Painting, Photography and the Digital: Experiences of Self, Authorship and Otherness

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


This essay explores the complex relationship between painting and technology, particularly moments where painting intersects with technology which previously may have been photography, film and video but now has come to mean, in almost every instance, digital technology. Digital technology not only continues the dialogues painting has had with alternative methods of image generation, while also altering it through being digital photographs or digital video, but also extends beyond these. Digital technology also affects image access and dissemination; search engines and social media can also alter how we interact socially and also perhaps our experience of self and time as author Douglas Coupland has suggested in a number of his novels and non-fiction works.
Reflecting on where painting sits at this current juncture, the essay explores differences and interconnections across areas such as materiality, authorship, the sense of self and the experience of time. The individual, material experience which a painter may undergo in the creation of a painting is investigated contrasted with the role of process within painting and how a medium such as video may give us an alternative view. The implications point beyond painting and outwards to how we as experiencing subjects understand things such as our sense of self and our experience of time in what now could be viewed as a culture saturated with the digital. Painting is not viewed as simply oppositional to digital practices but rather as something which, while providing alternative modes of experience (or being) is also capable of working with technology and indeed may be altered by technology in ways that perhaps mirror how the human mind and sense of self may also be in the process of being altered. A number of key painters and theorists are referenced along with examples of my own work art work in order to explore how painting engages with its own materiality while also engaging with technological processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhotographyDigitalPainting
Subtitle of host publicationExpanded Medium Interconnectivity in Contemporary Visual Art Practice
EditorsCarl Robinson
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)1527555976
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Painting, Digital, Photography, Process Paainting, Authorship, Self, Time


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