05 What’s art got to do with it?

By Steve Penney, Senior Account Executive

Where art and technology collide lies the sweet-spot for something magical that drives the creative process forward and helps us to turn the corner of new possibility.

Today’s lightning-quick data transfer speeds and computing power means creative minds can dream bigger and dream faster – but is it art? Speakers at Glug’s latest event in Shoreditch Town Hall would answer, yes.

First up, inside a busy Shoreditch Town Hall on Thursday 21st March, was Tom Sharp, founder of the The Beautiful Meme who explored a range of human responses to technology. Fearing our own demise, our knee-jerk response to technology and innovation has long been fear and scepticism, but that’s changing. Technology has taken us (okay, it was a robot – but it had personality) to Mars and given us the means to discover. But all that information is just zeros and ones without finding the human side to it.

Next up was Rachel Clancy whose studies in Playable Experience Design includes a game that helps you choose who you’d like to be in your next life. She spoke about the vast expertise both artistic and tech-orientated that go in to creating today’s blockbuster games: score composers, script writers and art directors work hand in hand with sound engineers, coders and graphic designers in order to build worlds that can overlay our own (think Pokémon Go) while tackling important issues to present experiences that are as valuable as any book or film.

Made Thought’s Paul Austin followed, admitting to being neither artist nor scientist but recognising that doesn’t preclude you from being inspired by the collision of these two disciplines. He explained how data, when gathered as an emotional response like creating and naming your favourite colour, can become a contextual and emotion-laden work of art – basically, the future is mint green.

In a new Glug segment called How We Did It, Kevin Palmer of Kin Design and Science Museum’s David Dewhurst explored the relationship between creative and client. The interview tracked the collaboration from the tender process, to conceptualisation and knowing how best to use technology to enhance the artistic storytelling. The collaborative power of the creative and scientific perspectives to develop immersive experiences is what makes magic happen.

Next was Mike Moloney from Art & Graft. While his work always begins with pen and paper, it’s by technology that these creations are brought to life through sound and movement. Mike took us through a showcase of work that demonstrated the possibilities when art and technology collide. The results can be fantastical, thought-provoking and utterly hilarious but most importantly they are boundless.

Rounding off the speakers list was Steve Vranakis of Google Creative Lab. “Creativity is one big collision – or maybe a series of continuous small ones”, said Steve, explaining the benefits of approaching creativity with a degree of naivety with a feeling of invincibility and can-do attitude.

All of the evening’s speakers seemed to agree that creativity will always trump technology, but we have a responsibility to make new tech available to artists and creative minds of all disciplines who can add a human intervention and maybe, just maybe, make the impossible possible.

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