The Education of a Digital Fine Artist

  • Bruce Wands
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


While early experiments in digital and technological art began in the 1960s, degree programs that focused on it did not emerge until the 1980s. Most digital art pioneers were self-taught and created their work at research centers and universities. Emerging digital artists were primarily fine art students who supplemented their education with courses in computer science, graphics and programming. The first MFA in Computer Arts was established at the School of Visual Arts in 1986. The goal of the program was to provide an academic and studio environment in which artists would learn about the theory, history and practice of digital art. Several MFA degree programs followed and continue to be established. While museums were resistant to this type of art early on, international organizations and a small group of galleries embraced it. Museum curators who had experience and an interest in digital art were few and far between. As digital artists began to redefine the contemporary art landscape, museums and galleries began to take an interest in exhibiting this creative work. The development of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s radically changed both the museum and contemporary art world, and as well the education of artists. This chapter explores the parallel developments of digital art education; changes in how art is created, experienced and exhibited; new forms of contemporary art and the approaches modern curators are using to showcase this art.

Further Reading

  1. Archive of Digital Art. Accessed 22 July 2018
  2. Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria. Accessed 22 July 2018
  3. Barfield O (2010) Poetic diction: a study in meaning. Barfield Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Beddard H (2016) Computer art at the V&A. V&A Online J 2, Autumn. Accessed 22 July 2018
  5. College Art Association and the Society of Architectural Historians (2016) Guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship in art and architectural history. Accessed 22 July 2018
  6. Computer Arts Society, London, England. Accessed 22 July 2018
  7. Grau O (2003) Virtual art: from illusion to immersion. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  8. Paul C (2015) Digital art, Thames & Hudson, 3rd edn. LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Popper F (2007) From technological to virtual art. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  10. SIGGRAPH Digital Arts Community. Accessed 22 July 2018
  11. Wands B (2006) Art of the digital age, Thames & Hudson. LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Wands B (2017) Art of the digital age. Accessed 22 July 2018
  13. ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany. Accessed 22 July 2018

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Wands
    • 1
  1. 1.MFA Computer ArtsSchool of Visual ArtsNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations