Art and Technology Audience Interaction
ART AND TECHNOLOGY: AUDIENCE INTERACTION
???Almost as soon as I arrived in America I experienced the revelation that the genius of the modern world is the machine, and that in machine art we can discover a living form of expression.???
-Francis Picabia 1993
When chemical based photography was replaced by tools and materials such as digital imaging, computer generated imaging, and the digital camera, the whole idea of the artwork being an object was challenged.
As technology moves forward, new techniques derived from photography are being used by contemporary artists to produce artworks that are able to challenge post-modern audiences. This is done by making thought provoking and emotional statements about contemporary life. Post-modern art challenges the whole idea of the artwork being an object and lets the audience experience art emotionally as has never been done before in quite the same way. The moving image engrosses us because it is able to capture the characters and real life things in such a way that allows us to connect and involve ourselves in the story–we are presented with an intimate experience into someones life. The intervention of this new electronic media has had a huge impact on the audience, whereby contemporary practice is more of an emotional experience than an objective artwork. Artists know this and use that absolute connection to the moving image to express their ideas about the world as it is.
Beginning with photography, electronic technology has advanced, enabling con artists to manipulate and change the meaning by editing, deleting, enhancing and cropping their images. Artists use tools such as focus, viewpoint, layering, tonal adjustment and colour to create a certain mood through which they can communicate their intentions. The manipulation of images has engendered confusion about the authenticity of the image. This is not a new debate–Photography??™s authenticity has been questioned since its beginnings.
As an Art form, photography also communicates through vision and creativity, portraying different moods, feelings and conveying multitudes of stories. Photography has the power to document realistically and artists usually use it to create a story or dialogue with the audience within a series of artworks.
Many photographers also work with analogue and digital methods combined where photographs can be produced digitally and still be printed onto light sensitive photographic papers. A contemporary photographer is Bill Henson. His practice consists of one main media; photography.
He first imagines in his head, and tries his best to illuminate his ideas into photographs. He uses a single-flex camera and colour negative film. He plays a lot with light and dark, and tries to capture the natural light but if he needs to, will add to it.
When printing such large images, Henson uses a massive enlarger, held against a metal wall. He blocks the light from areas of the photograph, by using for example his hands.
In his artworks he intends to represent a place or time during adolescence where we can see the vulnerability of the human being. Henson wants to capture that time in life between childhood and adulthood where we may feel lonely, lost or confused.
He often portrays young figures shrouded in an ambiguous nightscape. The landscapes are usually non-descript, but seem to reference the abandonment that exists outside of most urban areas. The figures found in Henson??™s photos are equally ambiguous often consisting of androgynous adolescent girls.
The computer is an amazing tool, once mastered, the variety of technical approaches and applications employed are countless.
Julie Rrap is an Australian post-modern digital photographer. Her works are confrontational, involve the audience and are informed by past art.
Rrap attempts to use technology as a mirror on itself, to push beyond the rational and explore both the sinister and the visionary in the human desire to challenge nature.
She explores the relationship between image and substance, primarily by examining history and gender.?
Julie Rrap could just as well be described as a simulation machine herself, having explored appropriation and deconstruction strategies for decades. In her exploration of the human body and identity issues, she frequently uses her own body.
In the last decade her work has taken on a decidedly technological edge. Her present works use the computer and her own body to reconfigure recognisable scenes.
Rrap described the process behind these as having begun with some old dress patterns, and the idea of making the patterns up in materials that were in no way associated with fabric. In trying to decide which dress patterns to choose, Rrap worked through a number of film icons, arriving at Marilyn Monroe??™s famous pose in Seven Year Itch (1955) and Sharon Stone??™s in Basic Instinct (1992).
The extraordinary effects of the morphed dresses were accomplished by creating the sculptural dress objects in three dimensions. She photographed herself performing the iconic scenes.
As a concept, Rrap??™s gleaming, impossibly architectural dress is even less plausible than the idea of a glass slipper but the simulation is a knockout. It beats Hollywood at its own game of being every bit the beautiful, blatant fake.
Photo enhancement to conceal the normal signs of ageing has become the norm.
The naturalism of the flesh, juxtaposed with the dress, is a point which demands our gaze; a concentrated, engaged stare. This can no longer be engendered by falsified, digitally smoothed skin. The fact that the dimpled flesh of a fifty-year-old woman creates this thrall is all the more exciting because it sounds so unlikely.
The press, violence, and gender issues are amongst the many issues which influence her work. Such matters push her to continue an investigation into how photography can be used to manipulate a subjects appearance and hence, can be used by the media to distort the telling of a story.
Thanks to the advancement of technology, we are seeing new forms of art, an example of which is LED screening. An LED display is a video display which uses light emitting – diodes. Jenny Holzer uses LED signs to project her political and social messages to the public as a graphic form of art. Her work utilizes language to investigate the nature ideologies as conscious and unconscious formations about identity and experience.
Her complex and poetic texts can be shocking, humorous and intriguing in context. Text is the essence of her artworks and she uses it to powerfully convey her messages.
At the same time she draws on minimalism??™s use of industrial materials and deploys scale, movement and light to create art of great formal power and beauty.
The programming of the electronics which includes pauses, flashes, pulses and phrazing is a very important part of her installations. Holzer doesn??™t do this herself but relies on others to work with her. It has to be done precisely so that the content presentation will engage people. The installations are usually site specific so the position needs to relate or connect to the idea in some way.
Her intention is to post political messages through her light signs. Whether questioning consumerist impulses, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, Jenny Holzer??™s use of language provokes a response from the viewer. While her subversive work often blends in among advertisements in public space, it??™s arresting content violates expectations. She is influenced by writers, politics and social issues.
Moving imagery has become ubiquitous in both contemporary art and our daily lives. Artists using video as an art form are able to slow down or speed up time, adjust focus and use illusion to alter the audience??™s ways of seeing and experiencing. Some use it to draw the viewer into the artwork, others to reassess human actions, sometimes acting almost as a documentary device.
Joyce Hinterding??™s practice and research opens up the world of objects and materials through physical and virtual dynamics. Her interest in energy and resonance has been a platform for investigating and extending notions of form and function and digital translations. Working specifically with custom built field recording and monitoring technologies her explorations into acoustic and electromagnetic phenomena have produced large sculptural antenna works, video and sound-producing installations and experimental audio works for performance.
Film itself, is about guiding people through an experience, and a sequence of emotions. Another artist Pippilotti Rist, creates a point of view that soars, plunges and twirls. It is a technique she has developed in which she films with a tiny camera attached to a lightweight handheld boom. She describes this kind of shooting as a form of dance, and a result is footage that rarely provides the viewer with the sense of distance and perspective, that the conventions of television and movies have led us to expect. ???I want the viewer and the image to be on the same power level,??? she says. ???I want you and the camera to feel more like one.???
The impact of photography has certainly changed through time. It has now transformed into digital imaging where computer-based techniques are used to control images in many ways, creating revolutionary changes in photography and expanding our horizons in Visual Arts.
Studying this topic has given me strong knowledge of understanding the historical background of photography and its gradual growth throughout the world, to its ever increasingly broadened horizons as artists push its boundaries further through experimentation, collaboration and new technologies. Photography and all it??™s mutations have become widely accepted, and become the most persistent artistic modes of representation with which to assess contemporary culture through various societies. Photography has revolutionized our perception of the world today, and offers glimpses into our diverse world and imagination. In its present “conceptualist” form, post-modern art will no doubt continue to produce arresting works to satisfy the public.