Four ways technology is making an impact on art

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The ubiquitous nature of technology has had an enormous impact on how we now live. On June 18 we took the opportunity to discuss the current cultural landscape and how technology has influenced it, in a panel debate held at the first LACS Art Talks event.

The way we communicate, the way we travel, the way we work and even the way we eat and exercise have all been influenced by technology, as new trends spread across social media and technology offers new ways of doing old things. This is no different for the arts world, although the correlation may not be as obvious to everyone out there.

Let’s take a look at four ways that technology and art come together, and the impact they have on art.

  1. Artists have a range of new media at their disposal

Perhaps the most obvious impact that technology has had on the arts is the different media that artists have at disposal. Graphic design software, 3D printing, digital colours, new audio software, to name just a few have given artists a far broader range of choices when deciding what to create. Even a well-established artist like David Hockney now uses an iPad to create many of his “paintings”.

  1. Democratising access to art and breaking borders

The digital world levels all kinds of factors that would previously have been potential constraints to accessing art. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are open to anyone with access to a computer and with the ability to set up their account. This gives artists and art organisations a new potential market of millions of people who now have access to new experiences and knowledge of the arts, regardless of their ethnic background, income, gender, sexual orientation or level of disability. Technology also removes geographical barriers, as it gives local artists the opportunity to showcase their work to anyone in any part of the globe, offering potential consumers a broader choice.

  1. Expanding the definition of art

Greater access to different kinds of art, from different parts of the world and created by artists who previously had no access to art consumers or buyers, means that the definition of what can be considered art is changing. More voices with opinions about what art is, and artists by-passing intermediaries when selling their work leads to a broader understanding of what art can be. It also brings another challenge, which we’ll look at next.

  1. As access expands curation has an increasingly important role

Just as the Internet and the digital world has led to the proliferation of writing, making it more difficult than ever to find quality content, it has also greatly impacted art. With everyone and anyone putting their work on digital display, it takes the critical and educated eye of an experienced curator to sort through the vast number of new artists and information that is out there. According to the Sotheby’s Art Institute a good contemporary curator, “provides information, connections, and even contrasts to understand what makes art relevant today, and not only reflects meaning but contributes to debates and new understandings.”

On June 18, LACS Cascais hosted the first LACS Art Talks event with four guests from the arts, creativity, entrepreneurship and technology spaces to take a closer look at the current artistic, cultural and creative landscape. The panel discussed precisely the impact that technology is currently having on the arts and the role of the curator in this changing landscape.

This first LACS Art Talks was a great success and well-received by a diverse and engaged audience. LACS Art Talks will be regular events held at LACS venues. “This ART TALK was the first of many I hope, and for this first edition we naturally decided to discuss about technology and how it is impacting our lives and the arts, and how this impact can be leveraged to benefit society,” said João Raimundo, LACS co-founder and panel moderator for the evening.

Here is a snapshot of the event.

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