Vishnu Varma doesn’t like modern art. And yet there is something interesting, even stirring, about what can be done with a computer- is this the future of ‘art’?
Every so often, the art world seems to undergo a major movement. One that sometimes radically changes our perception of what art at the time is. This new style of art doesn’t eradicate its predecessors, but pushes it aside to enable change. And of course, change is important. It allows new artistic skills to develop and to an extent, I feel it can expand what we think is beautiful.
But I hate the art of our era. Or at least, I don’t like what comes to mind when we think about the art we see in a modern art museum, or when we think about postmodern art in general. Stepping into a modern art museum for the first time can be an extremely disappointing experience for lovers of art from previous generations. I myself am in love with old marble sculptures. The way the artists of old managed to carve this block of stone into realistic figures, making the fabric they wear look realistic and fluid and sometime even creating veils over their faces that look to be truly translucent. It astounds me.
And then I am reminded that on an equal pedestal as these pieces, in some other museum, there is a urinal, a messy bedroom and an untampered 340 ton boulder.
Personally, I’d prefer if there was something else art historians in the future will remember us by when they think about the art movement of our time.
I very recently started paying attention to a medium of art that I think perfectly encapsulates our technological generation. “creative coding” or “generative art”. It’s exactly what you’re imagining. It’s creating computer algorithms for the purpose of expression instead of its traditional use to build an application or web pages. Although the majority of artwork created in this manner that can be found is of an abstract nature, just like any other medium of art, the skill of the artist can greatly increase the possibilities of what can be created. Some pieces can be 3-D models, while some are interactive, and there are even pieces that build itself from scratch slightly differently each time the program is run.
As far as I can tell, creative coding isn’t particularly well known, especially not as a form of art, because unlike traditional art that we are used to, this doesn’t have a physical manifestation. Of course it can be displayed on a screen or projected on a wall at a gallery should we decide to, but we would still have the dilemma of purchasing this art piece, as the market for an artist would be viewers who want to buy these pieces, albeit a painting or a sculpture to place in their home and call their own. Or even museums that want to purchase famous pieces as an attraction to their galleries.
I imagine that it would be hard to market these pieces, as they are all essentially just lines of code. But from my perspective, as a medium of art, creative coding resembles a majority of art from previous generations. It’s a medium that’s available to everyone, should they choose to use it. All one needs to create a brilliant piece of art is a great idea, and the skill to execute it.