Every discovery or invention in science and technology has contributed to shaping the world of the arts. In the 15thcentury, a new painting era began with the help of oil-based pigments. At the end of the 19th century, photography changed the way we see the world. In the 1980s, Andy Warhol’s screen-printing amazed humanity. The 1990s brought the internet and the high-tech revolution. In the present, we continue to explore the possibilities of 3D-printed, interactive, and online art alongside augmented and virtual reality.
Artists have always searched for new ways to express themselves. Sometimes, they even used various “non-artistic” objects to create art, such as household objects or even garbage. Thus, they proved that artistic creation is never limited to what is traditionally considered artistic material. This same flexibility applies to new forms of creating art based on the evolution of technology.
Hand-in-hand development between different fields like technology and art has helped the world discover beauty over and over again in new ways. Thanks to modern means of communication, anyone from anywhere in the world can now witness the birth of a piece of art or live an experience they could only achieve in the past by going to a museum or a gallery in person.
In modern times, tech innovations are more than just tools to assist in the creative process; they have become the main catalysts for minting new forms of art, amazing pieces, and multi-disciplinary mixed media. Warhol is often remembered as one of the most famous and influential artists to have used modern tech to make art and to deliver it to the public in a more accessible manner. From 1985 onward, he was also a pioneer of digital art, though it took the world long enough to realize it. His digital art pieces were only discovered in 2014.
Let’s take a closer look at how modern art has been shaped by technology by evaluating several of these fascinating examples:
The Digital Revolution show, which took place in London’s Barbican Centre in 2014, featured a large variety of digital artists using technology to make a difference in their work. An original artistic show was created in London with colored laser beams and smoke instead of brushes. Visitors were encouraged to be the authors of the light structures. The show was called “Assemblance,” and it was the idea of the artists’ collective Umbrellium.
An ever-changing painting on the wall of a gallery in Berlin is yet another example. The secret of the display was a climbing robot that went up the wall every day with a paint tool and changed the painting according to a pattern determined by a software program. The robot was named Vertwalker, and the artwork was known as Rising Colour Space. The concept and execution were the work of artists Julian Adenauer and Michael Haas.
The evolution of 3D printing after the year 2000 has allowed artists to create fascinating artwork that sometimes serves as models for larger-scale pieces. For instance, Romanian artist Ioan Florea (who lives in Illinois) has earned a reputation for using 3D-printed plastic models. He converts them into metal structures for his huge and original sculptures. Artist Eyal Gever also uses 3D printing to create “a new language” for his art. First, he imagines an entire world in the digital environment before bringing his ideas to life as a 3D-printed physical representation.
When talking about interactive art, one brilliant example is that of the project Rain Room, created by the digital art group Random International. Using real-time data of the movements of all the people at the installation, the artists controlled the visitors’ digital experience by allowing them to undertake a unique rain shower with various sounds, humidity, and visual effects – but without getting wet.
One of the most interesting examples of augmented reality in the artistic world is Amir Baradaran’s Frenchising Mona Lisa. With the help of an application, any viewer can position their smartphone over different images of the Mona Lisa and see her come to life in a manner that presents a subliminal political message.
More and more artists and art museums have started using apps to change the way they make, present, or sell art. One might even argue that apps themselves have turn into a form of art. The truth is that the new millennium has brought so many technological advancements that allow artists to see innovation around every corner and also partake in it. Artists nowadays have become wizards of technology, mastering tools and techniques that transform their vision into something we can all share and enjoy.