Is a fact that most of our relationships, expectations and habits have changed rapidly as a result of the digital revolution we are immersed in. But can we predict the limits, impact and scope of it? I guess it will be a hard work to do. In this article, I would like to talk about the impact of digital technologies in Art.
The matter is: Are Digital technologies transforming Art too? Are we about to take a step forward, jumping in a new period in Art history? Will it be Digital Art appreciated as much as Classic or Modern or Contemporary Art? Well, taking in account the way our World is evolving and changing, is very likely that answers of most of these questions will be affirmative.
In order to illustrate this hypothesis, I would like to state one of the experiences I remember the most. Four years ago, I had the chance to visit an amazing exhibition at the MAD museum in NYC downtown, named “Out of hand: Materializing the post digital”. This exhibition, curated by Ron Labaco, was aimed at making a deep immersion into several digital fabrication methods, as a work tool for Artists. It was incredible to see in first person that even though the exhibition was produced using 3D printing, CNC (computer-numerically-controlled) machining and digital knitting, the essence of Art is still alive in every single piece. Digital fabrication is a divergent approach for Artists willing to take the risk, and not only Artists; it offers new opportunities for Architects and Designers. Adopting these tools as part of their personal creative processes, all of them will be able to reach and discover levels of expression never explored before.
It might sound senseless, but Digital revolution is reaching Art too
In the close future, we will appreciate the talent of Artists that apply digital technologies as much as any other kind of Artists. Not in vain, the second edition of Out of Hand is taking place until now and September 2017 at MAAS (Museum of Applied Arts And Sciences) of Sydney, this time under the name “Out of hand: materializing the digital”. It includes works from the original exhibition as well as pieces from Australia and the Asia-Pacific and objects from the MAAS collection. More than 60 Artists, Designers and Architects from around the world are sharing their masterpieces at the Museum, including Barry X Ball, Zaha Hadid, Iris van Herpen and Ron Arad.
There are lots of Artists, Architects and Designers taking the challenge to adopt digital technologies around the globe, but I would like to state just two examples that have caught up my attention.
First one, Eric Standley, associate professor at the School Visual Arts of Virginia Tech and artist, is using technology to make the creation process more complex and detailed. His work is based on building stained glass windows out of laser-cut paper. He starts by drawing an elaborated design; then, he laser-cuts the layers; and finally, he places each layer one over to another. The result is a 3D version of his original drawing, in fact, one of his windows might contain around 100 laser-cut sheets stacked together. Standley says the technology allows him to feel more, not less, connected to his creation. His next challenge is: “Can I make it more complex?”. Please, check his video here.
Second example, the DUS Architects have built a 3D-printed micro home in Amsterdam. Its purpose is to show how 3D printing can offer sustainable and customizable solutions to follow the pace of urbanization in fast growing cities. The 25-cubic-meters house is situated in a former industrial area, easy to reach and visit. It has just one window and one door, with a bathtub and “pocket park” grass lawn located outside. Actually, after the 3D printed micro home, DUS, together with some cross-sector partners have created the 3D Print Canal House, a space and beta-preneurial building project which has the goal to revolutionize the building industry and offer new tailor made housing solutions worldwide.
And my research continues…What are your top 3 examples of digital technologies applied to Art, Architecture and Design? Is it digital technology transforming your work too?