Digital artworks have been an important part of the British Council Collection for over a decade. Examples of digital pieces in the Collection include Ablab by Dan Norton, Ornamental Bug Garden by Boredomresearch, and Decorative Newsfeeds by Thomson & Craighead. 

Digital art is a term and a practice that has been prevalent in the museums and contemporary art sectors since the 1960s. As technological advances mean that digital innovations are now pervading many more areas of our lives, the arts industry is starting to take the work of artists working in the digital realm increasingly seriously.

In the wake of the growing debate around, and critical examination of, digital art, the British Council commissioned this short film, produced by Dezeen, to ask: what is Digital Art? And why should we pay attention to it?

Decorative Newsfeeds, created by digital artists Thomson & Craighead, which is featured in the film, toured Syria before the current conflict. The piece displays up-to-the-minute headline news from around the world as a series of animations, allowing viewers to keep informed while contemplating a kind of ready-made sculpture or automatic drawing. Decorative Newsfeeds is an attempt to articulate the rather complex relationship we all have with rolling news and how such simultaneous reportage on world events impinges on our lives.