About Painter 1.0
The headings in this issue of Mediamatic were painted with the computer program Painter (version 1.0, @ 1991, Fractal Design Corporation). It is at once one of the most splendid and most vacuous programs put out for the Macintosh this year.
Painter offers a perfect simulation of traditional drawing and painting tools. The program comes with a wide assortment of paper and canvas textures, supplemented by etching plate, photo rasters, etc. etc. etc. One can draw with both wet and dry techniques, using various kinds of pencil. oil paint, air brush, wasco, charcoal. ja panese brush or calligraphy pen, among other things. All of this in roughly 16,000,000 colors, of course. The most astonishing thing is the 'artist modes': in version 1.0, we can choose between Van Gogh and Seurat. No more dirty fingers!
Paint in virtual reality! Put away your plastic Christmas trees, blow-up dolls and instant pudding
mix, here comes Painter! New media imitate old media. It seems that in late medieval Europe, painting was used mainly to imitate the more expensive inlay techniques, which made use of precious metals, stones and ivory. Well, here we have a new milestone. This program focuses so strongly on the imitation of existing material that any prospects the digital media may have for developing a language of images of their own recede into darkness as long as it is turned on.