IDAA Juror Statements

Tom R. Chambers was Executive Committee Member and Juror for the International Digital Art Awards (IDAA) (based in [Australia]), 2003, 2004 and 2005 IDAA exhibitions. He was instrumental in expanding the content of the IDAA to include New Media Art, and served as online New Media Director (2004 - 2005). He was also instrumental in helping to bring the "2005 IDAA Exhibition" to Beijing, China under the auspices of the Beijing Film Academy. His IDAA Juror Statements follow:

2003 IDAA Exhibition

"It seems, at least in this Juror's mind, that this year's IDAA is more Fine Arts than in previous years. This can be debated, of course, and bring up the question, what comprises the Fine Arts?, but my point is that there's an overall increase in higher planes of thought with a high degree of technical expertise to convey such (better/above). Because of this, Digital Art - within the confines of this IDAA - is evolving in the direction that I think is needed for acceptance and sustenance within higher circles.

What are these higher circles, and is it important for Digital Art to attain this acceptance and sustenance? They are those institutions and other entities that perceive certain genres of Art and their selected works as Fine (better/above) and/or significant as a Movement and/or having an influence; and it is absolutely important for Digital Art to attain such. The Whitney Museum of American Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have already established themselves as visible institutional supporters of this genre. And they will continue to do so with other institutions/entities joining, if Digital Art is created accordingly.

These criteria tend to intimidate, isolate, and create rifts, but Art History has shown with a reasonable degree of consistency that Art accepted and sustained in this fashion has indeed set those standards that are so important in defining the Fine Arts with Its various Movements. And Digital Art should be no different to begin to bring it into the fold and again as indicated by this IDAA.

Much wasted time has been devoted to articles and discussion whether or not Digital Art is Art. I feel that this is a moot point and even ludicrous to bring up this continual blather. Of course It is, and this IDAA reveals It as Fine."

2004 IDAA Exhibition

"A sweeping view of this year's IDAA reveals mainly a figurative approach concomitant with photo-based and manipulative expression as a part of the digital medium that rivals the same in other media. Abstraction and Abstract Expressionism are alive and well within various works that also rival these movements in other media. As an overview, the exhibition confirms that the digital medium is indeed Fine as it relates to the Arts and in some instances, surpasses other media according to the ability of the creator. In the hands of a Master and evidently seen in many of the works as a part of this IDAA, the digital medium is playing a viable and vital role in redefining and/or expanding the artist's tools for self-expression. As the view is narrowed or focused per work, a great deal of evocation or imaginative re-creation is felt. This is due to the multifaceted nature of the digital medium and how its diverseness is interpreted and utilized. The IDAA 2004 is all of this and possibly more.

From Joaquin Baron Herranz's 'How To Make A Possible Perfect Christmas Tree' to Graham Thompson's 'North-South-East-West', the New Media section of the 2004 IDAA exhibition comprises a good range of movement/sequential-art, which sometimes require participation to move the meaning along. Videos via QuickTime, Flash and series of Web pages project the artists' concepts at a level of expression that equate with installation/experimental art in real space. The New Media entries this year go beyond mere technical wizardry to move towards a level of evocation that can be called Fine Art."

2005 IDAA Exhibition

"The 2005 IDAA exhibition and prior IDAA exhibitions are good examples of a combination of art and technology in which computer or digital technology has been used in some part of the artistic process. And the works - invited and public - that comprise this year's IDAA bespeak fine art in which the artists are internalizing and/or appealing to the human condition. These emotional and/or intellectual aspects are so apparent in these works that I forget the computer or digital technology, and so it should be forgotten that its remembrance too easily pigeonholes the works at an unacceptable level. This classification according to a mental stereotype that declares this kind of process 'too easy to be art' is indeed grave if not a travesty. And to reiterate the nature of the 2005 IDAA is to say that these works transcend their digital origins and/or treatments to make art."

Click on player to the right to view Chambers' video coverage of the IDAA 2005 exhibition at the Today Art Gallery in Beijing.

Click on 2005 IDAA exhibition to view the opening at the Today Art Gallery, Beijing, China (November, 2005).