Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

Native Files

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Not too long back I was doing a little file organizing, and someone made a comment about grabbing the native files.  It’s a familiar expression, but this time I got to thinking about the idea of your working file, or the file within a program as being the native file and how I never think of them that way.  When I am creating digital art, my working files are just that.  They are the means to the end.  Just like when I work on a canvas, none of my preliminary sketches or photographs are anything but blueprints.

It occurs to me that thinking of things this way, does afford me a certain perspective on problem solving and flexibility to get to the final product.  But it also occurs to me that this perspective may be part of the reason why I struggle so with file organization.  Perhaps in this digital age, there is a greater benefit in thinking of these program files as native files, and holding on to that flexibility that layers within a single digital file can offer.  In that perspective, the art becomes the whole of the organization and the possibilities for output.

Just recently I finished putting together an animation for use in an online homework question.  The following week, I made a lot of changes to it for another presentation.  Now, does that mean I made two animations?  There are two distinctly different animation files now, but really it makes more sense to think of them as different versions.  And really, for each version, I’m creating more than one file type to deliver to my employers.  So with all of that variation, I can’t help but start thinking of the project as something more than any of the final outputs.  It becomes the idea, and the aesthetic.  It becomes the message.  And those working files start to carry a different kind of weight.

Moving art in to a digital plane is such a game changer.  And that’s just something that I’ve been thinking about a bit lately.



Written by Sara

August 4th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

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