The Intersection of Technology & Art


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From canvas to code, art has come a long way from being cave paintings and a medium of communication for early human civilization. One of the biggest assets of mankind throughout history has been the ability to visualize an idea and shape it in certain lines, shapes, colors, textures, spaces, and meanings.

A product of its age, art throughout the age’s art has transformed as the world and people around it changed. From early Indus Valley sculptures and engravings through Italian Renaissance Canvas Paintings to Andy Warhol’s silk-screen printing, art has come a long way in the 21st century. Not only the mediums of expression have changed but everything associated with art from experience and trading has drastically changed due to the new development in technology. 

The arrival of social media, machine learning, blockchain, AI, IoT, AR, and 3D printing have all made art more explosive and disruptive. In many ways, the digital age revolutionized how art is made, consumed, displayed, preserved, traded, and owned. One of the biggest examples of this phenomenon is the advent of NFT technology which has simplified the ownership, authenticity, and trading of digital art and so far, has aided the digital artist to commercialize and protect their digital creations. 

The day is not away where shortly art will only be an immersive experience that can be experienced in augmented reality, interactive installations, and visual art galleries. However, the question remains, would this be a positive direction or stain on the collective memory of human existence? 

Digital Art’s Outlook

First thing first, to truly understand the place of digital art in today’s world, we have to create a clear distinction between contemporary/traditional art and digital art. Contemporary art refers to art that is produced using the traditional mediums of drawing, painting, and sculpting while the end-product always remains reflective of the age we live in. Digital art, on the other hand, refers to any work that employs digital or computational technology for the creative or presentational process. Herein, the critics of this modern form argue that these mechanizations should not be even considered art. 

So, let’s examine the most important element that every art should have. In the words of famous art critic Clive Bell, “There must be some one quality without which a work of art cannot exist; possessing which, in the least degree, no work is altogether worthless. Only one answer seems possible – significant form. In each, lines and colors combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms, stir our aesthetic emotions.” 

This implies that if any art has a significant form and stimulates human aesthetic emotion has to be categorized as art, and digital art in its own way is a combination of both. Let’s take an example of an AI-generated image, ‘Portrait of Edmond Belamy’ that sold at Christie’s auction for $432,500. A product of Generative Adversarial Networks, the painting looks weird on the first examination. However, Bacon produced a similar painting titled, ‘Three Studies of a Portrait of Henrietta Moraes’ in 1963 that received widespread recognition. This tells us that the future of digital, coded, and computer-generated art looks bright if it’s unique, has some sort of form, and ultimately stirs human emotion. 

Now without any wait let’s examine a few ways technology is revolutionizing art: 

NFTs and the Art Market

No other technology has affected art as a whole like blockchain technology. It has not only affected art as a medium but holistically the whole landscape that revolves around it. Besides democratizing art collection and bringing it to the masses, NFTs have immortalized art in the permanence of code or blockchain technology. It has created interactive and engaging artwork that can be readily altered at the whim of the owner. It has created authentic ownership for digital art while creating a steady revenue stream of loyalties for the artists on each exchange. 

AI & 3D Printing 

Now even if a museum burns down, artists and technology can work together to create similar sculptures and pieces without much effort with the help of AI and 3D printing. Making the impossible possible, 3D printing in combination with CAD software can literally be used to translate any idea into reality. 

AR & VR

One of the biggest gifts of modern technology with regard to art is how it is changing the ways we experience art. AR and VR are gateways to immersive art experiences that virtually blur the lines between spectator and creator while connecting us with the art form in another time and space. However, it is not limited to experiencing art but also provides us with multiple tools to immerse ourselves in our artistic creations. For example, Google’s Tilt Brush allows us to virtually paint larger-than-life objects in thin air without any attention to the outside world.

A Pro Tip

To make the best out of these innovative technologies, high-speed internet is a necessary requirement, especially in the case of AR and VR. For seamless reliability, Xfinity Internet brings to your homes one of the fastest internets in the US. With its 20 million WIFI hotspots across the country, you can experience create and experience art at will, anywhere you like. 

Long Story Short,

The intersection of technology and artwork is a representation of the age we live in, where technology plays a central role. So, whatever we do, it is bound to transmute into every part of human society and elevate it to the next level, which it has certainly achieved through its new direction and revolution around digital, interactive, and immersive art experiences.