Learning Digital Performance

As far as digital performance art goes, it is still a relatively new medium and attracts much attention, as new genres of art often do. But how do you get into this new form of art, and how do you learn about it? There are only a handful of places that are teaching this new art form and are actually encouraging students to study it.

UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)

The UCLA was one of the first major educational establishments in the world to offer a degree in Digital Media. Special computers are needed for studying so it is quite expensive to set up learning places where students can practice this art. The UCLA, given their reputation, of course has a fantastic facility and is therefore a great place to study.

Fabian Wagmeister

The founder of digital performance as an art form is generally recognized as Fabian Wagmeister. Wagmeister was the originator of a massive digital performance project in 1999 in Germany. The success of the inaugural project prompted Wagmeister to work on a larger piece which was called Time and Time Again.

Lynn Hersham

One of Wagmeister’s collaborators on the Time and Time Again project, Lynn Hersham, now teaches digital performance art as a lecturer. She gave an interview to Seed Magazine where she opened up on her work in the field.

The frank interview that Hersham provided the journalists with was highly illuminating to how the art world portrayed her innovative work. For the most part the art establishment discredited all her innovative work and cited that digital performance was not a legitimate art form.

Learning Digital Performance Art

To learn digital performance, you first have to understand it, and the best way of doing this is not by reading about it. You are far better watching it in order to formulate the concepts and structure that it includes – this relates back to the poetic nature of the art and the need for individuality. Many students of this new art genre get involved as bloggers and spread the work of the artists that are currently producing work.

Two great reference areas online to look at are The Digital Media, and New Art. Both of these sites list great information of upcoming projects and exhibits around the world, that you can see examples of digital performance and expand your learning.

Another invaluable place to expand your knowledge in the genre is the Digital Performance Archive, which is dedicated to formulate a list of all digital performance works that exist or have existed around the world. The list contains information on any digital media whatsoever.

The final reference point to enhance your knowledge of digital performance is the Digital Performance Institute, which is an online reference guide that features images and information about the creators of digital performance art. Learning about anything that is in its infancy will always cause problems, as you are a pioneer in something that is new, and in a way are helping it to develop.

As new technologies are becoming increasingly popular it is not surprising that artists will wish to include them in their work. This is nothing new, artists over the past centuries have always adapted to new techniques and materials to expand the art world into different areas, and digital performance art is just another step in the development of art.

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