Edmund Harcourt is an art specialist and the director of multi-disciplinary contemporary art company Hogarth Productions
The concepts of art and technology may seem as though they should stand opposed to one another, however, both ideas have a history of intersecting with each other to arrive hand in hand in the modern era; a digital horizon with consistent overlap.
In this piece, we’ll be discussing the various technological revolutions that have directly impacted the world of art, which may continue to push forward the industry for many years to come.
Throughout history whenever technology evolves, art follows suit. That’s not to say that this refers solely to the production of art. In fact, the ways in which art is viewed, shared, consumed, and sold have also developed considerably as technology has expanded.
Technology has created an environment where the idea of art
itself is far more accessible. When we consider that art is the very basis of the human condition, it’s apt then that the technology that we’re advancing is the very thing that brings those pieces to a wider and more diverse audience.
This has never been more evident than during the pandemic, where museums displayed their pieces online, and artists were able to bring their work online.
It’s clear that the relationship between art and technology continues to push the boundaries of innovation and technical achievement, some of these we’ll be exploring in this piece.
Image from Iamacoin.com
Blockchain tech in art has numerous functions and is continuing to make a significant impact moving forward. Back in 2014, a report by The Fine Arts Expert Institute discovered that over half of the artwork that they had inspected was either a forgery or attributed to the wrong artist. The increasing reliance on the blockchain can bring the required authenticity to the industry.
Of course, although Blockchain art may refer to a physical piece that has been tokenized, it is more likely to refer to digital art which can be editioned on a blockchain digital identity in the form of gifs, jpegs, etc.
Artists can also utilize blockchain as a means of displaying art. For example, artist Kevin Abosch created a project called I am a Coin in which he has created virtual art utilizing the Ethereum network.
Artists can take inspiration from what Kevin has done by using blockchain to divide their work into smaller pieces, which can be collected separately.
Image from Bloomberg
Could the idea of AI art be the next big thing in the art world?
As of this point, this movement may yet still be in its infancy, however, this incredible piece above by Mario Klingemann gives us a small glimpse into the potential of such an innovation.
Klingemann uses AI algorithms and machine learning to explore human perceptions and expectations of art and creativity and creates machines that can emulate these processes.
By blurring the very line between human nature and machine
efficiency, AI-generated art can bring a new perspective and unorthodox creativity to the industry.
However, these innovations haven’t come without critics. Some with more traditional tastes have argued that this is not art, nor is it creative.
That said, when you look at the pieces Klingemann has created, who can argue that he hasn’t created something mesmeric and interesting, albeit controversial?
Image from aeolusonline.net
Tech such as 3D rendering has meant that artists can bring entire exhibits from the physical world in a virtual realm. This means that audiences all over the world can experience something that was once moored in a single physical location from the comfort of their homes.
Sound artist Mike Blow, has done something similar with his piece Aelous Online, which is a fully realized online sound sculpture, incorporating innovative tech and compelling storytelling techniques.
To make this possible Mike and his team utilized a technology called RealityCapture created by tech company Capturing Reality, which is a specialist photogrammetry software that builds 3D models based on photos, laser scans, and videos.
Although this technology is now being recognized for its benefits in the artistic community, in projects like gaming and visual effects, it has traditionally been used effectively in urban planning, online mapping, and virtual reality.
Using VR headsets and related technology, such as the Oculus Rift and Google Glass, for example, artists and educational institutes can
experiment with virtual reality to produce and share immersive creative
Virtual, 3D environments have been a big part of the gaming community for some time now, so we know what potential this technology can have when we’re looking to create simulated artistic scenarios and environments for the consumer.
The video above from Melbourne Art Week showcases some examples of how we can develop VR further for art installations.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the art industry is undergoing a radical makeover as it embraces and envelopes emerging tech. As we mentioned at the outset of this piece, these disciplines may seem contradictory – but, as we’ve demonstrated throughout the two actually make perfect bedfellows.
Technology advances rapidly and it’s capable of shifting the dynamics of entire industries, both from producer and consumer perspectives. As we move to new plains of technological brilliance, expect to see the artistic community keeping pace with ever more creative and thought-provoking ideas and ingenious developments.
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