In an increasingly tech-oriented world we live in, science and technology are spearheading our inexorable progress as a society. Everyone seems to be obsessing over the latest gadget, the fastest computer, the next breakthrough in technology… But, where is art in all of that? If technology is what pushes our civilization forward, then art is what elevates us above the mundane mortality of our existence. As dissimilar, and often contradicting, these two spheres of life can be, technology and art sometimes intertwine and form an entirely new vision, a glimpse into a potential future, imagery that would have been otherwise unavailable, a light cast into an unseen corner of our souls. Artists and art aficionados alike have had no choice but to embrace the pervasive influence of technology, and accept the fact that art, like every other aspect of life, should and must grow with the changes around us, lest it gets run over by the unstoppable wheel of time.
With the physical and the digital world becoming more and more interlaced, virtual reality is coming closer and closer to becoming synonymous to just – reality. Augmented reality is one of the most natural steps towards the future, and with prevalent smartphones availability, it has already become widespread and popular. From museums and galleries all over the world to artists and collectors, AR in art has given us a completely unique way of experiencing life and art. Artists such as Amir Bardaran and Estella Tse have taken advantage of this technology to bring a uniquely new breath of life into some of the most classic paintings, giving you an opportunity to see Mona Lisa wrapped in a French Flag, or wearing a hijab, or even experiencing Klimt's "The Kiss" or Kahlo's "Two Fridas" in a lively rendition. Other artists have turned the focus onto their own creations and produced wildly engaging and mind-boggling artworks. Augmented Reality apps are designed to unlock a whole new dimension for the viewer, and you can try out our own – click here to download ArtSee app for your Apple device.
3D Printed Art
For decades now, the technology of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has been in development. As with most technological advancements and breakthroughs, art is not really on the top of the priority list of applications. However, once placed in the right hands, you’ll think 3D printing was invented solely for artistic purposes. Whether it’s Rob and Nick Carter who recreate 400-year-old paintings in their real life-sized renditions, or Lorna Barnshaw whose 3D printed portraits will have you question reality and Replicants, or even Gilles Azzaro who managed to turn Barack Obama’s speech into a 3D digital voiceprint artwork, 3D printed art has inspired numerous artists to set up on their most innovative quest of creativity.
The advent of drone technology in the consumers market has changed the way we perceive privacy and even raised questions which only new laws would be able to resolve. With mind-twisting drone races and mesmerizing done circus acts, it was only a matter of time before artists took the controller into their own hands. Lee Montgomery painted the night sky with LED-equipped drones, and the results were glorious long-exposure photos that would have been otherwise possible only through Photoshop. Nadav Assor included a drone which hovered in one of his exhibitions whereupon detecting visitors, the remote-controlled aircraft would chant religious songs and feature a light display. Even the MIT is experimenting with a new project called The Flying Phantograph which teaches these flying machines to create art through collaboration with human artists. Artist Katsu employed a drone to deliver his spray painting strokes to some difficult spots, resulting in some highly unexpected and unique street art projects. Since the drone has become a widely popular device, available to almost everyone, people have been exploring the limits of their creativity, Instagram account @visualdroneart features countless clever, beautiful, and breathtaking photos that will blow you away.
Virtual reality opened up doors to so many opportunities, and artistically it introduced a different dimension where we can create, experience and interact with art and the creative process. Installation art has been one of the most engaging and impactful creative outlets ever since its beginning in the 1950s, and with the digital transformation, immersive experience has been given a whole new meaning. Jordan Wolfson combines video, sculpture, installation, photography, and performance with virtual reality to create ambitious and thought-provoking artworks. Nicola Plant examines and celebrates human movement and expression through motion capture-based interactive installations and artistic experiences. Then we also have Ghost Paint project, which comes from the commercial sector, where people are given the opportunity to spray-paint virtual murals and create amazing street art of their own, without even setting a foot outdoors. Interactive art and virtual reality engage us both physically and mentally, exploring the limits of creating art and being a part of it.
The digital landscape we already live in certainly has more than enough room for the artists to thrive in, create, and celebrate life through their work. Technology has always played a prominent role in art, one way or another, from the first cave drawings, to first brush strokes on the canvas, all the way to the first buttons being pushed in order to facilitate, assist, and create art. Whether it’s breathtaking imagery and mesmerizing visuals, amazing lights, clever mind tricks or soundscapes, and tactile experience, technology is a tool art does not, and should not, shy away from. When it comes to artificial intelligence and the use of robots in the process of art-making, several questions pop up in heated debates between the traditionalist naysayers and tech-savvy pioneers, but one thing is certain – technology and art must coexist and evolve together as the pillars of our society, lifting our civilization and spirit onward into the future where limits are meant to be broken.