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.



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!



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, who actually stated "This is Mona Lisa times a million". 


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.

Alan Turing: Cracking Codes and Taking Names

Every time you see a ridiculous movie scene where someone cracks a complex code, think about Alan Turing. He was born 100 years ago today and he's left an impressive legacy. He helped design early computer circuits, including his own Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), which was one of the fastest in the world. Famously, it helped to perform the many precise measurements needed to analyze plane wreckage of the time. He helped cracked the German Engima codes to hamper communication between our enemies in World War 2.

Just in case the machines that he helped design happen to take over the world, Turing also designed his own test to help distinguish between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. If we have a text only interaction with a human and a computer, would we be able to distinguish the two from one another? We incorporate Turing's ideals unconsciously whenever we delete a spam email message for looking too robotic.

Besides, if Google does a Doodle about Turing, he has to be something, right?