Does Tech Upgrade Art?

Art has had an interesting relationship with technology over the years.  Technological advances such as paintbrushes, the printing press, and computers have opened up new ways for artists to express themselves.  However, I want to emphasize that "new" does not always mean "better". There's a reason that people still gather in ancient museums to see artwork that has stood the test of time. 

A great example of the relationship between art and tech is Digital Revolution, an art show at London's Barbican Centre. Check out the following two pieces for examples of how art is upgraded or downgraded by technology.

 

Upgrade

  Matthew G Lloyd / Getty Images.

Matthew G Lloyd / Getty Images.

Remember making shadow puppets with your hands?  This piece by Chris Milk, The Treachery of Sanctuary, uses 3D camera technology to take shadow manipulation to the next level. If you've ever wanted wings, your shadow can have them applied in this exhibit. It's the next best thing!

 

Downgrade

  Matthew G Lloyd / Getty Images.

Matthew G Lloyd / Getty Images.

This image is striking, but does it really need the random assortment of piano pieces and other machinery within the pyramids?  The piece would have been even more striking without it. Instead, the tech distracts from the image. Also, the piece features a hologram of rapper-i-used-to-like-but-love-to-hate will.I.am, who actually stated "This is Mona Lisa times a million". 

Yeah.

Below are some other videos from the exhibit.  For more media, check out the Barbican's visual section as well as The Verge's coverage.