The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation began supporting the field of Digital Art in 2009. Our collection has grown to include 338 artworks by 138 artists, representing a global history of the medium from 1959 to the present. We exclusively acquire artworks that can be exhibited in public spaces.
We define Digital & Media Art as the artistic intervention into contemporary technologies. We prize artists whose clever use of digital tools enables greater creative expression and cultural insight.
Digital & Media Art encompasses the technical richness of:
- software art
- video and moving image
- early computer drawing
- electronic and programmable light sculpture
- interactive art
We celebrate Digital & Media Art as a distinct category of contemporary art, uniquely equipped to strengthen our shared values of social connectivity, personal autonomy, visual wonder, and accessibility to information and change-making tools.
The Thoma Foundation’s core collection of Digital Art highlights the specific achievements of modern computers—their processing speed, infinite data capacity, imaging precision, and virtual networking—to aid artists. Our Digital Art collection favors artworks that are created and displayed on digital technology, including:
- data-driven and file-based art,
- algorithmic art,
- creative coding and hacking,
- computer plotter-drawings,
- artificial intelligence and machine learning,
- virtual and multimedia environments,
- real-time simulations,
- procedural animation,
- generative and self-acting programs,
- programmed LED sculpture,
- internet-connected art,
- interactive video and gaming,
- digital photography and digital printing,
- time-based art, new media, intermedia, and variable media.
We added the term Media Art to expand our support artwork in vintage and emerging technologies, especially in relation to electronic mass media—the news and photojournalism, popular film and television, video games, social media, and other cultural experiences produced by communications technology. Media artworks in our collection feature:
- masterworks of moving-image art,
- pioneering editing techniques such as sampling, montage, and time-lapse,
- cinematic and black-box video projection,
- video sculpture,
- mechanical sculpture,
- light sculpture,
- manipulated photography,
- and information art.
Our collecting strategy evolves in response to the emerging technologies and uncovered histories that we observe and admire.