This is What Happens When Technology and Art Collide

'Relax & Release' installation by Kimatica Studio at #TRIBE17 International Art Festival, London
New technologies have always given artists the freedom to experiment with different styles and techniques. The prints of Andy Warhol relied on innovations that weren’t available to someone like Michelangelo.

This principle still holds true today. With the advent of mobile web app development, 3-D printing, and other technologies, these are now being harnessed for the purpose of creating art. Today’s artists are implementing the latest digital technologies to create works that would have been impossible only a few years ago. The following examples show off just some of the smart ways artists have leveraged digital innovations in their work.

‘Assemblance’ Lets You Make Your Own Laser Art

The “Assemblance” exhibit by Umbrellium makes art interactive. Guests step into a network of lasers and smoke, manipulating these elements to create floor drawings out of light. The exhibit subtly encourages guests to create communal art by holding hands and working together.

If you create a shape without anyone’s help, that shape may fall apart if it comes into contact with another creation. When guests work together, they can create stronger, more complex designs.

Experience a Digital ‘Petting Zoo’

The aptly-named “Petting Zoo” exhibit by Minimaforms predicts a not-too-distant future in which robotic pets may be commonplace. Guests are given the chance to pet snake-like tubes which hang from the ceiling, experiencing a rudimentary form of interaction with an artificial animal.

The tubes respond to guest behaviors and movements, as if they were actually alive. If too many people approach at once, they’ll pull away. If you’re showing affection, they may “cuddle” with you.

Watch a Robot Create Art

“Rising Colorspace” by Sonice Development doesn’t just make art out of robots – it lets robots make art.

The exhibit consists of a robot equipped with a paintbrush and a software program directing its movements. The robot climbs up a wall, painting according to a pattern provided by the software. As a result, the exhibit always looks different depending on when you look at it.

Although the robot needs a battery recharge after two to three hours, it could theoretically create artwork forever if it had the necessary power supply.

See the Beauty in Acknowledging Pollution

Artists often use their mediums to bring attention to important issues. Media artist Dmitry Morozov has continued this tradition with a device that measures the levels of various contaminants in the air.
The device then translates the data into images of shapes and colors.

The more pollution the device detects, the more vibrant the images will be. Morozov prints them out to not only to share their stunning designs, but also to help viewers better understand how significant a problem air pollution is.

Creating Stained Glass without the Glass

For many artists, the process of creating something is just as much a work of art as the finished product. Eric Standley, for example, creates “stained glass windows” that don’t actually contain any glass.

He starts by drawing a design, then uses lasers to cut out shapes from the paper. Finally, he layers them together to create a 3D rendering of the initial design. Although the process takes a long time, Standley says it gives him the chance to feel more connected with his work.

The Ultimate Laser Light Show

If you’ve attended a concert anytime in the last few years, you may have seen laser light projected onto a wall, or even the sky. In the “Light Echoes” exhibit, artist Aaron Koblin and interactive director Ben Tricklebank took the concept a step further by mounting a crane atop a train in motion and projecting laser images onto the Southern California landscape through which it traveled. The team also used long-exposure photography to capture “echoes” of the images left behind on the train tracks.

Understanding Art Through Birds

Video artist Chris Milk wanted to create an exhibit that represents the creative process metaphorically. He achieved this goal with “Treachery of the Sanctuary”, a triptych of screens. When a guest stands before the first screen, they see an image of their shadow dissolve into a digital image of birds. This represents the initial spark of creative inspiration.

At the next screen, digital birds attack your shadow, representing your critical response. When you reach the third screen, your shadow is given a giant set of wings that flap according to your movements. This final stage depicts the sense of transforming an original idea into a grander, finished product.

Article written by Rae Steinbach

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