Electronic art | Digital art glossary



Electronic art is a form of art that makes use of electronic media. More broadly, it refers to technology and/or electronic media. It is related to information art, new media art, video art, digital art, interactive art, internet art, and electronic music. It is considered an outgrowth of conceptual art and systems art.


The term electronic art is almost synonymous to computer art and digital art. The latter two terms, and especially the term computer-generated art are mostly used for visual artworks generated by computers. However, electronic art has a much broader connotation, referring to artworks that include any type of electronic component, such as works in music, dance, architecture and performance. It is an interdisciplinary field and so artists often collaborate with scientists and engineers when creating their works. The art historian of electronic art Edward A. Shanken works to document current and past experimental art with a focus on the intersection of art, science, and technology. Other writers on the topic of electronic art include Frank Popper, Dominique Moulon, Sarah Cook, and Christiane Paul.

Electronic art often features components of interactivity. Artists make use of technologies like the Internet, computer networks, robotics, wearable technology, digital painting, wireless technology and immersive virtual reality. As the technologies used to deliver works of electronic art become obsolete, electronic art faces serious issues around the challenge to preserve artwork beyond the time of its contemporary production. Currently, research projects are underway to improve the preservation and documentation of the fragile electronic arts heritage (see DOCAM – Documentation and Conservation of the Media Arts Heritage).

Art festivals that use the term “electronic art” in their name

International Symposium for Electronic Art (ISEA), organized annually since 1988, international

Ars Electronica Symposium, organized yearly since 1979 by Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria

Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF), organized yearly since 1994 by V2 Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Electronic Language International Festival (FILE) organized yearly since 2000 in São Paulo, Brazil

The Prix Ars Electronica, a major yearly award for several categories of electronic art


Notable artists working in electronic art include:

Laurie Anderson, Roy Ascott, Maurice Benayoun, Maurizio Bolognini, Angie Bonino, Mez Breeze, Miguel Chevalier, Heiko Daxl, Elizabeth Diller, David Em, Ken Feingold, Ingeborg Fülepp, Peter Gabriel, Pietro Grossi, Genco Gulan, Garnet Hertz, Perry Hoberman, Jodi (art collective), Eduardo Kac, Knowbotic Research, Marc Lee, George Legrady, Golan Levin, Liu Dao, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Chico MacMurtrie, Sergio Maltagliati, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy, Yucef Merhi, Joseph Nechvatal, Yves Netzhammer, Graham Nicholls, Simon Penny, Melinda Rackham, Martin Rev, Ken Rinaldo, David Rokeby, Stefan Roloff, Lillian Schwartz, Ricardo Scofidio, Paul Sermon, Scott Snibbe, Michael Snow, Stelarc, Survival Research Laboratories, Gianni Toti, Tamás Waliczky, Norman White.

“Electronic_art” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, n.d.

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