This page includes links and comments
about my various essays on digital art
and the future of art.


To see all 8 articles
about digital art,
creativity and personal growth
click here.

All articles can be translated into:
Spanish, French, German,
Italian or Portuguese



Arti FAQ 21OO
A learning project for students in New York.
Using Renaissance achievements as a platform and present foundation, students will pose key inquiry questions that will prompt their vision of art in our lives within the next hundreds years.

"Through our research and developing of this project Internet Artist Rick Doble contacted us to share his ideas and perspectives on art. Many of his points complement our project. We invite you to use them as springboard for speaking, listening and viewing our work."

1.Painting and art are well suited to create new images and icons that can serve as touchstones and guides to our future. 2.Art should often evoke, refer to, pay homage to, or be related to earlier art or art forms.
3.Even radical modern art has been related to earlier art forms.
4.Now, most painters tend to create from their imagination, from subjective inner needs and inner impulses or they paint based on abstract principles or conceptual ideas. Instead of drawing from nature directly, some painters draw from their inner nature. For example, Jackson Pollock used to point out that he, himself, was nature. 5.Jackson Pollock's dripped paintings which were inspired in part by the Navajo Indian sand paintings. These sand paintings were created by shaman who poured colored sand into the shape of figures. Later the wind blew the sand away. 6.Painting in this century has merely reflected the break with nature that the civilization as a whole has experienced. 7.Since this is where the future and civilization are leading us, it is only natural that painting and other arts would also move in that direction and be in the vanguard. 8.Architecture needs to be created that provides transitional areas from inside to outside and which does not set the building and the inside environment completely separate and apart from the outside environment of the world. For example, buildings should have some balconies, roof top gardens, and other points that open to the outside. 9.Because technology has changed, the roles of men and women are different. Women and men will be full equals. There need to be stories and myths of the heroic that apply to both men and women.
10.It is clear that the Earth and humankind will go through major changes in the next century.

The above words are an extended quote from my article:
Thoughts about Art in the 21st Century.




Global Living Diary of Digital Art:


The AMERICAN GAZETTE at CollegePark:

Article by Rick Doble --
Digital cameras: a revolution
in photography:


Log Cabin Chronicles

Thoughts About Using A Digital Camera &
Is Digital Photography The New Expressive Visual Art?


Vanguard Online

August 2000 edition of Vanguard Online

Why create art?
Pretentious load of bollocks or the key to self-realisation. Artist Rick Doble expostulates on the latter, gives helpful tips to up and coming practitioners and warns against wanting to please others.

Reprint of my essay:
Why Create Art:

Reprint of my essay:
Heros, Heroines and the Modern Age:

Reprint of my essay:
Thoughts About Using a Digital Camera


New zine for digital photography

Original article by Rick Doble with illustrations:


Electronic Journal of the Arts

Reprint of my essay:
Thoughts about Art in the 21st Century

THE ANIMIST emphasized these thoughts
from my essay:
--The goals of the New Art will be: 1. To explore and understand our own nature in relation to the Earth; 2. To explore a new relationship with nature since the old bond has been broken. ... --Humans have a fundamental need to belong and to feel at home and to also feel a part of their world. This cannot be reprogrammed or removed from the human psyche without serious consequences ...

Links/resources to sites related to Literature/Poetry, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Art, the Humanities,


Scrape Magazine

Thoughts About Using
a Digital Camera
By Rick Doble
with illustrations


a r t p r e s s

Thoughts About Using a Digital Camera



Brian Skowron's Bookmarks

LINK TO: Why create art? by Rick Doble.
A discussion of a life long artistic passion.


Edward G. Foreman High School

Social Studies Resources
Link to:
The future of civilization and the future of the universe.
Interview with Kirk Elbod.


Reading List for Project Team 2ˇXDigital Photography


ARTWORK and links by Harrison Jenkins

Link to essay on photo expression:



Link to Essay about Digital Photography:

Thoughts about Art in the 21st Century
A working and evolving draft.

Hello I just finished reading your draft thoughts on art in the 21st century. I believe that you have some very strong ideas which should definitely be explored. Right now I an a young artist that also sees art as a way to communicate to the world. I believe that if artists were to focus in the same direction that it would make an impact noticed throughout the world. I hope that you are still using your abilities to express your ideas to the public. If you find the time then please respond and tell me what you are focusing on now, but if you don't have time I wish you the best.


You wrote:
> Some day, I am going to sit down and rework the thoughts about art in the
> 21st century, but in a way I like its unfinished quality. It leaves the
> door open for anyone to add things rather than look at it as a complete
> work, after all how could these ideas be anything but a beginning?

I'm glad you left the piece unfinished because you are right, it does
invite questions and comments, my copy has notes written all over it!

I like the idea of the artist "drawing from their inner nature."

I agree with your comments about confronting the problems we have
created globally. Already we've experienced changes in the weather
patterns. And the speed with which change happens these days worries
me; will we have time to reverse the speeding bullet?

You talk of creating symbols, icons and experiences that help connect us
to the Earth. This is exactly what prehistoric, primitive art was
about. We do seem to have lost that connection somewhere along the
way. I think one way to hold on to what we have is to dialog about it,
tell our stories in whatever form feels right. For you and me, that
involves the camera, and the journal. I have been paying attention to
the rhythms in my life and getting some perspective as I get older. I
will be celebrating the summer solstice in my yard with a fire in the
pit and ritual. I love reading about pagan rituals and I have a maypole
that has seen many dancers over the years.

> Although it may sound strange, I believe the women's movement is perhaps
> the most important movement in hundreds of years, perhaps more. It has been
> a male dominated image that has gotten us to the point we are at with all
> of its good and bad aspects. I welcome a different point of view. (My
> mother was Australian where women got the right to vote first in the world.)

This certainly does not sound strange! You will find many people
(mostly women) who would agree. My entire course of study for my BA has
revolved around the male power trip vs. the female creative, nurturing
trip. Not to say all men or all women have these traits but things must
become more balanced (I hope you have many sons to pass on your
enlightened views). I think balance instead of domination is the key to
this dilemma.

> Could the artist somehow be a healer? Are women, perhaps, better than men
> at creating this sensibility?

I don't know about that, there are many men who were great healers, I
think of the obvious: Ghandi, Buddha, Christ. I think the difference is
that when men use their healing powers they feel as though they have
dominion over the healed, women feel more of an alignment and/or
responsibility. My own path takes me into the birth arena, I am an
obstetrical nurse and I teach childbirth education. There have been
many times that I wish I had camera to capture the pure emotion of that

> Naturally, if you have the time, I would love to see anything that you
> write about my site.

Will do.

> I would love to see some of your work. Why don't you email me a couple?

I would like to send one of my self-portraits since you spent so much
time developing yours. This was inspired by Imogen Cunningham's shot of
herself reflected in a store window. Honest comments welcome. Oh, and
look for my dog in the corner!

Hello Richard;
I just read your thoughts on the future of art in the 21st century. Well
done! Yes I believe that our thoughts on this is belittled by the elitist
notion of art as commodity. I couldn't agree with you more. I am currently
studying for my MA in fine art in the UK and it is even worse here, I am
often regarded as a new age thinker, just another who's jumped on the
spiritual bandwagon. Keep up the good work, I love the idea of presenting
unfinished works to the public! I might use this concept in the future. What
a novel way of addressing this issue.
An Artist

Dear Rick,

I've just read your wonderful article/notes 'Art for the 21st Century'. You
probably know already that many of the things we are trying to do at The
Animist resonate with your article/notes. The piece virtually reads as a
cultural manifesto for the 21st century and is important to any person
working in the cultural sphere - anybody even dimly aware of/concerned
with/ the inter-relationship between art and the times in which we live. I
particularly like the cultural internationalism/globalism of the article
... much modern Western art is implicitly ethnocentric and assumes - often
in very subtle ways - a posture of smug superiority over non-Western
artistic traditions ... 'We have evolved out of that sort of stuff!' Is the
implicit line of many modernists and postmodernists in Western antions. As
your article shows, it is difficult to sustain any sort of argument for
progress or cultural evolution in the face of the stark realities of our
time ... environmental collapse, massive psychospiritual dislocation etc.
etc.- the juggernaut of modernity rumbles on and on trampling virtually
everything in its way, including our capacity to survive. I personally
think there is a great need for a 'global canon' of works (from all kinds
of artistic/cultural disciplines and traditions) which would allow us to
confront the problems you discuss. I also feel we are in desperate need of
a globalised 'steady-state' myth/paradigm way of viewing reality etc. etc.
to replace the expansionist/growth etc. paradigm currently leading us
toward exctinction.

Once again, an excellent piece ... it has allowed me to work through many
of the issues important to our e-zine and important to me as a writer,
editor and thinker..

Warm regards and thanks for the up-date

The Animist

i have read your words and thoughts . they are very deep and some i
relate to. i believe men and woman are so enter twinned that society
tried to make them separate individuals' but the times have allowed them
to be themselves.EX. men can cry and be wonderful mothers to their
children and woman can be in the work force it just means we are
finally being oursleves not role playing for society thank you for
letting me comment i was married for thirty years and somtimes i was
the man of the house because the situation called for it . i hope you
understand what i am saying. we all must be allowed to have reversed

Thoughts About Using A Digital Camera
As a former professional photographer, I have opinions.

Hi Richard,

I just finished reading one of your essays, titled,
The Digital Rambler, Thoughts About Using a Digital
Camera. The lightbulb went on for me when I read:

Immediate feedback makes the digital cammera a
different kind of beast.

Your statement reminds me of something that happened
quite a few years ago in software development. Back in
the 70s, developers used to keypunch their programs,
submit a stack of cards as a batch job, and then check
the results several hours later. Iterative development
was slow. And then came the CRT (cathode ray terminal),
which allowed us to edit-compile-run much faster.
The feedback became immediate-- just like your digital
camera. Traditional photography is like batch programming
and digital photography is like interactive programming.

Thanks for the illuminating moment.

i enjoy your work. so far, i've only read your thoughts about photography.

have followed art all of my adult life but only recently realized i have something inside to express. i've just started to find my way and discover my creative side and listen to my inner voice.

thanks for sharing your gifts.

Dear Rick,

I have spent a delightful morning on your web site, reading and thinking
about the current evolution and wide open future of digital images. Your
camera work speaks to my creative spirit. It rings so many places in me
that I am humming.

My first order of business is to request permission to make a print of
spring#2. I want it for inspiration while I finish my degree at Vermont
College. I am in the last semester of a study on women's photography
and digital art. This is a self-directed BA program that I started a
year and a half ago, with matriarchial societies. I looked at ancient
civilizations through the eyes of a feminist and thought about how women
leave their mark. The next semester I focused on women's art (mine
included). This ending of the journey distiles it even further with
women's digital images (mine in particular).

I've come to this site exactly when I needed it. My reasearch on the
history of women photographers has been very satisfying. Many
wounderful (Freuidian Slip?), creative, "sisters of the light", have
nurtured the art and science of photography.

Now I'm ready to get on with it. My research on digital imagery takes
place predominently in cyberspace, which brings me to your inbox. I
have printed your second revision of the future of art so I can take it
down in the woods to think about. There are some provocative, pertinent
questions to mull over and write about. I want to incorporate it into
"my final product". This is my studio artwork and reflective essay,
which goes into a Black Book to stay on the shelves of the Gary Library
in Montpelier after I graduate.

You have already earned a spot in my BB as an influence on my work.
You've made me think about the relationship between the artist and the
immediate world around me. I nurture my relationship to the earth and I
want that to come out in my work/play. My latest series was also about
spring and green. May I have your permission to quote your essay?...
with the appropriate citing in MLA format of course.

I am also wildly excited about my digitally influenced artwork and I use
as many of my digital brushes as I know how. Could you tell me why I
detect a note of disdain for the software available to alter images to
our heart's desire?

I don't have a website yet but I'm thinking about it. I'd like to put
my work out there and be part of this digital evolution.

You have been my gift today, thank you.

. I feel you too are aware of the monumental task
that lies ahead with digital imaging. We do find it more fun and
enjoyable to educate than argue this new area of imaging and have
learned to keep in mind that we, like you, are suffering more from the
effects of being on the cutting and bleeding edge of offering something
new and of value. We like your images. We are sending a few pages of a
project you might find interesting.

Richard - I read your comments regarding conventional cameras versus the new
digital ones because 1) B&W photography has been a hobby of mine for almost
30 years and 2) I have yet to buy a digital camera and 3) my profession is in
the world of data processing (currently for a medium sized credit union on
the West coast).

Regarding the following comment which I copied/pasted from your web site:

However, digital photography has, essentially, an infinite life because
information about the image is saved on a computer disk not the image itself

I'm not so sure this is true. As technology changes, so does storage devices
and medium. This statement is only true (I think) if people make a point of
transferring the digital images from one form of technology to the next -
through time.

So while your statement is technically true - in a practical sense it's

An example - if 10 years ago you stored anything digitally, you'd be putting
it on 9-track tape (in a main frame environment) - and probably 8 or 5 inch
floppies using PC devices. Today you'd be hard pressed to find a device that
could read the data off of that kind of media.

Today we can store on 1.44 Mb floppies or CD ROMs - My guess is that in 5-7
years, these devices will be about as common as the 5/8inch floppy is today.

It is my understanding that one of the big government agencies (probably the
IRS or the Census bureau) has a room full of 1960's computer gear - loaded
with spare parts - just so they can read data that was stored back then. The
media - programs - operating systems - computer hardware systems - etc. -
have been frozen in time - so that if someone should need to get at the data,
it's accessible. Maybe this is all hogwash, I don't know - but maybe not
either. It's certainly plausible.

My brother once mentioned that we should transfer all of my B&W negatives to
a digital format - so that they will be preserved forever. My guess is that
if I were to spend the time doing that - (which would be significant) the
media that we pick to store the images on - and the programs that understand
that format today (JPG, GIF, BMP, whatever) - and the operating system - very
well will be obsolete 10-15 years from now. Given reasonable storage - my B& W
negatives will be in fine shape 20 and more years from now.

Just food for thought.

Rick Doble's Reply to the above comment:

I enjoyed your comments. All that you say is true.

However, I think that in the early stages of a technology there are going to be more odd, outmoded formats than later. If the images stayed up on the Internet and were transferred every ten years to a new hard drive, the information would still work. And while formats will certainly change, it is a bit like a road. It is very rare to see a road eliminated once built. In theory you could just bulldoze the road (which does happen occasionally) but very rarely.

However, to bolster your argument, apparently there is no projector today which can show silent movies correctly because the frame rate is different from today's films.

In any case, you make a very good point that we need to start preserving knowledge about the older systems so that this digital information can continue to be read. Otherwise we will have the equivalent of hieroglyphics before anyone figured out how to read them, instead of Latin which has been passed perfectly by recopying from era to era along with the knowledge of how to translate.

Why Create Art?
It's a thankless job, but someone's got to do it. Here are my reasons.

Thanks very much for permission to experiment.
Too many of us feel as if it has to have been
"written in stone" before it is acceptable.
But that is one of the messages that pops out
as I read your views.

Thanks again.

Rick, I love your work. I, too, started a notebook, but I don't think I
can date it and put it away. I just keep adding to it. I just now added
some of your comments/advice to a new page. I was encouraged to "do my
own thing" and also am begining to understand how personal progress in
my art form (quilt-fiber) will also encourage/empower me in my own
personal growth. This is exciting and somehow freeing to me.

I do landscape oil paintings and teach it also. This was different but
interesting. Looks like you have put a lot into your work and you seem to be
able to find ideas that are unlikely subjects that are very interesting from
the point of view that you put them in. That is, your point of view. Artist
are a breed of their own I guess, but I can relate to your thoughts and ideas.

Hello - I live in NZ and I'm pleased I stumbled across your site

It must be wonderful to have had a profession & hobby that has spanned a


A refreshing approach to formatting ideas, as a writer/poet myself I found
it made excellent reading as an observation of the thought processes as
they develop. we can learn so much from each other if we are permitted to
have insight into 'work in progress' from time to time. I look forward to

Tasmania, Australia.

. I feel you too are aware of the monumental task
that lies ahead with digital imaging. We do find it more fun and
enjoyable to educate than argue this new area of imaging and have
learned to keep in mind that we, like you, are suffering more from the
effects of being on the cutting and bleeding edge of offering something
new and of value. We like your images. We are sending a few pages of a
project you might find interesting.

Just discovered your site -- well done, beautiful art. I really enjoyed
your essay about art as well... I just hit 50 and it seems like suddenly my
art is there. In part thanks to the computer; but I think age has a lot to
do with it. Now I seem to be able to visualize what needs to be changed and
modified; before art just sort of spilled out and that was that, whether it
looked right or not. Of course the computer helps since modifications are
easily made now, rather than being the pain they were in pen and ink or

It is also interesting that you write; I make my living as a writer
(sometimes illustrating my books -- a good selling point with nonfiction).
This has enabled me to make art the way I want to without having to worry
about selling it or making money. That's a real freedom that would otherwise
make my art much different, I'm sure.


I read your essay on creating a webpage, and another one on the prospects
of digital work, your writting is great too!

RE: Jean Sibelius

I am curious as to how this geat composer influenced your work. He has
been a great influence (music) on my art pursuits also, in that the two
first symphonies were so inspirational to me since I first heard them in
high school. then I heard the magnificent 5th smphony...and all the
tone poems too. My watercolor work is realistic. Sometime I would like
to do a "Finnish" landscape scene. Your awork is very fine. I did some
B&W enlargements (15x20's) when teaching art in college, but darkroom
work is no longer affordable for me. I am also a
chalk artist and illustrate all kinds of music including the classics
before audiences..on a large special easel.

i wandered upon this site at 11:45 p.m. much appreciated. growing up
in new bedford, ma.,and salt water still in my veins, my days spent in
edgartown, martha's vineyard, are my inspiration for much of my writing.

It is in the spirit of the WONDER of looking at the night sky and
marveling at the fact that everything observed is the PAST, expressing
itself in OUR present moment, and done-with millions and billions of
years ago, in ITS (the sky's) perception of the present moment.

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© Copyright 2001 by Richard deGaris Doble
All rights reserved.