Digital Public Art – Karabi Art
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Digital Public Art

Digital Public Art

What is Public Art? Quite simply put, art in the public space is Public Art. Public Art is something that is planned and executed with the intention of showcasing it in the physical public domain in outdoor spaces which is accessible to one and all.


In this style or genre there is an emerging sub category or sub-genre – Digital Public Art. Digital Art in the public arena differs from the ones that are found in the museums or galleries. Digital Public Art is known to adhere to the following principles:

  • It is in public i.e. a place that is accessible or visible to the public at large
  • Public Interest. Related to or affecting the community or members of the community
  • Public Place. Taken care of and utilized by the community or members of the community
  • Publicly Funded. Funded or sponsored by the community or in any way contribute to the work

Digital Public Arts and traditional Public Arts may both make use of technology in their creation and during the showcase. The differentiating factor that sets digital public artworks apart from the traditional public artworks is their technological ability to interact with the audiences in an obvious manner.


One of the most apt examples might be the ones that respond to presence like Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Under Scan. As a part of this work passers-by were detected by a digital tracking system that would activate video-portraits within their shadows. The portraits would “wake up” and establish an eye contact with the spectator as soon as their shadow would activate or discover them; as the viewer would walk away the portrait reacts and looks away only to slowly disappear. Here there is a formal relation between the spectator and the installation.


Another genre is that of online works on the social media platforms. An example of this genre is YouTube’s Life in a Day Project. This project asked the public to submit video clips of their day which were then edited to create a film. This is a sort of crowdsourced docudrama film which comprised of an arrangement of a series of video clips. YouTube – a video sharing website called for clips from the public shot on a single day, July 24, 2010. From 4,500 hours of footage in 80,000 clips, 94 minutes 53 seconds was finally edited out and released for free viewing on the channel. It is through an explicit course of action, working, or set of relationships that an interaction ensues between the spectators and the installation.

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