The Intersection of Art and Technology: Where is the Future Headed?
Explore the recent trends of AI and machine learning in art, exhibit curation and interactive experiences within museums, and social medias effects on artists accordingly with the help of three sources at the forefront of this discussion.
Constantly adapting. Consistently changing. The world as we know it is on the verge of an era we grew up dreaming about; the future is finally here. But this future doesn’t include the flying cars or robot dogs that many of us grew up dreaming about, not yet at least. This future is one inspired by the creators and innovators of our world. Those who never let the question what if stop them, those that just simply do.
Over the last decade we have seen the emergence of intelligent technology that functions as both our tools and our entertainment. Programs have been made that augment human creativity and actually help develop and take ideation further. We have digital tools that allow people to create on a new level. Accessibility and ease have never been at more of an all time high for creators and newcomers alike.
Innovations like the tablet for sketching, illustrating, and inspiring. Social media, a platform for connecting with new audiences and engaging with niche communities. The Adobe suite as a tool for photographers, video editors, designers, and more to do the work it used to take manpower and much more time to do. All work toward
bringing the future to the present. All work toward bringing technology as it’s own medium for art. “Culture can move quickly, aided by our devices, whether it’s a virtual museum tour, a live-streamed concert or crowdsourced poetry. And we’re only at the beginning of this curve. Technology offers a myriad of opportunities for art, expanding how it challenges us, triggers reflection, awakens empathy and connects us to our communities.” said Chris Barr in an article he wrote for the Knight Foundation, a non- profit in the U.S. that promotes excellence in journalism, technology, and the arts.
In an effort to see different perspectives on technology’s affect on art I spoke to three experts. Dr. Sven Brodmerkel, an assistant professor for advertising and integrated marketing communications at Bond University, who also moonlights as a journalist. Writing on topics such as AI as a creative entity and the intentionality of art. An instagram based creative with the handle @Phibstuff, who works on analog collages representing ideals of escapism. And Natalie Carfora, an exhibitions coordinator at MOD. A first of it’s kind museum located in Adelaide, that sits at the intersection of art, science, and technology. All offering a fresh and interesting perspectives on the convergence of technology and art, and what the future might hold in the decades to come.
A major advancement in the intersection of technology and art has been machine learning with artificial intelligence. Back in 2016, an algorithm was made to create a brand new Rembrandt painting, one of a kind, based on all 346 of Rembrandt’s previous pieces. The AI was tasked with recreating the artists style in something named The Next Rembrandt. The result was spot on, opening discussions on the meaning of creativity in machines. Dr. Sven Brodmerkel brought forth an
interesting point. “AI provides cultural value, it is interesting to see just what technology can do, for us to be able to create a machine that could actually do something like this. It’s an interesting stunt, but it doesn’t tell us much about art. It’s more of an averaged representation of what someone has done before, leaving aside the whole notion of authenticity and the idea of emotional expression from an artist in their work.” His perspective shows that AI, although able to mimic tasks, hasn’t gained the autonomy to think freely and with that think creatively. “I look at art as, is it expression of genuine emotion or is it just another piece of content. I look at how it resonates with me personally.” Dr. Brodmerkel says personally this must be fulfilled if technology is to have any hope of creating on it’s own.
Beyond AI, interactive exhibits at museums like MOD, offer a glimpse of technology intersecting with art in a different way. “MOD has been received really well since launch. Since we set out to do things different, people come not expecting a traditional museum experience.” said Natalie Carfora. MOD is unique because it takes data and current scientific research that the University of South Australia is doing, and creates exhibits around that research. “A lot of the time we are creating artwork, interactive experiences, and the installations ourselves from working with designers. It’s about bringing different themes to life other then bringing artwork in.” One of MOD’s most galleries, created by Age Haines, focuses on the human body and adaptations that we could once only dream of seeing. With science and art working alongside each other this gallery is brought to life, and offers an introspective journey into the human body. Carfora also believes another technology to be affecting museum goers and exhibit curators when deciding in their selections. “I think social media has
really affected the way people experience museums and art. People are interested in creating things that are good for sharing, and a lot of the time people seek experiences that are good for sharing online as well.” Social media is clearly a piece of technology mixing up the art world.
Social Media, specifically instagram, is a massive platform for upcoming visual artists to get discovered. But from the perspective of a creative using instagram as a tool to share their work, the future is a lot more intimidating then it seems. “The mindset of art and technology and how it affects creators is so important right now. It really does do a lot to us, these numbers that they tack on to our artwork will never not have a psychological effect.” said @Phibstuff during our conversation. “The numbers are so psychologically embedded in our heads, that sometimes I perceive my work as a reflection of other people, and thats just the hardest thing to kick.” What was once created as a tool for engaging communities has turned into something with more sinister undertones, intentional or not. @Phibstuff is a creator with only 26.5K followers. If he feels pressure like this, then imagine the duress and mental health issues that some of instagrams bigger influencers and creatives must have. Thankfully @Phibstuff has other mediums to turn to away from the social media spotlight, “I also paint but I don’t share them on the internet. I make galleries with them, I just stay off the internet and thats like my little saving grace to myself. I’m trying to balance out how I receive love on the internet from strangers and how I receive love from actual people I care about.”
Has art explored technology to it’s limits? Probably not. @Phibstuff left me with an interesting point. “Technology is never going to be a layer artists can hide behind,
bad work can’t be fixed by adding layers of technology and interactivity, but if at it’s core the work is good then the experience will only be made better.” The next few decades will surely be interesting ones as humanity explores the questions technology leaves us with, and just how far into the future should we push ourselves. It’s without a doubt an exciting time to be alive
The Lennar Foundation Medical Center Keeps Focus on Functionality
By: Maxx Pollack
Brief video footage of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center and part of an interview with Rich Jones, Associate Vice President for Facilities Design & Construction at the University of Miami.
(Filmed and Edited by: Maxx Pollack)
(Background Song - Gymnopédie No.2 by: Erik Satie)
Arthur Hoynack speaking on increased functionality of the building and how The Lennar Medical Center impacts future healthcare facilities .
Coral Gables, FL — Monday, December 5th saw the opening of University of Miami’s newest facility, The Lennar Foundation Medical Center. The building aims to be one of the first of it’s kind, a new type of medical facility that focuses on optimizing patient experience, from start to finish.
The initial designs of the building were created with functionality in mind. The building is designed for ease of way finding, aiming to make patients more comfortable during their time at the medical center.
“The lobbies on each floor are in the exact same location, against the exterior windows facing Ponce.” said Rich Jones, Associate Vice President for Facilities Design & Construction at the University of Miami. Each of the floors are set up in similar layered patterns to make navigation easier. The first layer being the patient waiting areas, then a diagnostics area, then the examination rooms, and finally on to where the support staff work. Jones calls this design an onstage offstage concept.
The main goal of The Lennar Foundation Medical Center was to create a space that would enhance the patient experience. “There’s a lot of natural light, waiting areas are on the windows with nice views,” Jones said. “We tried to make it simple for the patients to understand how they flow through the buildings, and then same thing for the staff.”
“It’s important in health care to provide a space to patients where they can consider themselves in a nice, calming, healthy environment.” said Arthur Hoynack, Executive Vice President of pre-construction Services at OHL-Arellano. OHL-Arellano specializes in the construction and renovation of health care and institutional facilities and assisted the University of Miami with construction on it’s latest building.
“A tremendous facility. Built with the mindset of taking care of patients. So it was the experience that was the most important,” said Hoynack. “UM is taking healthcare to the neighborhood, they aren’t making patients come to them.”
University of Miami’s The Lennar Foundation Medical Center is a step in the right direction for providing functional building designs that optimize the patient experience. The hope is in giving patients a reason for why they should choose The Lennar Foundation Medical Center over other healthcare facilities.
Matthew Kuscher: Restauranteur, Entrepreneur, Local Connoisseur By: Maxx Pollack
(Audience: Local professional men over 40)
MIAMI—LoKal, Kush, the Miami Brew Bus, and The Spilllover, all popular Miami restaurants, all contain a common theme. They are owned and were created by Matthew Kuscher, restaurant extraordinaire. From a young age Kuscher has been involved in the restaurant business. Both his father and his grandfather both successfully owned food and beverage businesses.
Kuscher has been dreaming his restauranteur life since he was back in college studying hospitality. Opening his first restaurant, LoKal, back in December of 2011, 12 years after graduating from college, Kuscher knew he wouldn't stop there. His ideas stemmed from a creative background. “I have concepts in my head ready to go for restaurants I don’t even have open yet,” Kuscher said, “I have playlists, and designs, and food menus for three restaurants I don't even know if ill ever open.”
Most people are completely satisfied with owning one original restaurant, but Kuscher continues to push the envelope. Four months ago he opened his fourth original restaurant. His latest creation, The Spillover.
Located in Coconut Grove, The Spillover specializes in sustainable seafood and its pairing of ciders, sours and meads. With a decor to match The Spillover screams seafood. Walking in the first thing people notice is a blue brick wall spanning an entire side of the restaurant. The wall acts as a map of Miami and has each town name painted on it and old ripped up newspapers from the respective towns plastered all over it. Old wooden barstools line the hightop tables and a neon sign with the logo sits over the back end of the restaurant.
There is no pressure for Kuscher to keep creating. “I want to keep going. I get bored very easily,” Kuscher said, “This restaurant that we are sitting in now is four months old, but
Audience: Local professional men over 40
because I’ve been planning it for three years it feels like it’s a teenager already, and I want another baby.”
As far as making compromises go Kuscher is an extremely meticulous planner, and knew what had to be cut and what couldn't be cut for each new location. “One thing I don’t cut on is the quality of my food,” Kuscher said, “And the integrity of my service.”
What’s next for Kuscher still remains a mystery, yet with many ideas swirling around I’m sure we won’t have to wait too long to find out.