One defining characteristic of 21st century art has been its increasingly eclectic nature. Among the many ways in which this is manifested is the ongoing convergence between science and art. As modern technologies continue to permeate all spheres of human activity, many artists make ample use of them as powerful tools for their work.
David Fincher is a perfect example of an artist whose art is inseparable from technology. His films are famous for unusual sights and interesting characters. However, it is known that most of his films are based on visual effects, which are generated digitally. “Fight Club,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Zodiac” feature large amounts of CGI (computer-generated imagery).
Another notable example is the existence of audio books. The previous generation could not even imagine that people nowadays may have the opportunity to listen to a book. The most important advantage of this is that it gives an opportunity to blind people to hear their favorite poems and novels. People have been recording literature since the phonograph’s invention in 1877. Later, after the 1930s, people started recording novels.
Underground art, oftentimes seasoned with digital details, is a thriving culture in Yerevan. On September 7-8, Nor Arvestanots (“new studio”) hosted an exhibition, called “From second Glance.” The exhibition was held with the help of the youth of World Vision․ Nadia Ter-Martirosyan, one of the organizers, says that the main purpose of the exhibition was to break the stereotypes that emerge from the first glance. People approached 18 black and white photos, scanned them with the help of the app Arloopa, and observed as another picture appeared on the screen.
Samvel Saghatelian is an artist whose work is a mix of technology and art. He is one of the artists who represented the Armenian Pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy, Plateau of Humankind in 2011.
He claims that art and technology have a close connection. The human being is always in the process of searching, and technology creates a gentle transition between the concept of art and the rendering process. The progress of science has a huge impact on art life, and this fact makes modern art even more valuable. Art is a battlefield, and the fighting strategies are always changing. The artist should master all the ways of this martial art. Technology is another tool that enables the artist to explore new means of fighting. Saghatelian mentions the way the artist interacts with the digital sphere as another crucial point: the artist has to become a communicator between art and technology, and this might result in the artwork avoiding possible obstacles in the digital realm.
Saghatelian has several mixed media works that are a reflection of technology in art. TRansRomance range is another example of this kind of artwork. It was presented in Armenia in 2013. Due to sexual content, the exhibition was held in a flat and not an institution. It was a combination of photo, digital media, printing, and acrylic paintings over print.
The main problem of the artist is to use the painful side of society in their art without making it vulnerable. This might help people improve the society they are living in. A similar work was exhibited in Shushi, Armenia in 2012. It was a huge blanket which had an abnormal size and shape. It had a map of Karabakh created by pixelized pieces of different fabrics. It was, in fact, a map blanket. Unlike TRansromance, here one could observe traditional methods of sewing a blanket which, in essence, unveiled the idea of unchangeable methods of some techniques. The latest installation was presented in Byurakan and also had a combination of digital devices and traditional ways of painting.
Saghatelian also adds that art is a transition between crime and communication. The artist should choose carefully between being a criminal and a communicator. Otherwise, their art will collapse in the vast virtual space shared between art, technology, and science.
All these examples make us think that art is a sphere full of opportunities. Thus, every possible change may bring about a series of advancements. Artists become bridges between art, society, and science. This is how digital revolution takes place.
Ani Yavrenc – from the third issue