Technology has transformed how art is created and consumed. Is this a good thing?

From the outside, the past few years have seen a continuous series of revolutions in the art world.

From the time they discovered widespread notoriety early last year, Irreplaceable icons (NFTs) have levied price tags on tens of millions of digital art pieces. But critics describe it as essentially worthless and offering nothing meaningful to art pioneers, and the artists themselves have complained about their work being stolen and “Sk” without their knowledge.

At the same time, the 3 web-based metaverse has been touted as the new home of this art – a digital environment in which Facebook has sunk billions of dollars, even as its employees have failed to embrace its use.

More recently, artificial intelligence art (which can create art based on text prompts or simply an incomplete drawing) has been presented as a path to “democratizing” art, allowing those without technical abilities to quickly and inexpensively create illustrations themselves – though only after Systems have been trained on billions of examples of existing art, often without the consent or reward of the original creators.

So what does it give? Why has the art world been attacked over and over in the past year with changes that were marketed as patron artists but that seem to have upended the way art is made and consumed? Why did innovations from the world of technology that are supposed to affect the way society as a whole operate seemed to explode and cause controversy, particularly in art spaces?

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“These technologies are presenting themselves, and looking for ways to be talked about by the art world,” explained Rob Horning, technology writer and founding editor of Real Life magazine, referring specifically to the emergence of NFTs.

NFT is a creation that runs primarily from the Ethereum blockchain – an efficient system that records online transactions and tracks them publicly. The main purpose of this system is to enable the cryptocurrency Ethereum – which uses “fungible” (interchangeable) tokens, meaning they can be traded with each other as functionally identical items.

In contrast, the “non-replaceable” nature of NFT means that it is unique – and none of it can be replaced. This means that they can be linked to a digital artwork (which is rarely stored on the blockchain itself) to give it credibility.

In essence, this means that the valuable part of NFT in the world of visual arts is the perception of value. While associated digital art can be copied an unlimited number of times, only one person can say they have an “original” copy.

Horning said this technology had no clear purpose before inventing a market for itself to sell digital artwork.

Deterrence and criticism of technology in the art world

While the initial stated goal was to give artists without representation the ability to sell their work, NFTs proved more divisive among artists.

While theft And the the pirate Proving to be huge problems in the space, there has been a clear pushback against the NFTs from the group they were initially meant to help: smaller artists, instead of finding new ways to sell their work, find themselves deserted against the technology and cryptocurrency subcultures that use – and sell – their business Without the artists’ consent.

Horning said that despite this downturn, the technology continues to be promoted and promoted, with NFTs and cryptocurrencies “remaining as important as the hype around them.”

“There is constant pressure on people investing in cryptocurrency to get cryptocurrency in the news, and get people talking about it,” he said. “And one way you can do that is to get artists to talk about cryptocurrency, or get artists to make things that casually include cryptocurrency or NFT.”

The bumpy intersection between the worlds of art and technology is seeing a newer, if not uncommon, now clash with the art of artificial intelligence. With machine learning models like DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and Midjourney, anyone with an internet connection can enter a few prompts and create any image they want.

As with NFTs, some artists have resisted this. Artists like Simon Stålenhag – whose sci-fi scenes inspired the Amazon Prime series Tales from the episode – and web illustrator Sarah Andersen He has complained that those systems were trained from publicly available art, including their own. This gives users the ability to request that images be created in the style of a live artist, imitating their work – and possibly taking the works away from them.

A set of three original AI art pieces created by CBC’s Annie Bender. (CBC Radio / Day 6)

“It’s not in the hands of artists right now,” Stålenhag said. “It’s in the hands of early adopters of technology.” Business Insider in a recent interview.

Blair Attard-Frost is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto studying the impact of artificial intelligence and the ethical ways to apply it to industry. They said that these artists fall into the camp of “displaced labor”, those whose workflows have been radically changed through the application of artificial intelligence. Like Stålenhag, Attard-Frost said they are concerned about how AI art can be created from these artists’ creations for little or no pay.

But these issues are emerging in many industries implementing artificial intelligence. The reason art is more visible in the art world is the central place of art in people’s daily lives.

“One of the reasons why ‘artificial intelligence artist’ material gets so much attention is because it’s more general, isn’t it?” Attard Frost said. “It affects everyone, and it unlocks all kinds of new capabilities for a lot of people…in a way that those more specialized apps don’t.”

As to why these technical inventions have built strong connections with the art world rather than other fields, there are a number of reasons. This is partly because the industry has shifted to value selling art over its creativity,” said Robert Enright, senior contributing editor at Border Crossings in Manitoba and professor of research in art theory and criticism at the University of Guelph.

“One of the things that happened — and I think that explains why NFTs exist and why there is this kind of search to find something new to sell — I think in many ways, the commercialization of art has become such a critical part of that process.”

“Because there is so much money in the world now, and because the rich have to find things for their money, one of the things they do is pay exorbitant amounts of money for art.”

At the same time, as Attard Frost explained, these are technologies that will reach all areas of life sooner or later. They simply took their first faltering steps into the art world, while regulation around many of these techniques was still in its infancy, they compared it to the “Wild West.”

An abstract blue and black collage appears in a digital piece of art.
Aloe mesa is a 2019 digital billboard designed by Ludy and released as an NFT. Often working in the digital field, the American artist says that technology and the art world have a lot in common. Follow Favorite

But Sarah Lodi, an American artist whose work often uses new techniques, says this is just an indication of the field. The nature of art is experimental, which will always attract artists to new mediums and techniques, which are not yet widely understood.

While this can make it extremely difficult to keep up with the changing demands of the tools an artist needs to master – and lead to potential predatory trade practices by those outside the art world who see an opportunity – art and technology will always find themselves intertwined. He said.

“Artists are driven to expand our definitions of the world and the self,” Lodi said. “Technology is here to broaden our definitions of self, connection, and all of those things.” “So.. our motives are pretty much parallel to each other.”

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