Art and Technology. Incompatible Concepts or the Future of Humanity?

Correlation between Art and Technology has always been a very controversial topic. From sci-fi writers of the 1950s to modern-day art historians and philosophers, nobody has given a clear answer, whether collaboration of art and technology will lead to a new step of evolution or a fatal devaluation. It might be hard to imagine how a highly pragmatic world of technology may correlate with a spontaneous and moody nature of artistic perception. At the same time, every programmer or theoretical physicist will always admit that a scientific breakthrough is impossible without creativity and thinking out of the box.

Technology

Art Has Followed Us Online

This discussion might have lasted forever. But recent events have turned the inevitable gradual splicing of modern art and technology into a huge leap towards digitalization. The Pandemic of COVID-19 has forced all museums and art galleries to close their doors for visitors. But it could not mean a total freeze of cultural life. Social distancing does not mean social elimination. Therefore art galleries, museums, and enthusiasts moved online.

Maybe in the beginning it was considered as a temporary measure, but the ongoing tendencies show that the online presence of art is a necessary condition for the preservation and development of our culture. Distant education has made world-class universities available for students all over the world. This is already called one of the most positive impacts of the Pandemic, which will affect the way education will look in the post-Coronavirus world. Just the same, online exhibitions have made art more accessible to the public, and public more responsive to modern artists.

It does not mean that world-leading museums did not digitize their collections before 2020. And modern artists have always known about the importance of online presence. But the pandemic has forced the extremely reluctant institution of fine arts online and provided it limitless possibilities of representation and dealing.

Art Market of the Future

The art market has always been one of the shadiest and even dangerous businesses, associated with enormous budgets and enormous risks.

Modern technology came up with an original solution to the market of art. By 2020 everybody must have heard of the Blockchain. This system, mostly associated with cryptocurrency, has already earned a solid reputation for being a safe and convenient means for collaboration and sharing information. It is widely used by modern banking systems, business strategies, and even law enforcement. But recently Blockchain appeared to be an innovative solution for the art dealing market too. Thanks to this technology, you may now buy shares in prominent art pieces just the same, as you would be able to invest in startups. The principle is identical to the stock market trading, but instead of business, you become a shareholder of an art masterpiece.  Opponents of this trend claim that growing accessibility will only devalue art. At the same time, it is quite hard to deny that the more marketed the art is, the more stimuli artists themselves get to grow and develop without having to waste themselves on pass-grade commercial projects.

We are naturally used to certain concepts that hardly allow us to correlate between such polar matters like fine art and digital technology. But the world is moving forward, customs change and things that were unimaginable 100 years ago have become the norm. Sometimes these cognitive revolutions are forced by outer factors that make them significant milestones in the development of humanity. 2020 will remain in history as a year of a pandemic. But in long perspective, humanity usually learns to benefit from any change.