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Study Guide | Visual Art

Teknopolis 2017


Intersection Between Art and Technology

About XYZT Abstract Landscapes

XYZT Abstract Landscapes is a collection of 10 digital installations created by Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne. It represents a merger of technology, visual art, mathematics, and the human body. The name XYZT represents the four dimensions of width, height, depth, and time. Using sensors, cameras, projectors, and other technologies, the artists have produced a dreamlike and interactive space that responds to the touch and movement of its visitors.

New technology, new art

Throughout history, new tools and technologies have enabled artists to create things they were not able to do previously. In ancient times, discovery of new pigments allowed painters to produce vibrant palettes of colors. Much later, the mass production of steel allowed architects to design towering structres that seemed to scrape the sky. In some cases, new technologies have produced entirely new art forms; in the 19th century, the invention of the camera created the discipline of photography.

Nowadays, digital technologies have vastly expanded the boundaries of what artists can accomplish. A key distinguishing feature of digital art is interactivity, as demonstrated by many of the installations in XYZT. Seldom have art forms in the past been able to respond to the viewer as much as installations, games, and other interactive art forms can do today.

Art imitates life imitates art

A wonderful relationship exists between art and real life. They say that “art imitates life,” meaning art is inspired by what artists see and experience. They also say “life imitates art,” meaning art itself can influence the way people behave and even inspire new technologies. Art and real life (including real technology) form a kind of circle, continually building and improving upon each other.

Many great examples of this are seen in science fiction; once fictional technologies frequently become real, such as portable hand-held communication devices, or what we now know as smartphones. In fact, many of the technologies used in XYZT might have once been considered science fiction.

The digital artist

Digital art-making requires a multitude of skills, from visual art to computer programming to physical construction. A good digital artist must be multidisciplinary. Still, collaboration is a key skill, since digital artists often work with others who possess skills they lack. Lastly, and perhaps above all, digital artists must be able to continually learn new technologies and techniques in order to adapt to an ever-changing technological landscape.

The digital artist often displays a combination of “right brain” and “left brain” skills, meaning they possess both creative and logical or analytical abilities. The creative side produces unique ideas that connect with and inspire people. The analytical side is required to bring an artistic vision to reality through math, logic, and critical thinking. The installations in XYZT required close collaboration of a multidisciplinary team of artists who brought together many skills, ranging from visual design to dance to software engineering and expertise in motion tracking technology.

Support for Teknopolis 2017 Provided by The SHS Foundation
BAM Education study guides are supported by the Frederick Loewe Foundation.
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