Show & Tell | Alex Cunningham

 (Carlo Ratti’s Drones, via Nina Azzarello)

In this modern era, art is able to be displayed, created, and shared in a multitude of ways. As technology develops and creates new forms of connectivity artists work to find ways to experiment with media (and mediums).

Perhaps the most obvious interaction between art and technology is through the computer. Thanks to computers and the incredible amount of connectivity brought through social media platforms artists, even if they are using traditional media, are able to share their work and gain recognition. Through platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and Google, artists have opportunities to show their skills to an audience of millions.

The use of technology in the art world also allows artists to stand out from the crowd. By utilizing tools such as tablets, lazer-cutters, 3d printers, and projectors, artists like Eric Standley, Carlo Ratti, Aaron Koblin and Ben Tricklebank are able to create new and innovative projects that would have been impossible one hundred and fifty years ago.

The featured image for this post is a photograph taken of Carlo Ratti’s graffiti drones. Through a digital interface, these drones are able to paint images that are uploaded to them. Ratti and his team demonstrate the drones with graffiti art. This could allow the decoration of spaces that have been previously deemed inaccessible and create a new avenue for city planning and artistic expression.

Also featured in this post are two videos: one interview of Eric Standley and his work with delicate paper structures; and a video presentation of Koblin and Tricklebank creating amazing light shows using long exposure photography and a train. Both of these examples highlight the interplay between artists and technology, and how that interaction can create something new and amazing.

Technology, even when it is designed for a non-art specific purpose will eventually inspire an artist to use and create with it. Standley, in the first video below, mentions the common idea that technology in art “increases [human] efficiency”, but has the effect of removing the human touch/”feeling” to art. Standley then goes on to say that he in particular avoids this through the painstaking work and effort he puts into his pieces.

This I feel is upholding an extreme and harmful misconception that reinterprets the interactions between artist and technology as a form of ‘cheating’. To believe this is to disregard the efforts and trials of artists, and upholds an overly strict idea of what art can or can’t be that often isolates artists who are unable to access expensive physical materials and tools, but are able to access computer programs.

How do you all feel about technology and art? Opportunity for greater artistic expression, or soulless “faux” art? Is there an in-between for you? When does art stop being art?

Carlo Ratti Drone Art (So dang neat and exciting!)

The Smithsonian Article. (Neat list featuring some really cool works by a bunch of artists. Source for the two videos above. There are also robots being cool and friendly!!!)

Women in Digital Design (Link talking about the necessity of women to entre Digital Design, and to uplift female artists. I felt gross not having any female artists to talk about today so I wanted to link this.)

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