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Technology Presents Artists a Bold New Canvas

The union of art and technology

Art gives us more ways to look at the common everyday happening. The impact of it is not ignorable at all. Over the decades, the world has witnessed a new artistic language where art and technology have become intertwined with each other called New Media Arts. The amalgamation of art and technology has given us a new way of looking at world. This modern age art allows the visitors in an art gallery, museum or exhibition to engage with such art pieces in a multi-dimensional way.

This is an evolving form of art which is created using new techniques like interactivity, projection-mapping, immersive technologies, robotics, graphics, video games, animation, various 3-D technologies, physical computing, augmented and virtual reality, and the possibilities are immense. We are familiar with terms like engineering be it, mechanical or computer or electronics, however, have you ever wondered about getting creative or creating art with these skills?

A New Canvas

Artists in the 21st century get the meaning and intricacy of society closer to us. It can be war, poverty, corruption, crime, love, beauty, loneliness, isolation, happiness or a subtle as giving one a utopian experience. It can be a direct message with an imagery association or re-creation of an experience for the viewers to embody. We are in the most technologically advanced era which gives us infinite tools for art-making. One such example of a tool is light whether it is through projection mapping lighting up an age-old building with a story or lasers and LEDs reacting to the viewers’ presence. An artist who wants to capture the political theatre of his country, call attention to natural calamities, or virtually anything else can best do so using immersive light.

Not every artist’s expertise lies with canvases, paintbrushes, and paint, rather some who may struggle to express themselves using a traditional canvas, excel in expressing themselves with new media techniques.  Excitingly there is a growing need for immersive light platforms as society realises for art to remain relevant, it must evolve to incorporate the newest techniques and technologies. The scalable dynamic nature of this form gives the leverage of making the art in modules which can be assembled and dissembled as per requirements. This is because it is not static; rather it is dynamic and allows audiences to experience an artist’s vision in all 3 dimensions. Furthermore, because art using such platforms can be created relatively quickly- when ready- it’s more relevant than artwork created on traditional canvases. This is a common practice when an artist showcases the nuances of one space in another.

A glimpse at immersive and interactive art

So what is interactive and immersive art? An immersive art space creates complete experience for the viewers. This often seek to activate other senses such as touch, hearing, smell and sometimes taste and this where interactivity comes into play. Gone are the days where the viewers are asked not to touch the artwork.  In the current times, technology gives us unrestricted possibility. These are the possibilities which let the user be much closer part of the art than just viewing. Over the past fifty years, artists have explored the potential of computers to create both virtual physical 3-D art forms. These forms embrace the idea of space. These spaces created by the artists let the viewers experience alternate environments.

Unlike standing apart while viewing a 2-dimensional canvas, a viewer seeing an immersive light fixture is surrounded by light which allows him or her to experience an artist’s vision like never before. Furthermore, while traditional art and sculpture are static, interactive and immersive art changes with every viewer. Art created using immersive light can bend, twist, revolve and take new shape as intended by their creators. Technology driven platforms as rich as immersive light adds a new layer to the growing complexity of our world.

Technology giving students a new way to create art

Technology has enabled students and new media practitioners to use real-time analytics of the movements and gestures of visitors to regulate their immersive digital experience. Creativity that uses technology also motivates to explore the behaviour of viewers and to push them out of their comfort zones to unveil the true potential of art and technology. Students willing to explore diverse methods of making in both the virtual and physical world can use interdisciplinary and collaborative approach that focuses on relationship with technology, visual culture and space. Whether it is installation, film and video, physical computing, generative art, performance, animation, immersive installations, sound, various sensing devices, mapping, social practice, or participatory media, one gets to combine the language of art and technology. This encourages students from all disciplines to explore the possibilities of creating artwork using emerging technologies.

BY: Mr. Hitesh Kumar, Founder, Art_Illume

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