Technology has long supported artists in their creative experimentation and expression. But in the last decade or so, this relationship has intensified and more and more artists have come up with great new original ideas, backed up by some pretty amazing technological solutions.
Incorporating technology in artmaking can allow artists to question traditional forms and create entirely new ways, therefore giving us new experiences. ‘New media’ or ‘multimedia art’, as it is called in the art world nowadays, is popping up everywhere, not just providing an aesthetically pleasing sight, but also enabling a somewhat strange and thought-provoking encounter.
Forward thinking artists are pushing the boundaries of perception. Here is a short selection of some interesting art-tech interventions:
Take for example Russian artist, Dmitry Morozov, who made a device that makes pollution look really nice. His machine, with a plastic nose attached, utilises sensors to measure dust and other typical pollutants, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and methane, and with the help of a computing platform the data is translated into shapes and colours. Ironically the dirtier the air is, the prettier the image.
Eva and Franco Mattes are an Italian artist duo/couple, old timers in the ‘digital artmaking business’. They continuously come up with compelling projects, usually questioning the society of the digital age in their virtual interactions – and doing so in a rather tragicomical manner. In ‘No Fun’, for example, they play an edited video of an online performance, simulating a suicide, on a popular website matching random people for webcam based conversations from around the globe, and they film people’s reaction when witnessing the “simulated suicide act” unfold. With this project they try to point out the most dire loneliness and lack of real engagement in online encounters.
Manfred Mohr, a German-born, New York-based artist was a pioneer of the digital art genre. He works with algorithm-driven computers to create his drawings. “Creative work is an algorithm which represents human behavior in a given situation” he wrote back in 1971.
Another big time player, Addie Wagenknecht, whose “Asymmetric Love Number 2,” a rather unique chandelier made of security cameras, sold for $16,000 at the Watershed Paddles ON! auction in 2013, define her work as examining “the tension between expression and technology”. She uses all sorts of materials so to draw our attention to our digital environment.
Digital media and the power of the web are also helping artists to directly connect to their audiences. They can fundraise to make their new projects come true, easily showcase their artistic innovations online, and work cleverly with social media to sell their creations to specific buyers.
Author: Marta Balla
About Marta Balla
1980, lives and works in Budapest, Hungary
Marta Balla graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Spain. She holds an MA specialized in painting and art theory. She has exhibited in solo and collective shows in Croatia, Hungary, Mexico, Spain and the US. She is also involved in curating and social art projects and has been invited to international conferences to talk about her art and process. She is currently enrolled in a postgraduate course in Art Therapy focusing on the use of fine arts, music and storytelling in the therapeutic process. Marta has been practicing aikido, a non-violent Japanese martial art for 13 years. She has been engaged in contact improvisation dance for 2 years which lead her to more exploration in performance art.