Join Cultivate for a virtual conversation with artist Jonathan Monaghan who explores the tension and potential of the digital landscape/environment to shape culture, identity, and to raise critical awareness. “Digital technology is the key player in a remarkable new liberating and empowering landscape,” says Monaghan, “one that is segmented, hyper-everything, and horizontal. Artists are increasingly using digital technology to send their viewers into unique, imaginative and fantastical landscapes.” Sharing examples of his fantastical pieces that uncover subconscious anxieties associated with technology and consumerism along with the work of other peer artists working in the digital terrain, Monaghan poses several questions. Are digital artists responding to the increasing corporatization and uniformity of the lived environment, compounded with the increased presence of virtual spaces in day-to-day lives? Does their reaction signal a type of Romanticism that is both an embrace and assertion over digital surroundings?
Monaghan contends that these New Romantics share the acute criticality and the almost delusional idealism of their nineteenth century counterparts, but they maintain a much more nuanced and elevated relationship to societal trends and emerging technology. They are configuring new territories, not shying away from them. “On this frontier,” says Monaghan, “artists have more to say, more ways to say it, and our audience is easier to find.”Learn More