Walk into any given gallery or museum today, and one will presumably encounter work that used digital technologies as a tool at some point in its production, whether videos that were filmed and edited using digital cameras and post-production software, sculptures designed using computer-aided design, or photographs as digital prints, to name just a few examples. Yet these works are not typically understood as digital art per se, since they use digital technologies as a production tool rather than a medium. Instead, digital art might be defined as art that explores digital technologies as a medium by making use of its medium’s key features, such as its real-time, interactive, participatory, generative, and variable characteristics, or by reflecting upon the nature and impact of digital technologies.
In other words, if it is true that architecture has for centuries produced new ideas and forms by treating the media space of representation as a space of exploration and experimentation,10 our work asks, over and over: how can techniques that belong to computational media—techniques that by design prioritize precision, accuracy, consistency, and optimization over uncertainty, ambiguity and accident—be implemented to engage this same experimental function?
Computational images do not exist without the notion of computational color, and vice versa. Exploring the vast territory of colorization requires learning, and becoming literate in, the technical structure of images and computational color, alongside (not despite) their traditional political, cultural, or aesthetic realities.