those and other questions answered in my essay about teaching Digital Art in testing times.


Prof. Yelena Aronson  (United States)
Assistant Professor in Computer Art
Art Department
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Born in Moscow, Russia, graduated from Moscow Architectural University in 1982. Worked as an Architect for 10 years. Immigrated to the United States in 1993. Graduated from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1998 with BFA in Computer Art. In 2002 received an MFA from the City University of New York. Currently work as a full time professor of Computer Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

  • Digital Art
  • Humanities
  • Technology
  • Science
  • Art Aesthetics
  • Computer Science

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)