Monday, November 19, 2007

Digital Vs. Organic Design Part 1

I have recently come across two very distinct, yet original ideas for battles/competitions that allow for freestyle flow but use two very different mediums for the artists to get their message across. In the red corner, we have the Digital Design Battle known as "Cut & Paste" from USA and in the blue corner, the Organic Design Battle known as "Secret Wars" from UK. I have to admit, when I first heard about graffiti artists/illustrators battling each other to see who could draw a better piece of work in a set time, I really wasn't a fan of the idea. I mean, how can you judge someone elses art as shitter than the other persons? Isn't art supposed to be subjective; beauty is in the eye of the beholder etc.? Even though this would be true in a utopian society, these two comps were borne from the gritty and dark streets of New York and London. Places where people's egos need to be satisfied, especially in the creative/media/design circles. I guess competitions like these were inevitable and therefore, should be looked at with an open mind. So morals aside, here's the scoop on the two events.


Cut&Paste was born in New York City back in November 2005. At the time 850 people came out to witness the first, live digital design tournament. Elbow to elbow, they packed a bar with designers winding wrists, judges taking their positions, a crowd swelling with drinks, gadgets warming up, and an immense energy that ran through speakers and skin.

Since then, Cut&Paste is finding new faces and homes, making moves to continue its modus operandi. They have done shows around the world, from La, to London, to Berlin, to Hong Kong.

All work must be completed in 15 minutes
Competitors are provided with themes for each round one week in advance
Competitors may bring in approved objects to capture with a digital camera
All approved objects are available for anyone to use during any round
No finished artwork, photographs, pre-made digital elements – all work must be constructed from scratch
Tools including digital cameras or the Wacom Cintiq are for the designers' benefit but not required to be used during competition

This video shows the Chicago leg of the comp in 2006

All pics are copyright of Cut & Paste and were taken from the Hong Kong leg of the tour where ESPV’s good friend Tat from Graphic Airlines won!

Jump to the next post which will showcase the Organic style of comp. by Secret Wars.

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